Spinal Cord Stimulation
There may have been a moment in your life when you still had nerve pain despite physical therapy, medications, chiropractic therapy, steroid injections, or medications. Your physician may have said that opiate therapy was the only option left. In fact, many of my patients come to my office desperate for help after they have been turned away from other offices. If these words ring true to you, then you may be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation therapy for chronic, persistent nerve pain.
How does spinal cord stimulation work?
Spinal cord stimulation has been used for at least 30 years. The advancements in this technology have been exponential over the last decade. Spinal cord stimulation is a proven, effective treatment for chronic, persistent pain of the spine, arms, legs, and trunk. By delivering small bursts of electrical impulses to the spinal cord, we can alter the pain transmission to the brain coming from damaged nerve structures. This may sound like science fiction but recall that over 400,000 people are alive today due to pacemakers. What are these medical devices other than small wires which send electrical current pulses to the nerves of the heart.
How successful is this therapy?
Great question! I can say that more than 90% of the patients who try this therapy opt to permanently implant the device. The fact that 95% of my patients have decided that the therapy helped them at least 50% or more speaks for itself.
What is the process?
After your in depth consultation with Dr. Bhandari, you will be scheduled for your first trial procedure. This trial procedure involves a short procedure during which the electrodes leads (which provide the electrical impulses) are inserted into the epidural space of your spine using live flouroscopic guidance and a small epidural needle. These electrode leads are left inside the epidural space for up to seven days. The leads receive power thru an external battery which is worn around the waist with a belt. After the trial, the leads are removed easily and painlessly in the office. At that time, depending on the success of the procedure, the final, permanent procedure will be scheduled. This permanent procedure is performed in the hospital and is an outpatient, same day procedure.