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Spinal Cord Stimulator

A spinal cord stimulator is a small surgically implanted device that emits pulsed electrical signals to the spinal cord to control your chronic pain. SSM Health offers this interventional treatment for chronic back and/or leg pain that may be considered after other therapies have failed to manage pain on their own.

How Spinal Cord Stimulation Works

Spinal cord stimulation alleviates pain by electrically activating pain-inhibiting neuronal circuits and masking the sensations of pain. The stimulator delivers a mild electrical signal that results in a tingling sensation (paresthesia) where the pain was felt.

The pacemaker-size device is surgically implanted in the abdominal area and leads (wires) with electrodes are connected to the epidural area of the spine. It is most commonly used to help patients manage pain associated with:

  • Failed Back Syndrome (FBS) or low back syndrome
  • Radicular pain syndrome or radiculopathies resulting in pain
  • Herniated disk
  • Postlaminectomy pain
  • Multiple back operations
  • Unsuccessful disk surgery
  • Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD)/herniated disk pain refractory to conservative and surgical therapies
  • Peripheral causalgia
  • Epidural fibrosis
  • Arachnoiditis or lumbar adhesive arachnoiditis
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), or causalgia

Studies have shown that the majority of patients who receive a spinal cord stimulatory experience at least a 50-percent reduction in pain. Screening trials are required before the stimulator can be permanently implanted to ensure that the patient will experience adequate pain relief.

SSM Health’s pain management specialists are experienced medical professionals working together toward a common goal – to relieve you from your pain so you can more fully enjoy your life. Contact us today to learn more about options or to schedule an appointment.

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