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Spinal Cord Stimulator Implants

The ‘Pacemaker for Pain’

Some types of chronic back pain and nerve pain are difficult to treat with conventional methods. For patients who have chronic pain due to post laminectomy syndrome or sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy), Center for Pain Management often recommends a spinal cord stimulator implant (SCS). 

The SCS consists of wires (called “leads”) that are inserted into the space around the spinal column and attach to a small implanted battery. The battery generates electrical pulses that travel along the leads and create a tingling sensation that replaces or minimizes pain signals.  

What to Expect

Patients who are candidates for spinal cord stimulator implants must first meet with our staff psychologist for an evaluation. Our goal is to make sure patients are mentally and emotionally prepared for this outpatient procedure.

Patients may experience mild discomfort and swelling at the incision site for a few days and must be able to follow their physician’s orders regarding rest and rehabilitation.

About SCS Implants

The initial SCS procedure takes about an hour. Patients receive temporary leads and an external battery – if after one week, they feel the SCS is effective at relieving their pain, they return to our office for implantation of permanent leads and the internal battery, which is about the size of a playing card. Patients receive an external wireless controller that lets them adjust the intensity and timing of electrical pulses and access pre-programmed settings.

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An Alternative to Repeat Back Surgery

Back surgery that involves removing or restructuring any part of the spine is risky and often ineffective, and the recovery period may be several months. A spinal cord stimulator implant is a less invasive means of alleviating back and nerve pain, and it allows patients to customize their pain management.

If traditional methods have failed to alleviate your chronic pain, please contact Center for Pain Management to schedule a consultation: (317) 706-7246.