Spinal Cord Stimulation
A spinal cord stimulator is an implantable electronic device used to help treat chronic pain. The device inhibits pain signals from reaching the brain by delivering small electrical signals to precise areas of the spinal cord.
See movie presentation on Spinal Cord Stimulators
Nerve conduction of pain is interrupted by the low level electrical stimulation coming from the spinal cord stimulator. The electrical stimulation is a distraction that allows your brain to focus on the tingling, often soothing sensation that the stimulator makes. The spinal cord stimulator will not cure your pain, however you can expect a 50 percent or greater reduction in pain.
The procedure is completed in two stages. The first stage is the trial stimulation and the second involves placing the permanent device. Placing temporary wires for the trial is considered a minimally invasive procedure. Dr. Linehan places an epidural needle near the spinal cord under fluoroscopic guidance, then inserts the electrode wires through the needle and attaches the wires to an external generator.
If the trial is successful, you will undergo a second procedure to implant the permanent device. If the pain is in your arm(s) and neck, Dr. Linehan places electrode wires in the upper back/neck. If you experience pain in your leg(s) and low back, he places the electrode wires in the lower/mid back. The generator battery can be implanted in the flank or upper buttock area depending on which is more comfortable.
Dr. Linehan can program the devices to adjust the type and strength of electric stimulation. The spinal cord stimulator is not necessarily permanent and can be removed if indicated. The battery-powered device can last two to nine years and with many generator batteries now being rechargeable, it allows for longer life and less frequent replacements.
Precision Pain Care uses strategies, methods and technology designed to break the cycle of pain and improve a patient’s quality of life.