A spinal cord stimulator can be highly effective for patients who don’t get adequate pain relief from nonsurgical procedures. At Apex Pain Specialists, board-certified pain management specialists Naveen Reddy, MD, and Maziar Massrour, MD, offer world-class interventional pain management, including personalized spinal cord stimulator selection, trials, and implantation. Call the Chandler, Arizona, office or click the online booking tool to make your appointment today.
A spinal cord stimulator is a small device that generates electrical pulses to disrupt pain signals. A spinal cord stimulator has three main parts:
The battery-powered pulse generator produces electrical pulses.
The lead wire includes numerous electrodes that deliver the electrical pulses to your spinal cord.
You hold the remote, using it to turn the spinal cord stimulator on and off and adjust its settings.
All parts of the spinal cord stimulator work together to modify pain signals and prevent them from reaching your brain, so it can offer significant pain relief.
Spinal cord stimulation is best suited for patients with chronic pain that doesn’t respond to nonsurgical treatments. Some of the conditions that it treats include:
Spinal cord stimulation isn’t a cure, but it can offer highly effective pain management when other methods fail and help you reduce your pain medication usage.
The first step is a spinal cord stimulator trial, a procedure in which your Apex Pain Specialists doctor places electrodes at certain points along your spine. During the trial, you’ll wear the pulse generator externally, usually on a belt around your waist.
The trial process lasts about a week. During that time, you’ll use the remote to operate the stimulator when you’re in pain and then determine how well it works for you. Generally, spinal cord stimulator trials are successful if your pain lessens by half or more.
After discussing your results with your physician, they’ll schedule permanent implantation. You’ll receive local anesthesia for the implantation. Your surgeon implants the generator in your lower abdomen or in one buttock and places the permanent electrodes along your spine.
The procedure usually takes a couple of hours or less. After you rest in recovery for a short period, you can return home.
Your doctor programs your spinal cord stimulator, giving you several different programs to select based on your pain. Programmable settings alter pulse frequency, delivery area, and strength. They can change your programs in the future if needed.
Ready to learn more about spinal cord stimulation? Call Apex Pain Specialists or click the online scheduling tool to book your appointment today.