What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)?

Spinal cord stimulation is a pain-relief technique that uses a low-voltage electric current to block the sensation of pain.

A small spinal cord stimulator, usually implanted in the abdominal or buttocks region, continuously delivers electrical pulses to the spinal cord in order to interfere with pain signals before they’re able to reach your brain.

Ideal Candidates for Spinal Cord Stimulator Implants

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

Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Pain

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

Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial Procedure

  • 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.
  • 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 generator can then be implanted into your body.

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