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Spinal Cord Stimulator

A spinal stimulator uses low-voltage stimulation of the spinal nerves to block the sensation of pain. A mild electrical current is delivered through a pulse-producing device that is surgically implanted under the skin.

The stimulation produces a slight tingling sensation in the area where the current is delivered. The pain is reduced because the electrical current cuts off the pain signal from reaching the brain.

Who is a Candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation Treatment?

Spinal cord stimulation may be an option for patients with chronic pain associated with sciatica, failed back surgery , or nerve pain who have not benefited from more conservative treatments.

What to expect during spinal cord stimulator surgery

During a spinal cord stimulator surgery, the neurosurgeon implants the device using a two-step process:

  1. Insertion of the surgical lead into the epidural space of the spinal cord

  2. Placing the pulse generator in the hip or abdomen

Fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray, is used to assist the surgeon.

After spinal cord stimulator surgery

Most patients are discharged from the hospital the same day or the next morning. Stimulation does not cure the condition causing the pain, but helps patients tolerate the pain. Most patients achieve good levels of long-term relief from pain.​

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