What makes you a good spinal cord stimulator candidate?
As a pain management specialist, there are several factors that Dr. Abdallah may consider when determining if a patient is a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator (SCS).
While each case is unique and requires a thorough evaluation, here are some general criteria that may make a patient a suitable candidate for SCS:
Chronic Pain: The patient should have chronic pain that has been resistant to conservative treatments such as medication, physical therapy, and injections. SCS is typically considered when other treatment options have failed to provide adequate pain relief.
Neuropathic Pain: SCS is particularly effective in managing neuropathic pain conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), peripheral neuropathy, and radiculopathy. The presence of neuropathic pain suggests that the pain is originating from the nerves, which can be targeted by SCS.
Surgical Interventions: Patients who have undergone multiple unsuccessful surgeries for their pain condition may be good candidates for SCS. It offers a non-destructive alternative to surgery and can provide pain relief without the risks and complications associated with additional surgical procedures.
Psychological Evaluation: A comprehensive psychological assessment is usually conducted to evaluate the patient’s mental health and determine their suitability for SCS. It is important to assess their ability to actively participate in the therapy, manage the device, and cope with any potential psychological factors that may influence treatment outcomes.
Realistic Expectations: Patients considering SCS must have realistic expectations about the treatment. It is crucial to have a thorough discussion with the patient to ensure they understand the potential benefits, risks, and limitations of SCS. They should be willing to actively engage in the therapy and commit to the necessary follow-up care.
Trial Period Success: Prior to implantation, a trial period is typically conducted to assess the patient’s response to SCS. If the patient experiences significant pain relief and improvement in their quality of life during the trial, it is a positive indicator that SCS may be an effective long-term treatment option.
Medical Suitability: The patient’s overall health and medical condition are important considerations. Factors such as allergies, bleeding disorders, ongoing infections, and pacemakers may impact the suitability of SCS. A comprehensive medical evaluation is necessary to ensure the patient can safely undergo the implantation procedure.
It is important to note that these criteria may vary depending on the individual patient and the specific pain management practice. As a pain management specialist, Dr. Abdallah always conducts a thorough evaluation of each patient’s medical history, pain condition, and individual needs to determine their eligibility for spinal cord stimulation.