Spinal Cord Stimulator Trials

At Performance Rehabilitation & Integrated Medicine, it is our goal to help you achieve a pain-free life.  When other more conservative treatments have failed to relieve your pain, our physicians may suggest a spinal cord stimulator trial.

A spinal cord stimulator generates a low-level electric field to interrupt nerve conduction of pain signals to the brain.  It is a specialized device that stimulates the spinal cord and spinal nerves by emitting tiny electrical impulses via a small electrical wire placed behind and just outside the spinal cord in the epidural space.  The electrical wire or lead contains a series of four to eight evenly spaced electrodes that can be programmed to generate an electrical field.

Spinal cord stimulators are most often used for patients with chronic and severe neuropathic pain, who have not responded to other more conservative treatments.  Neuropathic pains are due to damaged nerve tissue.  Common examples include patients with post-laminectomy nerve damage, radiculopathy, diabetic neuropathy and reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Typically, after patients have failed more conservative treatment options, consideration is given to a trial of spinal cord stimulation.  Rather than put a permanent device into the patient, a temporary spinal cord stimulator wire is placed in the patient for several days.  This temporary wire gives the patient an opportunity to experience spinal cord stimulation without having to undergo a full implantation.  If this trial is successful in relieving pain, a permanent device can be placed under the skin.

Usually the patient who has had a trial has a very good sense of success.  Typically we are looking for a significant increase in activity tolerance or a significant decrease in the need for pain medication or some combination of both.

At Performance Rehabilitation & Integrated Medicine we strive to provide our patients with the latest State-of-the-art technologies offered.  We have partnered with St. Jude Medical and Medtronics in an effort to provide this technology to our patients.

Once our physician determines that the trial is a success, he will refer the patient to a neurosurgeon who will evaluate the patient’s condition and the outcome of the spinal cord stimulator trial and most likely implant a permanent spinal cord stimulator for continued pain relief.

Call Performance Rehabilitation& Integrated Medicine today at 908-754-1960 for more information about Spinal Cord Stimulator Trials.