Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) for Treating Advanced Neuropathic Pain
Third tier advanced pain therapy for chronic severe neuropathic pain that
has exhausted all other treatments and modalities. The SCS creates an
electrical field arround the posterior spinal column and modulates the
pain signal perceived by the Central Nervous System (CNS). The nerve pain
is converted to a soothing, tingling buzzing sensation.
Spinal Cord Stimulator is used for the following conditions:
- Failed Laminectomy Syndrome
- Spinal Stenosis without operative options
- Chronic Radiculapathy
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
- Generalized Peripheral Neuropathy
How does Spinal Cord Stimulation work?
SCS is an electrical modulation of the spinal cord signaling perceived
by the Central Nervous System by stimulating the dorsal column fibers.
The SCS lead is placed via the epidural space and configured to provide
adequate coverage. A trial is done first in order to test the outcome
prior to permanent implantation (i.e. a test run).
What to expect from the Trial Run
A screener will be attached to the electrode leads in the epidural space.
An electrical impulse will be delivered and configured to cover one's
normal pain with a soothing tingling sensation. You will be awake during
the trial leads configuration to ensure adequate pain coverage. You will
leave the trial with an external battery pack and remote control to continue
to monitor pain coverage for 3-5 days.
Implantation of the Spinal Cord Stimulator
- A trial is deemed successful if the patient reports a 50% reduction in
pain, improved function and less opiate use.
- Cognitive ability and motivation to use this device.
- Realistic expectations of benefits and limitations.
- Psychological clearance to rectify any underlying psychiatric impediments
(i.e. depression and anxiety).