What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)?

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is often used after nonsurgical pain treatments have failed to provide sufficient relief. Spinal cord stimulators may be used to treat or manage different types of chronic pain. A small spinal cord stimulator, usually implanted in the abdominal or buttocks region, continuously delivers electrical pulses to the spinal cord to interfere with pain signals before they’re able to reach your brain.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Candidates

Spinal cord stimulation treatments are generally recommended for people who have severe, chronic pain including:

Chronic Pain-Relieving Benefits

    • When using SCS, patients may be able to reduce oral pain medications and their side effects.
    • SCS is an effective treatment that can provide a significant and sustained reduction in leg and back pain.
    • SCS is the most commonly used implantable neurostimulation technology for the management of pain syndromes.
    • SCS is a reversible therapy so that treatment can be discontinued at any time, and the implanted parts can be turned off or removed.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Procedure

    • Implantation takes place as an outpatient visit and generally takes 10 to 20 minutes.
    • Preset programs are used to emit electrical currents in a pattern designed to target the areas of pain.
    • If significant pain relief is achieved, a complete system with a generator can be implanted into your body.
    • Spinal cord stimulation always involves a short trial conducted with a temporary stimulator to determine whether or not SCS can provide a specific patient with adequate pain relief.


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