What is spinal cord stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation is a treatment for chronic spine pain not treatable with other therapies. The minimally invasive procedure, done on an outpatient basis, involves the placement of stimulator leads into the epidural space of your spinal canal.
The leads connect to an external device that allows you to send low levels of electricity into your spinal cord to disrupt pain signals from traveling to your brain.
Dr. Patel can pre-program the device to prevent pain, or you can control your treatment based on the frequency and severity of your pain. She offers the latest innovative stimulator technologies from:
- Boston Scientific
Dr. Patel chooses the stimulator model best suited for your condition, age, and pain level.
Am I a candidate for spinal cord stimulation?
To determine if spinal cord stimulation is right for you, Dr. Patel reviews your medical history, your existing health, and the location of your pain. She may initially recommend other therapies to ease pain before recommending spinal cord stimulation.
When other treatments don’t provide adequate pain relief, Dr. Patel may suggest a spinal cord stimulator to treat symptoms of:
- Spinal cord injury
- Failed back surgery
- Complex regional pain syndrome I & II
You can also receive peripheral nerve stimulation if you have damage to your peripheral nerves, the system that provides feeling in other areas of your body.
What can I expect during the implant procedure of a spinal stimulator?
To prepare you for your procedure, Dr. Patel provides comprehensive guidance prior to your implant surgery. This may involve making adjustments to your usual medications and not eating or drinking at least eight hours before your procedure.
On the day of your procedure, Dr. Patel establishes an intravenous line to administer anesthesia. Once you’re relaxed, she uses the guidance of a specialized X-ray known as a fluoroscope to properly position a needle in the correct areas of your spine.
Through the needle, Dr. Patel guides the stimulator leads into place in the epidural space of your spine. She connects the leads to the external control device and tests them before completing the implantation procedure.
You can expect to recover from anesthesia before you can go home to recover. You will need a friend to drive you home following your treatment but can return to light activities the next day.
Dr. Patel evaluates the effectiveness of your treatment during a follow-up visit a few days after your procedure. She also offers continued support to ensure you’re experiencing reliable pain relief in the long-term and that the stimulator is working properly.
If you’re limited by chronic spine pain, don’t delay an evaluation. You can learn more about the benefits of spinal cord stimulation by calling Delmarva Pain and Spine Center today or by requesting an appointment with Dr. Patel online now.