Spinal Cord Stimulator Trials

Spinal cord stimulators offer hope to Louisiana patients suffering from chronic pain conditions that have not responded well to conventional treatments.

Doctor assessing male patient with back pain who could be a candidate for spinal cord stimulator trials

Spinal Cord Stimulator Trials

Spinal Cord Stimulator Trials in Louisiana

As an interventional pain management solution, spinal cord stimulators are gaining attention for their ability to provide significant pain relief and improve the quality of life for many patients. Explore common questions about spinal cord stimulator trials with Louisiana Medical Clinic. These answers can provide patients with insight into the procedure and what to expect from this treatment itself.

What Is the Purpose of a Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial?

The primary purpose of a spinal cord stimulator trial is to determine if spinal cord stimulation (SCS) will be effective in managing a patient’s chronic pain before proceeding with permanent implantation

This trial phase allows both the patient and the physician to assess the effectiveness of the therapy in reducing pain levels and improving daily function.

How Does Spinal Cord Stimulation Work?

Spinal cord stimulation works by delivering low-level electrical impulses directly to the spinal cord, which interrupts or modifies pain signals before they reach the brain. Patients perceive a mild tingling sensation instead of pain, which can significantly reduce their discomfort.

Am I a Suitable Candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation?

Suitable candidates for spinal cord stimulation often include individuals who have chronic, intractable pain that has not responded to other treatments. These other treatments may include surgery, medications, physical therapy, and injections. Conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome, chronic back pain, and neuropathy are commonly treated with SCS.

What Are the Potential Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation for My Specific Condition?

Spinal cord stimulation can offer numerous benefits, including a significant reduction in pain, decreased reliance on pain medications, and improved mobility and quality of life. The specific benefits depend on the underlying condition being treated and the individual’s response to the therapy.

What Is Involved in the Trial Phase of Spinal Cord Stimulation?

The trial phase of spinal cord stimulation involves temporarily placing SCS leads near the spinal cord through a minimally invasive procedure. The leads are connected to an external trial stimulator. Patients can then test the system for approximately one week to determine its pain relief effectiveness.

How Long Does the Trial Phase Last?

Although timelines vary, the trial phase typically lasts five to seven days. This period should allow both the patient and the pain management specialist enough time to determine whether a permanent implantation would be beneficial.

What Criteria Determine Whether I Can Proceed to Permanent Implantation?

Successful criteria for proceeding to permanent implantation include a 50% or greater reduction in pain levels and noticeable improvements in daily activities and overall quality of life.

What Type of Spinal Cord Stimulator Will Be Used, and How is it Implanted?

The type of spinal cord stimulator used during the trials and permanent implantation may vary based on the patient’s specific needs and the pain management specialist’s recommendation. 

The device is implanted through a minimally invasive surgical procedure, where the leads are placed near the spinal cord, and the pulse generator is implanted under the skin, usually in the buttock or abdomen.

What Level of Pain Relief Can I Expect from Spinal Cord Stimulation?

While individual results may vary, many patients experience significant pain relief from spinal cord stimulation. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations and understand that SCS aims to manage pain rather than completely eliminate it.

What Is the Process for Adjusting the Settings of the Spinal Cord Stimulator, and How Often Will Adjustments Be Needed?

Adjustments to the spinal cord stimulator settings are typically done during follow-up appointments with a pain management specialist. The frequency of adjustments depends on your individual needs and how well you are responding to the treatment.

What Lifestyle Changes or Restrictions Will I Need to Consider After Undergoing Spinal Cord Stimulation?

After undergoing spinal cord stimulation, patients may need to make certain lifestyle adjustments. This may include avoiding activities that could dislodge the leads, especially during the initial healing period. Your pain management specialist will provide specific guidelines based on your situation.

What Is the Long-term Outlook for Spinal Cord Stimulation?

The long-term outlook for patients receiving spinal cord stimulation is generally positive, with many experiencing sustained pain relief and enhanced quality of life. Periodic follow-ups and possible adjustments to the device settings can help maintain optimal pain relief over time.

What Is the Success Rate of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Patients with Similar Conditions to Mine?

The success rate of spinal cord stimulation can vary based on the condition being treated and the individual patient. However, many patients report a significant improvement in pain and overall quality of life.

Are There Any Lifestyle Changes or Preparations to Make Before Undergoing Spinal Cord Stimulation Trials?

Before undergoing spinal cord stimulation, it may be helpful to prepare for the trial phase by ensuring you have support at home and arranging for time off work if necessary. Your pain management specialist will provide specific instructions to help you prepare.

Are You Looking for Spinal Cord Stimulation Trials in Louisiana?

For patients considering spinal cord stimulator trials, Louisiana Medical Clinic is ready to help. The process offers a promising step toward managing chronic pain and improving quality of life. By understanding the procedure, potential benefits, and considerations, patients can make informed decisions about their pain management options. If you have any questions, please contact us by calling 225-292-1969 or sending us a message online. Take the first step toward spinal cord pain management today.