Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS)
What is Spinal Cord Stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a safe and effective surgically implanted device that can help reduce a patient’s chronic pain and use of pain medications. It may be an option for patients who have not been able to find relief using other therapies. SCS therapy works by interrupting pain signals before they reach the brain. When turned on, the spinal cord stimulator device delivers impulses of electric current to specific nerves on the spinal cord. As a result, the impulses disguise the pain signals traveling to the brain.
Who is a Spinal Cord Stimulator Candidate?
Spinal Cord Stimulators are recommended for patients who have chronic leg, arm or back pain and have not been able to find relief through other traditional therapies like injections, physical therapy and spine surgery. A patient selected for a spinal cord stimulator usually has had chronic pain for more than 3 months or longer and one or more spinal surgeries.
A Spinal Cord Stimulator Can Help With the Following Conditions:
Chronic Leg (Sciatic) or Arm Pain
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Spinal Cord Injury
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
How Can a Spinal Cord Stimulator Benefit You?
The implanted device treats pain 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Minimal Side Effects
Unlike with some pain medications, you will not have side effects like drowsiness or clouded thoughts.
A trial must be done prior to the permanent implant, you will learn if it will be effective for treating your pain. Spinal cord stimulation has been shown to result in meaningful pain relief for 50%-70% of well-selected patients.
Quality of Life
Since the Spinal Cord Stimulator does do not require major surgery, you can get back to activities you love faster.
What to Expect for your SCS Trial:
*The entire trial process may take up to 4-6 weeks.
What to Expect for your SCS Implant:
*The entire implant process may take up to 4-6 weeks.
If you have additional questions, please contact us or refer to our FAQ section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to know before my SCS trial?
Prior to your appointment, a nurse will contact you to let you know what time to arrive and go over any premedication instructions. It’s the perfect time to ask all your questions.
What do I need to know for my SCS trial appointments?
- You will need a driver for the SCS trial. The driver will need to drop you off in the front of our building and drive around to the back to wait for you by door number 8.
- The trial procedure takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour. There is at least a 30 minute recovery time after the trial.
- You will also need a driver on the day of lead removal.
What can I do to ensure a smooth process?
- Make sure to call your Neuroscience Group provider to let them know when you have completed your neuropsychology testing. We cannot move forward without this information.
- Neuroscience Group will send you a “Release of Information”. Please sign the form and return it back to us. We cannot start the authorization process until this is on file.