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Spinal Cord Stimulation: What to Expect

Feb 17, 2023
Spinal Cord Stimulation: What to Expect
In many cases, chronic pain is caused by a problem with your spinal cord. Spinal cord stimulation is a cutting-edge procedure that involves inserting a device to help relieve your pain. Learn more about what to expect from the process here.

Living with chronic pain can significantly affect your quality of life. It can be caused by anything from physical trauma to diabetes or a pinched nerve. While there are many treatment options for chronic pain, not all may prove effective for some people living with this condition. 

Spinal cord stimulation is one of the most effective procedures for relieving pain. It will typically be considered when other non-surgical options for pain relief have been tried but proven non-effective. The procedure involves implanting a small device beneath your skin, which delivers electric pulses to the brain to manage your pain. 

It’s crucial to go with an experienced doctor when getting spinal cord stimulation to prevent any complications from occurring. At Liberty Pain Associates in Flower Mound, Alliance/Keller, and Fort Worth, Texas, Sathya Bhandari, MD, is a triple board-certified physician with the expertise to skillfully carry out a spinal cord stimulation. 

Here’s what our team would like you to know about getting spinal cord stimulation. 

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is a new cutting-edge technology used to relieve chronic pain. It involves placing a small device beneath your skin and over your spine. 

The device is made up of thin wires, a pulse generator with a battery pack, and a remote control. The wires are placed between your vertebrae while the pulse generator is put just beneath your skin. The device prevents pain signals from being sent from the spine to the brain. 

You’ll be given a remote control which you’ll use to turn on the electrical impulses whenever you feel pain. 

Who can benefit from this procedure? 

The ideal spinal cord stimulation candidates are those who have tried nonsurgical treatment options for chronic pain but didn’t benefit from them. 

The procedure can help manage different types of chronic pain, including:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back pain 
  • Angina
  • Diabetic neuropathy and other nerve-related pain 
  • Amputation pain 
  • Peripheral vascular conditions 
  • Failed back surgery

All of the above conditions can seriously affect your quality of life. In addition to other pain management techniques, such as physical therapy, spinal cord stimulation can reduce your pain significantly. 

What to expect from the procedure 

The process of inserting a spinal cord stimulator begins with a trial period. During the trial period, Dr. Bhandari will put in a temporary device to see how well you’ll fare with a spinal cord stimulator. 

For the trial run, Dr. Bhandari will insert the thin wires of the device in the spaces between your vertebrae. Where precisely the device will be placed along your spine depends on the source of your pain. 

The trial period will typically run for about a week. If it’s successful, the device will be permanently placed. During the final procedure, Dr. Bhandari will place the pulse generator under your skin and replace the temporary wires with permanent ones. 

The procedure takes one to two hours. It is an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll be free to go home right afterward. 

Recovery from the surgery takes about two weeks. Within that time, it’s crucial not to engage in any strenuous activities. 

Many people living with chronic pain can benefit from spinal cord stimulation. Book an appointment online or call 972-355-9038 to find out if you are an ideal candidate, and let our team of experts handle your spinal cord stimulation procedure today.