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Spinal Cord Stimulators

Minimally Invasive Solution for Chronic Pain Management

When surgery, medication, and other therapies do not deliver pain relief in the back, legs, or arms, spinal cord stimulators (SCS) offer a minimally invasive solution to pain management and restoration of daily function. These FDA-approved devices have been used for over 50 years and continue to improve with advances in technology—delivering positive outcomes for many people suffering from chronic pain.

What are Spinal Cord Stimulators?

Spinal cord stimulators are small electronic devices producing a mild electrical current. Surgically implanted beneath the skin, these proven devices deliver electrical pulses that interfere with pain signals to the brain. Spinal cord stimulators do not eliminate chronic pain; instead, they disrupt the way the brain perceives the pain, helping patients manage it more effectively.

Breakthrough technology continues to improve the effectiveness and convenience of SCS devices. Most models consist of elements that include:

  • Neurostimulator implanted in the abdomen or upper buttock, including a power source that may be rechargeable or require periodic replacement
  • Wire leads embedded in the epidural part of the spine
  • Handheld programmer to adjust the type and length of stimulation

Recent technological innovations include devices controlled and powered by radio frequency and stimulators that sense and adjust for activity levels or changes in body position.

Conditions Treated with Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal cord stimulators work well in the early stages of chronic pain conditions. The treatment may be indicated for degenerative diseases, nerve inflammation, and ineffective surgical outcomes. Chronic pain conditions treated by SCS include:

Who is a Good Candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation?

Even the shortest duration of chronic pain can impair function and comfort. Patients who have suffered for as little as three months may be considered for SCS if they meet these criteria:

  • Conservative therapies do not relieve pain.
  • Further surgery is not likely to result in pain relief.
  • There are no complicated medical or mental health problems that would interfere with SCS treatment.
  • Treatment is recommended by a pain management professional.
  • A successful trial of SCS has been completed.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Trial & Implant Procedure

Fortunately, a spinal cord stimulator’s ability to relieve pain can be tested before the device is actually implanted. A trial is conducted with a device worn externally for five to seven days. If successful pain management is achieved, a neurosurgeon will implant the stimulator during outpatient surgery. The procedure takes about two hours under local anesthesia, and the patient is usually discharged the same day. Although considered a permanent solution, the surgery is completely reversible.

Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine Advanced Surgical Treatments

The neurosurgeons at Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine are innovators in the treatment of back pain and neck pain. From surgical solutions to non-invasive therapies, we give our patients options to improve their lives. During the process, the PBSSM team treats you like family: combining state-of-the-art medicine with the reassurance of an old-fashioned bedside manner. If you are suffering from chronic back, neck, or leg pain—even after surgery—a spinal cord stimulator may offer relief.

Call PBSSM at 215.741.3141 in PA or 609.921.9001 in NJ to check insurance coverage or to schedule a consultation. Request additional information about our spinal cord stimulators online.

Request an Appointment Submit an appointment request on our patient portal or contact our New Jersey and Pennsylvania campuses to speak with a patient advocate. Schedule an Appointment

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