Bringing Advanced Spinal Cord Stimulation Technology to Our Patients

Did you know… Dr. Bae is leading a clinical trial for the first ever non-invasive imaging technique to help guide the diagnosis of degenerative back conditions?

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)?

Spinal cord stimulation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses an electrical current to treat chronic pain of the back. Soft, thin wires with electrical leads on their tips are placed through a needle and inserted into the epidural space, the space surrounding the spinal cord. The generator will send electrical pulses to the spinal cord, interfering with the nerve impulses and blocking the brain’s ability to sense the previously perceived pain. The leads are connected to an external trial stimulator.

After about a week, the patient will consult with their doctor to determine if spinal cord stimulation helped reduce pain. If pain relief is acceptable, the temporary leads will be replaced with permanent leads and a small, programmable pulse generator will also be placed in the upper abdomen under the skin. The generator will be connected to an external wireless programmer which the patient can use to turn the stimulator on and off or to adjust the power level.

What Should I Expect After Surgery?

Although SCS treatment does not work for everyone, most patients who qualify report a 50-60% reduction in overall pain, as well as an increased ability to participate in normal family and work activities. Spinal cord stimulation is also an outpatient procedure, and most patients will be able to slowly return to their daily activities after a few days. Medications will be prescribed to help with the pain and ice is recommended to help reduce swelling. Discomfort or pain may exist anywhere from two to eight weeks as the tissues begin to heal around the implant.

What are the Risks of the Spinal Cord Stimulation Implant?

As with any procedure, spinal cord stimulation surgery has risks which include an allergic reaction to implanted materials, weakness and/or numbness, battery failure of the generator, skin breakdown, bleeding and undesirable stimulation of the chest or rib area. To limit the risk for complications, it is important for patients to work with experienced surgeons who stay up-to-date on the most innovative and advanced non-fusion technologies.

How We Can Help

Spinal cord stimulation one of the many advancements made in the field of spinal surgery that is helping to expand the range of treatment options for those living with chronic pain. Find out if you are a candidate for spinal cord stimulation by calling The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at (310) 828-7757. Our physicians specialize in minimally invasive, motion preservation technologies and are part of an advanced multidisciplinary team that can help effectively diagnosis and treat your back or neck pain.