A spinal cord stimulator is a small medical device that sends mild electric current through your spine. Electric impulses from the stimulator stop nerves in the spine from sending pain signals to your brain. When the flow of sensory information is blocked, you stop feeling pain.
While pain relief is immediate, the degree of comfort achieved varies from one person to the next. For this reason, a temporary external stimulator is used to determine your level of pain relief. If you find it effective, a permanent stimulator is implanted under your skin.
Spinal cord stimulation is used to relieve chronic pain of the back, arms, and legs, so it’s considered as a treatment for diverse health conditions. Some of the most common conditions treated with spinal cord stimulation include:
Your doctor at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics thoroughly evaluates your medical history and physical condition to determine whether you’re a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation. It’s considered for pain relief when other treatments have failed to relieve the pain.
Candidates for spinal cord stimulation must also meet these criteria:
Your doctor at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics uses a specialized type of X-ray to guide placement of an insulated wire into the epidural space of your spine. The wire, which contains tiny electrodes, is connected to the electric pulse generator, which holds the battery and sends impulses through the electrodes.
Following a successful trial period, the generator is surgically implanted under your skin, usually in the buttock, abdomen or chest. You use a wireless programmer to control the power level and timing of the electrical signals sent from the generator.