Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant

Spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, uses electrical impulses to relieve chronic pain of the back, arms and legs. It is believed that electrical pulses prevent pain signals from being received by the brain. SCS candidates include people who suffer from neuropathic pain and for whom conservative treatments have failed.  After the injection site is treated with an anesthetic to number the area, one or more insulated wire leads are inserted through an epidural needle or through a small incision into the space surrounding the spinal cord, called the epidural space. Electrodes at the end of the lead produce electrical pulses that stimulate the nerves which block pain signals. You remain awake during the procedure in order to give feedback to help the physician determine where to place the stimulators to best block your pain. The leads are connected to an external trial stimulator, which will be used for approximately one week to determine if SCS will help you.  If you and your physician determine that the amount of pain relief is acceptable, the system may be permanently implanted. At the end of the trial implantation, the leads are removed. Your PCA physician will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan.