What is spinal cord stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a procedure designed to treat chronic back pain using an electrical current. Available at Southeastern Interventional Pain Associates in Atlanta, Georgia, spinal cord stimulation is performed via a small pulse generator, implanted in the back, which sends electrical pulses to the spinal cord. These pulses block the nerve impulses that make you feel pain.

How is spinal cord stimulation performed?
A physician typically implants the stimulator using monitored anesthesia care (MAC), a technique that does not require deep sedation or a general anesthesia. The physician will first insert trial stimulator leads through the skin to test the treatment. If the trial treatment is successful, your physician will implant a permanent stimulator.

The stimulator is implanted under the skin of the abdomen, with the small coated wires (leads) placed at the designated point on the spinal column to treat the pain. This placement is a more stable, effective location.

Once the procedure is complete, you and your physician will determine which pulse strength is best. You’ll also learn how to use the stimulator at home.

Is spinal cord stimulation right for you?
You may be a good candidate if you are suffering from:

  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Severe nerve-related pain or numbness
  • Chronic pain syndromes, such as complex regional pain syndrome
  • Spinal cord stimulation is usually considered investigational for other conditions such as multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, and intractable angina.

    As with any procedure, there are certain risks involved, including:

  • Scar tissue (fibrosis) growing around the electrode
  • Pain gradually moving beyond the reach of the stimulator
  • Electrode breakage or hardware failure
  • Infection
  • Spinal fluid leakage
  • Infection
  • Headaches
  • Bladder problems
  • Becoming accustomed to the stimulation, making it less effective
  • During your appointment at Southeastern Interventional Pain Associates in Atlanta, Georgia, your physician will discuss the pros and cons of undergoing this procedure. Spinal cord stimulation is not right for everyone.

    Call Southeastern Interventional Pain Associates in Atlanta to learn more about spinal cord stimulation or to make an appointment: (770) 558-8501.