What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
A Spinal Cord Stimulator (also known as SCS systems) can provide long term pain relief through electrical pulses. They are a permanent implantation that requires charging, designed to prevent pain signals from being sent to the brain.
It can be placed, removed or the surgery can be revised by pain management surgeons, for patients experiencing chronic pain.
Why is a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implanted?
A Spinal Cord Stimulator is typically given to pain patients that have exhausted more conventional methods to relieve pain.
It allows for long term pain relief, enhances quality of life, and mitigates the need for pain medication
How is a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation or Removal Performed?
For implantation, your doctor will discuss each step with you but it typically will include a trial period to help find the correct location, inserting insulated wires via an epidural injection to test mild electrical currents through. Once this step is complete, and you have a location pinned down, the permanent implantation will take place. This is done under general anesthesia typically.
For removal, which may happen if you had a non-rechargeable implant fitted or decide this treatment is not working for you, your doctor will make an incision along the back above your device and will detach the leads while being careful not to disturb the spinal cord.
What To Expect After Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation
Frequently Asked Questions about Spinal Cord Stimulation
1. Is spinal cord stimulator a major surgery?
Spinal cord stimulator surgery is fairly invasive and because of that is quite a major surgery.
2. How long does a spinal cord stimulator last?
Depending on whether you have a rechargeable stimulator or a battery-powered stimulator, it can last between 5 and 10 years before needing to be changed.