Spinal Cord Stimulator
"I'm enjoying life again"-Steven Hoopengardner, PMA patient
What is it:
A Small rechargeable implanted devise 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 within 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 devise is going to work for the particular patient. For the trial, the devise is outside of the body. This devise is worn for about one week so the patient can determine if it is something he or she wants permanently. The next step if decided is to implant the permanent. That devise will actually be under the skin. Lastly, the patient will come in for the devise to be programmed for the best stimulation location. 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, chronic low back pain, and phantom limb pain are the most common, but that does not mean this devise is not right for you. Only the patient's doctor will know if you could be a candidate. The patient should discuss his or her options.
Technology is ever changing and updating. Boston Scientific is working with Wii technology to improve the spinal cord stimulator. The device has not yet been introduced to the market, but it will be something to look forward to in the advancement of pain management.
Dr. Bojrab has over 10 years experience implanting spinal cord stimulators so, ask your physician if you could be a candidate, and ask them to refer you to PMA.