Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy

Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy

In spinal cord stimulation (SCS), mild electric currents applied to the spinal cord through small medical devices change pain signals. These mild electrical stimulations to the nerves modify nerve activity to minimize the sensation of pain reaching the brain. The device involves placing a lead with electrical contacts in the epidural space in the spine using fluoroscopic (X-Ray) guidance near the region that supplies nerves to the painful area. The procedure is a minimally invasive surgical technique. There is a trial period where the patient will try a temporary external system, and if pain is sufficiently reduced and function and independence increased, the patient returns to receive an implanted system.

Reasons to Consider Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal Cord Stimulation can help lessen chronic pain caused by the following:

A patient may be a good candidate for the following reasons:

Typically, patients considered for SCS have been dealing with chronic pain for a prolonged period of time. Pain takes both a physical and mental toll on a person. A complete diagnosis both medically and psychologically are vital to determine if a patient is a good candidate for the procedure. Along with this step, the process will likely include learning better pain coping skills, a reduced dependency on habit forming medications, and learning to restore physical function.

Spinal Cord Stimulation is a 2-Step Process

Trial Phase

The first step is the trial stage and usually lasts about seven days. While watching on a monitor, the doctor will guide a hollow needle into the epidural space above the spinal canal. Through this passageway, one or more thin leads are threaded, each carrying a number of small electrical contacts along the end. The leads are attached to a power supply that delivers a mild current. Once the position is chosen, the lead is secured in place.

Permanent Phase

After trying the therapy for about a week, a patient who has experienced a sufficient reduction in pain may choose to continue treatment with a permanent system. An implantable power source, around the size of a watch face is generally implanted under the skin – either in the upper buttock/back, upper chest wall, or abdominal area.

Spinal cord stimulation therapy is reversible. If a patient decides at any time to discontinue, the electrode wires and generator can all be removed.

Please call us today at (972) 596-1059 for more information or go online at www.tarponpa.com to further research options or fill out the online appointment form.

Author
Leigh Anne Maack

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