Spinal Cord Stimulator
"I'm enjoying life again"-Steven Hoopengardner, PMA patient
What is it:
A small rechargeable implanted device is placed in the lower lumbar region. There are leads that run along the spine, and these leads send impulses to confuse the pain signals that the nerves send to the brain. Once the signals reach the brain they are then perceived as smooth or tingling, and the feeling of pain is reduced. This procedure is done out patient in about one hour. The patient generally returns to work after one week with restrictions, and those are generally lifted after 6 weeks.
Three Steps to the stimulator process:
Before the permanent device can be implanted the patient must have a trial stimulator implanted to see how well the device is going to work for the particular patient. For the trial, the device is outside of the body. This device is worn for about one week so the patient can determine if it is something he or she wants permanently. The next step is to implant the permanent if trial is successful. That device will be placed under the skin. Lastly, we will program the device to give the patient the best pain relief. Each patient has pain in different areas so, it is important for the physician to reprogram each patient after surgery to ensure the best pain relief.
Who are the best candidates:
Patients who have failed back surgery, complex regional pain syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, chronic low back pain, and phantom limb pain are the most common, but that does not mean this device is not right for you. The patient should discuss his or her options with their physician to see if they could benefit from this device.
Dr. Bojrab has over 20 years experience implanting spinal cord stimulators so, ask your physician if you could be a candidate, and ask them to refer you to PMA.