Spinal Cord Stimulation
You struggle with pain every day. It limits what you can do and your quality of life. Most importantly, you don’t know if anything can be done to give you the relief you need. Don’t give up. When you come to see our spinal pain management doctors in New York City, you’ll learn more about a procedure called spinal cord stimulation. This procedure has been life-changing for many people and it could be just as powerful and beneficial to you. It isn’t the first option in pain management, but it can restore your quality of life even if other doctors have said there are no other options.
Should You Consider Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Many people who believe they cannot get relief from the pain they feel – can. This procedure is one that offers minimal results and numerous benefits under the right conditions. If you’ve been told that surgery isn’t an option or will not benefit you, but you struggle with debilitating or chronic pain, spinal cord stimulation may be an answer. However, you should not take this treatment option lightly. It is not right for everyone. When you meet with our New York City doctors for spinal cord stimulation, we’ll talk about all of the opportunities this can present to you as well as any of the risks you may face with it.
Is It Worth Considering This Type of Treatment?
Spinal cord stimulation therapy is a complex procedure with some risks. When you meet with our team in New York, you’ll learn more about whether or not you may benefit from the procedure. However, many people do see significant improvement in their ability to live the quality of life they desire, making it well worth exploring as an opportunity. Don’t live in pain if a solution exists that can help you. Learn more about spinal cord stimulation first.
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a treatment option for some pain patients. SCS involves implanting a device into the patient’s body that produces electrical impulses that block pain messages from being perceived in the brain. Instead of pain, the patient feels mild tingling sensations. The success of spinal cord stimulation depends on (1) careful patient selection and (2) a successful SCS trial.
When SCS may be recommended
Careful patient selection is important, as SCS is not appropriate for every patient.
In general, a patient may be considered for this therapy if:
- Non-operative treatments do not adequately relieve pain.
- Surgery is not an option.
- Surgery is not expected to improve pain.
- Previous surgery did not improve pain.
About SCS devices
Different companies manufacture spinal cord stimulators. The spinal cord stimulation system includes a battery-powered generator, leads and remote control. The generator is surgically implanted into the abdominal or upper buttock area. The thin leads are surgically implanted into the spinal canal and connected to the generator.
- Recharging the generator is easy. A special belted pocket holds the recharger over the skin area near the implanted generator.
- Your SCS is programmed to deliver the right amount of pain relief.
- The remote control enables you to turn impulses on, off, or adjust their intensity.
- The latest stimulators can automatically adjust stimulation to each patient’s optimal setting.
As mentioned, there are different types of spinal cord stimulators. Doctor Jose Colon, MD will help you determine which system is best for you based on your condition and lifestyle.
Potential risks, complications
Any medical procedure involves potential risks and possible complications. Complications include risk of infection, bleeding, headache, and allergic reaction. Our doctors thoroughly review your potential for risk or complication.
SCS trial period
To make sure a spinal cord stimulator is right for you, our doctors provide a temporary stimulator (generator) that is secured outside your body. The generator is attached to leads inserted into your spinal canal. The trial period is usually a few days or longer, as determined by Dr. Colon. During the trial, you evaluate how well the system manages your pain. A good result is often measured as 50% to 70% pain reduction.
If the trial outcome is good …
If the spinal cord stimulation trial outcome is good, and you and Dr. Colon agree, the next step is to schedule the outpatient surgery for permanent implantation of the system. Although the spinal cord stimulator and leads are permanently implanted, they can be removed (reversible) if necessary.
- The generator is implanted into your abdominal or upper buttock area; depending on which area is most comfortable.
- Thin leads are inserted and secured inside the spinal canal.
- Dr. Colon programs your spinal cord stimulator
- Learning about your spinal cord stimulator and its use is easy. You are provided helpful information to refer to at home.
When you wake up from surgery, you find you are wearing an elastic brace. The brace is worn temporarily to help reduce swelling and speed healing.
You are discharged home when either of our doctors determine you are ready with complete written instructions. We schedule your follow-up appointment date and time at Rehabilitation Medicine Center of New York.
Could you benefit from SCS?
Rehabilitation Medicine Center of New York routinely cares for patients who have suffered on-the-job, accident-related or episodic neck or low back pain. Dr. Colon and his team of spine experts share goals to (1) reduce your pain, (2) improve or restore your functional abilities and (3) return you to full activity as soon as is reasonable.
Contact us today for your personal appointment