Spinal cord stimulation utilizes electrical impulses to alleviate persistent pain of the back, arms and legs. Electrical pulses block pain signals from accepted by the brain. Spinal cord stimulation is appropriate for patients who have failed conservative treatments.
An area of the back is anesthetized, then one or several insulated wire leads are slid inside an epidural needle into the area surrounding the spinal column known as the epidural space. An electrode located at the end of the lead generates an electrical pulse that in turn triggers the nerves, which in turn blocks the pain signals. The patient is encouraged to provide feedback to assist the doctor in identifying the exact location as to where to position the stimulators to best stop the patient’s pain. The leads are attached to an external trial stimulator, which in return will be utilized for at least a week to find out if spinal cord simulation will be able to help the patient. If the patient and the doctor decide that the amount of pain relief is acceptable, the system may be permanently implanted.