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Spinal Cord Stimulation Implants
Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a transformative treatment for chronic pain, particularly in the back, legs, and arms. When traditional pain management techniques fail, SCS serves as an effective alternative. By using low voltage electrical pulses, SCS blocks pain signals, managing pain, and reducing reliance on pain medication.
Indications for Spinal Cord Stimulation
SCS is recommended for those who:
- Have tried and found no relief from conservative therapies
- Have a clear and confirmed source of pain
- Would not benefit from surgery
- Are not dependent on pain medications
- Have no medical condition that would prevent implantation
- Have had a successful trial stimulation
SCS treats chronic pain from conditions like sciatica, failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), arachnoiditis, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and peripheral vascular disease.
The SCS Procedure
The popularity of Spinal Cord Stimulation lies in its effectiveness in alleviating persistent pain. The system includes:
- Pulse Generator: Implantable and creates electronic pulses.
- Electrode Lead: Delivers pulses to the spinal cord, containing between 4 and 16 electrodes.
- Extension Wire: Connects the lead to the pulse generator.
- Remote Control: Activates the pulse generator and adjusts pulses.
The implantation process is minimally invasive, often requiring only local anesthesia. The pulse generator is placed under the skin near the spinal column, and the electrodes lead to the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. Once activated, the electric currents create a tingling sensation in the affected area, interrupting pain signals to the brain, resulting in pain reduction.
Most candidates for SCS will undergo a trial procedure, typically lasting seven days. This involves placing the SCS leads into the epidural space without surgical incisions and using an external generator. If the trial provides the desired level of pain control, permanent implantation is recommended.
Right Candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation
A thorough medical examination and evaluation of pain history determine the suitability for SCS. Patients who have undergone surgery without relief from back pain are common candidates for SCS.
Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation
- Minimally invasive
- Long-term treatment
- Improved activity levels
- Decreased dependency on medications
Spinal Cord Stimulation is a beacon of hope for individuals suffering from chronic pain. By interfering with the brain’s ability to register pain from affected areas, it provides substantial relief, enabling a more active and fulfilling lifestyle. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if SCS could be a suitable solution for your chronic pain condition.