Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial and Implantation

Who would benefit from this procedure?

This is most commonly used for individuals that have had spine surgery and continue to have pain that is not well controlled with medications.   However this can also be used for complex regional pain syndrome and other neurological and orthopedic pain syndromes.

How does this procedure work?

This process depends on the type of technology used.  Wither certain technology the spinal cord stimulation leads to pleasant pulsed buzzing/vibration sensation.  With other technology patient only experiences pain relief.

How and Where is this procedure done?

This procedure is done in Three phases.

Phase 1 “The Trial”: This is done in our office.  The spinal cord stimulator leads are placed under X-ray guidance in proper sterile surgical manner.  Patient than returns home for 7-10 days with an externalized power generator.  This 7-10-day time period is the “Trial” period.  In this period the patient can control the programing of the device to achieve pain control.

Trial phase of this procedure should result at least 50-75% pain relief.

Phase 2 “Removal of Trial leads”: After the 7-10 day trial period, patient will present to our office and we will remove the Trial leads in sterile fashion.

Phase 3 “The implantation”: This will only be done if the “Trial” resulted in pain relief.

This will be done by the physician (i.e Dr. Delly) or referred to a Surgeon to implant with specific direction from your pain physician.

This will be either be implanted in a Hospital (i.e Henry Ford-Wyandotte) or a Surgery Center.   Like in the “Trial” phase, two fresh spinal cord simulator leads are placed under X-ray guidance in proper surgical sterile manner.  However, the power generator is now internalized placed under the skin.

What are the potential risks?

Although this is a very safe procedure, it is not without risk.  Whenever a needle is used there is always the risk of infection and bleeding.  Furthermore, when done in the cervical spine (neck) or thoracic spine (mid-back) there is also risk for spinal cord injury

What should I expect after the procedure?

You may have temporary pain from the needle entrance sites.  Depending on the technology used the pain relief experience varies.