What Is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is an electric nerve blocker implanted into the spine. It is designed to disrupt the signals your body uses to report pain.
How Does a Spinal Cord Stimulator Work?
The implanted device works by sending low levels of electricity into the spine. This disrupts the bioelectric signals your nerves use to pass information up the spinal column to reach the brain. Under ideal circumstances, this will reduce pain to a slight tingling sensation or nothing.
This operation is considered successful if patients achieve a 50 percent reduction in pain.
Why Should I Choose the Advanced Relief Institute for Spinal Cord Stimulation?
The Advanced Relief Institute has several pain specialists with experience implanting FDA-approved spinal stimulation devices. The skill and experience of your surgeon are of the utmost importance when considering a surgical procedure near the spinal cord.
The doctors at the Advanced Relief Institute are dedicated to reducing your pain and improving your quality of life. If you are struggling with chronic pain, contact our pain management specialists.
What Can Spinal Cord Stimulation Treat?
This spinal implant procedure is best for pain where the injury or defect causing your chronic pain cannot be identified or repaired with surgery. Spinal cord stimulation is often used after non-surgical nerve block injections have failed to provide adequate pain relief.
Do I Need Spinal Cord Stimulation?
If you have been struggling with chronic pain for three months or more and other treatments have proven ineffective, you may be a candidate for implantation of a spinal cord stimulator.
Before the operation, your pain specialist will conduct several tests to locate the source of your pain. This will help make the nerve blocker more effective.
Some medical insurance providers require a series of psychological tests before implanting the spinal cord stimulator. This is to rule out psychological conditions that may make the procedure less effective.
How Is Spinal Cord Stimulator Surgery Done?
There are two stages to implanting a spinal cord stimulator.
The first stage is effectively a test run. Your pain specialist will implant the electrodes under your skin against your spine. A belt will hold the battery for the device during the trial run.
Patients will test the SCS device for five to seven days to ensure the electrodes are well-placed and working properly.
Once your doctor confirms that electrical nerve disruption is reducing your pain, the final device, complete with a power source (similar to a pacemaker), will be implanted.
The operation is conducted under local anesthesia. Depending on where the implanted device will be attached to your spine, a single incision above your buttock or on your lower back will be used. The battery is usually placed above your buttocks or in your abdomen.
Is There a Recovery Period After Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Patients should refrain from exercise (except for brief walks) for one to two weeks. After two weeks, most patients can return to work and resume driving (with the nerve blocker turned off).
Most patients recover from the surgical implantation of the spinal stimulator within two to four weeks.
Looking for Relief From Chronic Pain?
If you have been struggling with chronic pain for three months or more, there is no need to continue to suffer. A spinal cord stimulator implant may help you live a life with less pain and more freedom.
Contact the Advanced Relief Institute today to learn more about your pain treatment options. You could be on your way to less pain in no time!Get In Touch