Spinal cord stimulation is an available option for patients whom have had little-to-no success in relieving their chronic pain with other procedures. Electronic impulses from the spinal cord stimulator interfere with the brain’s ability to recognize back pain. A spinal cord stimulator trial is first conducted and if the patient and physician determine that the trial did show that spinal cord stimulation implant will help relieve the patient’s pain, a permanent stimulator is implanted.
The procedure is done under a local or general anesthesia, is minimally invasive and can be done on an out-patient basis. The leads which carry the electronic pulses are inserted into the pre-determined location in the epidural space. The pulse- generator battery is then inserted into an area just under the skin–typically the buttocks or the abdomen. The leads are then connected to the battery and the patient can use a wireless programmer to turn the system on and off or adjust the settings.