Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a therapeutic intervention that helps to manage pain from a variety of causes including “failed back surgery”, neuropathic pain from trauma, neurological disease, diabetes, vascular insufficiency and complex regional pain syndrome. SCS involves placing a small coated wire “lead” into the epidural space which is then connected to a small implanted pulse generator about the size of a pacemaker. The entire system is implanted beneath the skin. The implanted pulse generator (IPG) sends an electric impulse to the epidural space which is transmitted to the spinal cord modulating the pain signal. There is a mild tingling sensation in the areas of pain and when effective, this electrical interference dramatically reduces the intensity of nerve pain. Much has been learned about this complex modulation of the pain signal and improvements in equipment and techniques have been occurring at regular intervals with this therapy. Patients with successful treatment report reductions in pain, improvement in daily activities, reductions in the use of medication and as a result, fewer medication related side effects. Proper patient selection is essential and like intrathecal therapy, a trial period with a temporary system is required before permanent implant.