Spinal Cord Stimulator
Spinal cord stimulation is a technique used to relieve chronic back or leg pain. This is achieved by directing electrical impulses to particular regions of the spine to interrupt pain signals before they reach the brain. The electrical impulses may be generated by a device called a spinal cord stimulator that is surgically implanted.
The spinal cord stimulator consists of a pulse generator, battery and system of wires that relay the electrical impulses to the spine. A remote device is used to adjust the intensity of the impulses. Before implanting the device, you will undergo a trial period to see how effectively the device reduces your symptoms. The device is connected to your spine and worn externally during this time and any adjustments made if necessary. Some people respond better to this treatment than others. If you find the treatment effective, your doctor will implant the device in your lower back beneath your skin. Once in place and functioning normally, the spinal cord stimulator should significantly decrease your symptoms and need for pain medication, and enable you to carry out your routine activities.
Implanting the spinal cord stimulator is generally a safe procedure, but it carries a few risks which include infection, bleeding, nerve damage and spinal cord injury.