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Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy

What is Spinal cord stimulation therapy?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy masks pain signals before they reach the brain. A small device, like a pacemaker, delivers electrical pulses to the spinal cord. It helps people better manage their chronic pain and reduce their use of opioid medications. It may be an option if you suffer chronic back, leg or arm pain and have not found relief with other therapies.

Some quick information

A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) device is surgically placed under your skin and sends a mild electric current to your spinal cord. Thin wires carry current from a pulse generator to the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. When turned on, the SCS stimulates the nerves in the area where your pain is felt. Pain is reduced because the electrical pulses modify and mask the pain signal from reaching your brain.

You may be a candidate for SCS if :

  • Conservative therapies have failed.
  • You would not benefit from additional surgery.
  • The pain is caused by a correctable problem and should be fixed.
  • You do not want further surgery because of the risks or long recovery. Sometimes SCS may be chosen over a large, complex spine surgery.
  • You do not have untreated depression or drug addiction; these should be treated prior to having a SCS.
  • You have no medical conditions that would keep you from undergoing implantation.
  • You have had a successful SCS trial.

SCS works better in the earlier stages of a chronic condition, before a cycle of pain-suffering-disability-pain is established.

You may be scheduled for presurgical tests (e.g., blood test, electrocardiogram, chest X-ray) several days before surgery. In the doctor’s office, you will sign consent and other forms so that the surgeon knows your medical history (allergies, medicines/vitamins, bleeding history, anesthesia reactions, previous surgeries). Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications (over the counter, prescription, herbal supplements) that you are taking.

The surgery generally takes 1 to 2 hours. You will lie on your stomach on the table and be given light anesthesia. Next, the areas of your back and buttock are prepped where the leads and generator are to be placed.


The electrode leads are inserted with the aid of fluoroscopy (a type of X-ray). A small skin incision is made in the middle of your back, and the bony vertebra is exposed.

You will wake up in the recovery area. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration will be monitored, and your pain will be addressed. Most patients are discharged home the same day or the following morning. The pulse generator will be programmed before you leave. You will be given written instructions to follow when you go home.

The electrode leads are inserted with the aid of fluoroscopy (a type of X-ray). A small skin incision is made in the middle of your back, and the bony vertebra is exposed.

Our goal is to help the patient regain their quality of life

In our pain clinic, we provide pain relief so you can regain your identity.