A spinal cord stimulator is an electronic device used for lessening the pain caused by sciatica, complex regional pain syndrome and arachnoiditis as well as other chronic pain syndromes such as failed back surgery or post laminectomy syndrome.
It is basically an instrument that stimulates the nerve fibers and breaks up the pain signals from reaching the brain. The stimulation provided by the spinal cord stimulator is a low voltage current that is transmitted through multiple small wires which are connected to a pulse generator.
For the stimulator to work it has to be placed inside the patient’s body with a minor surgical procedure. The following are the steps that are involved in getting a spinal cord stimulator.
During this procedure a lead is inserted into the patient’s spinal canal percutaneously with an external generator providing it the current for stimulating the nerve fibers. Usually you will be given a local aesthetic for this procedure and will be over within an hour. You cannot be completely put out, since the Las Vegas pain management doctor will need input from you during the procedure after lead placement.
Once the leads have been properly placed, the Henderson pain management doctor is going to try different stimulation settings to find out which one suits your pain the best. During this step, the pain management doctor in Las Vegas is going to ask you to describe the amount of pain you are feeling or the location where you are feeling the tingling sensation caused by the stimulation. This feedback is going to be used for programming the pulse generator according to your pain needs.
The lead is left in place and comes out of the skin and is secured with a sterile dressing. It is left in place for 5 to 7 days to see how well it is going to work. If the trial stimulation is successful and you experience a substantial decrease in your pain, you will be scheduled for the permanent placement of the stimulator.
One additional step typically required for approval of the final SCS is a psychology evaluation. This can help uncover any concomitant mental health issues such as depression that may need treatment as well.
For final placement, patients llie down on an operating table and will be under general anesthesia. This will be followed by shaving the areas where the leads and the generator have to be placed.
Placement of the Leads
After the initial prepping is done, the next step is the placement of the leads. This task is going to be performed with the help of fluoroscopy and the leads are going to be placed in the epidural space of your spinal canal after making a small incision.
Suturing is done to ensure the leads remain secure. The decision regarding the number of leads to be placed is entirely up to your LV pain doctor.
Placement of the Extension Wire
In this step, the pain management doctor is going to place an extension wire connecting the leads to the pulse generator. This extension wire will be tunneled through the soft tissues to an area above the buttock area just under the skin reaching the spot where the pulse generator will be placed.
Placement of the Pulse Generator
This is the last step of the surgery in which the pulse generator (doubles as a battery) is placed in a secure fashion inside the patient’s body usually in between the layers of skin and muscle of his buttock area. Before closing the incisions and applying the dressing, the pulse generator is going to be connected with the extension wire.
The newest spinal cord stimulators have a rechargeable battery that is able to be recharged through the skin. It’s amazing!
Las Vegas pain clinic Innovative Pain Care offers several Board Certified pain doctors at several locations in Las Vegas and Henderson. Over 50 insurance plans are accepted!
For the best pain management Las Vegas has to offer, call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!