The process of implanting a Spinal Cord Stimulator is virtually the same whether it is for a Conventional Implantable Pulse Generator, Rechargeable Implant Pulse Generator, or Radiofrequency Stimulator.
The Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial Period
Before implanting a Spinal Cord Stimulator, your doctor will require you to have a trial period in which they find the correct placement and test to understand if an SCS can provide the relief you want. During the SCS trial, your doctor will use an epidural needle to inject a lead with electrodes into the 'epidural space' between your vertebrae and spinal cord. Then, after connecting the lead to the generator, you and your doctor will experiment with the position, finding exactly where the electrodes should be placed to relieve your pain.
Implanting the Spinal Cord Stimulator
After a week, the trial leads are removed, and the permanent electrodes are implanted. It is important to remember that while you can swim with the permanent implant, you are not able to swim during the trial period. Talk to your doctor for more information about how to care for your SCS.
Recovery from Spinal Cord Stimulator Surgery
Like any other surgery, it is important to rest and allow your incision point to heal to avoid infection or reopening the wound. The incision should be healed between 2-4 weeks, and most patients are able to return to work between 1-2 weeks. During that time be careful not to pick up objects over five pounds, prevent bending twisting or climbing, and do not shower for a couple of days (sponge baths are acceptable). The stimulator should always be turned off when driving.
What Spinal Cord Stimulators Does the Pain Center Offer?
There are both rechargeable and non-rechargeable systems, all designed so you can get exactly what you need from you SCS. Read more about Medtronic Spinal Cord Stimulators here.
An Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulator uses, “proprietary technology to produce intermittent pulses — or bursts — designed to mimic the body's natural nerve impulse patterns.” The lead is paddle-shaped, and requires a larger entry point.
Why Choose The Pain Center?
At The Pain Center, we understand that people are individuals. We stay aware of the latest research to best understand individual causes for chronic pain, and then we treat every patient with a personalized approach to give them the best possible care. Dr. Sandra Thompson has 28+ years of experience as a pain specialist managing chronic pain for back, neck, and body. Contact us today to make an appointment for a consultation with our pain specialists at The Pain Center.