Spinal Cord Stimulator

Neurosurgical Specialists of West County

Neurosurgeons located in Saint Louis, MO

Is chronic pain in your back, legs, or arms giving you trouble, but major surgery isn’t an option? A spinal cord stimulator may give you relief. The team at Neurosurgical Specialists of West County in St. Louis, can tell you whether this device, which has helped others, might benefit you. Studies suggest spinal cord stimulators provide pain relief to at least 60% of patients. Find out more by calling today.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Q & A

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is an advanced technology to ease chronic pain. Spinal cord stimulation therapy relies on electrodes to send currents of low-voltage electric energy into your spine. The electrical currents block sensations of pain, giving you relief from chronic pain in your:

  • Legs
  • Back
  • Arms

The doctor who performs this procedure makes an incision to place the electrodes in the epidural space of your spinal cord. Once installed, you control the electrodes with an external hand-held device. 

What conditions can be treated with a spinal cord stimulator?

The device may relieve symptoms of chronic pain associated with:

  • Failed back surgery
  • Spinal nerve damage
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

If you’re taking pain medications for these conditions or others, a spinal cord stimulator may help you reduce your reliance on these medications.

Is a spinal cord stimulator right for me?

Spinal cord stimulation may be right for you if surgery isn’t an option, or you’ve tried other treatments for pain relief for six months with little or no success.

The doctor initially recommends a trial procedure with a spinal cord stimulator. The trial allows you and the doctor to see whether the stimulator effectively relieves your pain and to evaluate different stimulation settings and programs.

If the trial is successful, your next step is implantation surgery.

What happens during implantation of the stimulator?

Your procedure is performed in a hospital or surgery center. 

The doctor makes a small incision above your spinal cord, then inserts electrical leads. The exact location where she installs the leads depends on your injury and type of pain.

The doctor also implants a small generator, which keeps the simulator running. Once everything is in place, they close your incisions. You’re taken to a recovery area to wake up from the anesthesia before going home. Most patients go home the same day.

The majority of patients find the stimulator reduces the pain. Research suggests that roughly 60% of people with a spinal cord stimulator reported pain reduction or relief lasting a year or two after surgery.

If you’re seeking relief from chronic pain, find out more about the benefits of a spinal cord stimulator by calling Neurosurgical Specialists of West County today.