Have you ever hit your knee on a table? Without even thinking about it, you probably start to rub the area as soon as you can because you know it will make it feel better. Mechanical stimulation (rubbing) overpowers the pain signal, providing pain relief. This was the basis for the gate theory first published by Melzack and Wall in 1965. This sentinel work helped create the framework for our understanding of pain signals and pathways. Further research over the last 50 years has led to the development and design of our modern spinal cord stimulators. These spinal cord stimulation devices are safe, effective, and allow patients to be pain- and medication-free. With a variety of device choices, our specialists at the Spine Institute of North America know the intricate details in order to help select the best option for you.
What conditions do spinal cord stimulators treat?
Who is a candidate for spinal cord stimulators?
Once a patient is selected for spinal cord stimulation, he or she undergoes two steps. First, the orthopedic surgeon will insert a temporary percutaneous (through the skin) electrode lead for a trial treatment period. The electrode is connected to a stimulator that the patient can control. Second, if the trial offers successful pain management by eliminating the patient’s pain, the physician will implant the permanent stimulator under the skin. This back pain treatment can be done with local anesthetic so that the patient is alert and comfortable. After the procedure, the physician will determine the best pulse strength for the patient.