The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Spinal Cord Stimulation in 1989 to relieve chronic pain from nerve damage in the trunk, arms or legs. Since then, neuromodulation technology and its clinical application has been growing at a fast pace. It is a novel and advanced therapy utilized for a variety of medical symptoms ranging from refractory neurological pain to complex regional pain syndrome.
What is Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Neuromodulation is a novel and advanced therapy utilized for a variety of medical conditions ranging from refractory neurological pain to complex regional pain syndrome. Neuromodulation is achieved via spinal cord stimulation and can greatly reduce pain symptoms in the appropriate patients, even those who have undergone complex spine surgery.
What type of medical conditions does a Spinal Cord Stimulator treat?
One of the key indications for spinal cord stimulator treatment are patient’s who suffer from neuropathic pain. This may be secondary to a damaged nerve or disc herniation. Often times, these patient’s have undergone discectomy, laminectomy, and fusion; however, still have ongoing nerve pain. The second most common indication for spinal cord stimulator is complex regional pain syndrome which typically affects an upper or lower extremity.
Patient’s who experience one or more of the following, but not limited to, may be a potential candidate:
Post-laminectomy syndrome – persistent neurological pain, radicular syptoms, after spine surgery
Refractory neuropathic pain (numbness, tingling, or burning sensation)
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Peripheral Neuropathy – for example secondary to viral infection, chemotherapy, diabetes.
Coronary Artery Disease
How does a Spinal Cord Stimulator work?
Neuromodulation works by altering the normal sensory signals, pathways, circuits, and pain signals that travel to the brain. A Spinal Cord Stimulator alters the perception of pain by the brain. As a result, many patients will perceive less pain as well as have an increase in circulation depending on the patient’s need for a Spinal Cord Stimulator.
Spinal Cord Stimulation is a two step process. The first step, which is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, is a trial of the device. The trial will allow a patient to ascertain if this treatment modality aids one’s symptoms. If the trial is successful for the patient, the patient is a candidate for the second step which is a permanent implantation.
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