What is Spinal Cord Stimulation?

In this procedure one or two wires are placed into the epidural space to provide electrical stimulation to the spinal cord. The electrical current interferes with the transmission of pain. The stimulator is very effective in treating extremity pain. The patient will have a remote control to adjust the surgically implanted stimulator.

The wires and the unit are surgically implanted; before this permanent procedure a trial stimulator is placed. In the trial the wires are placed through an incision and attached to an external power source that the patient carries around on his or her belt. The patient then returns to the office for a follow up visit in one or two weeks. If the procedure was successful the Doctor will schedule the permanent stimulator.

This procedure is safe. However, with any procedure there are risks, and or side effects. The most common side effect of this procedure is a temporary increase in pain. Fortunately the serious side effects are uncommon. We usually recommend taking 2-3 days off of work after the procedure.

 

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