What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

A Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) is a device that is implanted in the back and primarily used to control chronic pain. The stimulator uses a small pulse generator that sends electrical pulses which interfere with the nerve impulses that produce pain. The electrodes are carefully inserted into the epidural space of the spinal column. This procedure is an important part of treating chronic spinal pain often seen with herniated discs, sciatic pain, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, post-laminectomy syndrome as well as failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). It can also be indicated in the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome and pain due to ischemia from peripheral arterial disease.

Procedure Details

Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial is an outpatient procedure, consisting of the placement of a small lead wire through a needle to the area of the spinal region to control your pain. By using this neuro-stimulation technology, this procedure blocks the pain impulses from reaching the brain. A trial procedure may be performed so that the outcome may be monitored for a period of three to five days. If successful, a permanent neuro-stimulator device may be considered. A trial is considered successful if more than 50% of the pain is reduced. All procedures are done under fluoroscopic guidance (X-ray-guided) to ensure proper placement of the medication and may be performed in an ambulatory surgical center, fluoroscopy suite or hospital setting.

Conditions Treated

  • Herniated Disc
  • Failed Back Surgery
  • Sciatic Pain
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spinal Stenosis