Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a medical treatment option for those with chronic, severe pain resulting from various conditions. Whether you suffer from a failed back surgery or reflex sympathetic dystrophy, spinal cord stimulation can provide significant pain relief and mobility. By delivering mild electrical impulses to the spinal cord, spinal cord stimulation replicates nerve signals that send messages to the brain. These pain signals are then replaced with a tingling sensation.
An orthopedic surgeon will implant a small device under the skin to generate the process and stimulate the spinal cord. The device delivers stimulation through insulated wires adjacent to the spine, called leads. Individuals may control the stimulation through a handheld remote control device that targets specific areas of the spine. Depending on your activities and pain level, you may adjust the stimulation throughout the day. This stimulation allows many to move throughout their day without pain.
Who Is Eligible to Receive Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Only some people are eligible for the procedure, and an orthopedic specialist may suggest other non-surgical options. Once they evaluate your condition, pain history, and current medication, your orthopedic specialist will review and recommend whether spinal cord stimulation is viable for your pain relief and goals.
Most of those selected for spinal cord stimulation have had more than three months of chronic, debilitating pain in the lower back, arm, or leg. Consider the other ways you may be eligible for spinal cord stimulation:
- Conservative therapies have failed
- Your pain results from correctable problems
- You won’t benefit from additional surgery
- You don’t have untreated drug addictions
- You don’t have untreated depression or medical conditions
- You don’t want any further surgeries due to the risk of extended recovery
- You have had a successful SCS trial.
Many in the early stages of chronic pain benefit from spinal cord stimulation. Speak with your orthopedic specialist to discuss whether you’re eligible for SCS. The sooner you receive treatment for your chronic condition, the more likely you will receive life-changing pain relief.
What Types of Conditions Can Spinal Cord Stimulation Treat?
Many conditions may benefit from spinal cord stimulation. Since the treatment targets specific areas, SCS may relieve pain in various areas of the body. The spinal cord connects the brain to the rest of the body, which is how SCS may alleviate pain. While the stimulation does not cure the pain, it significantly relieves it. A successful spinal cord stimulation procedure reduces at least half of a person’s pain and allows them to manage their condition throughout the day.
Consider a few of the many conditions SCS may treat:
- Chronic leg or arm pain
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Failed back surgery syndrome
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Multiple sclerosis
After the surgery, your orthopedic specialist will recommend avoiding bending down, extensive movement, and picking up heavy loads. Ten days after your surgery, you will return to the orthopedic office, and they will check the incision. While the procedure is less risky than other surgeries, you may still suffer soreness and tension at first. Make sure to discuss any issues with your doctor.
Speak With a Board-Certified Orthopedic Specialist About Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation is an excellent option for those in need of pain relief and management. When it seems all other options have failed, SCS may provide those with the opportunity to get their life back. Our NJ Spine & Orthopedic board-certified specialists will analyze your condition and determine whether SCS is viable for your chronic pain. We prioritize our clients’ conditions and provide you with professional and skilled medical care. Our committed team has what it takes to offer you a pain-free life.