Spinal Cord Stimulation

 

What is SCS? How does it work?

If you qualify for SCS then you will spend a few months under a trial period, and if the trial yields positive results a more permanent SCS device can be placed. SCS entails a small wire being placed near your spinal cord with an impulse generator, and its controller, which is an external device. The implanted wire stimulates the spinal cord and manipulates the communication of pain signals to the brain. The controller allows the patient to change the amount to stimulation. During the trial period, the impulse generator will also be kept outside of the body.

Benefits from an SCS

The SCS is positioned accordingly for your pain symptoms and the electrical signals that are generated can be customized by the doctor for a patient’s specific pain relief needs. Patients of the implant report that even after several years they have increased function, reduced their use of pain medications, and felt a large reduction in pain.

When will I see results?

It is normal to feel some discomfort the day after implantation. Within a few days patient’s report feeling a decrease in pain and more mobility for everyday activities.

Process

BEFORE: You should arrange for transportation home after this procedure.

PROCEDURE: Lying on your side, the insertion site will be sterilized and numbed with local anesthetic, and if you asked for a mild sedative you will receive it. Then using x-ray equipment, you doctor will guide the wire leads with a needle, and place them appropriately for your specific needs. The generator will be left outside the body during the trial period. The procedure can take 30 minutes to an hour, and you will be released after an observed waiting period.

Risk Factors

There is a risk of complication with any medical procedure. Take time to discuss treatment options and any questions you may have with your physician, before agreeing with a procedure.