If you've already tried medications, physical therapy, steroid injections or nerve blocks and you still have chronic pain, then SCS may be the next step for successful treatment. If the “trial run” we perform indicates that your pain responds to SCS, a permanent device may be placed. This consists of a tiny power source implanted under the skin of your abdomen or upper buttock. The device is undetectable beneath clothing. When the implantation is completed, we’ll fine-tune the settings to achieve the optimal level of stimulation for controlling your pain. After instruction in using the system’s controller, you can self-manage how much electrical stimulation you need to maintain pain control.
Procedure Details and Expectations
The "trial run" or testing the efficacy of SCS for you:
- A local anesthetic will numb the implant area.
- Through a small incision, we’ll place very thin wires (leads) under the skin and into the space around your spinal cord (epidural space).
- The leads will be connected to a power source about the size of a cell phone, which you’ll carry with you during the trial period.
- If SCS is effective in controlling your pain, you’ll be referred for the permanent implant..
Implanting the permanent system:
- This minimally-invasive surgery takes 1 to 2 hours under general anesthesia. A small surgical incision is made to place the tiny permanent generator under the skin of your abdomen or upper buttock.
- The generator is battery-powered by either rechargeable or long-life batteries lasting up to 5 years.