18 Dec Spinal Cord Stimulator Gone Wrong
Spinal Cord Stimulators are an option for chronic pain syndromes and the effects vary from person to person. An SCS may help reduce pain but it is not a cure. There are several benefits and risks to consider when deciding whether this is a good treatment option. In addition, choosing the best and most trusted specialists should be considered.
SCS units provide stimulation to nerves blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. Besides reducing pain other benefits include:
- improved mobility
- decreased need for opioid and other pain medicines
- less need for bracing
- Improved functioning
- less sleep difficulty
There are potential surgical risks and post-surgical risks to keep in mind when making the decision to have an SCS implant.
Surgical risks include:
- surgical site pain
- nerve damage or paralysis (rarely)
Post-surgical risks include:
- development of scar tissue over the electrode
- movement of the lead
- shift of the nerve stimulator unit beneath the skin
- malfunction of the SCS unit
- breakage of the lead
- tolerance to therapy
These risks can cause electrical impulses to reach the wrong location or cause pain and inability to change unit batteries or hamper remote communication with the unit.
Precautions need to be maintained and limit what can and cannot be done following the implantation. It is important to keep in mind:
- avoid driving or using heavy machinery when the unit is activated
- may set off metal detectors like at the airport
- MRI’s, cardiac defibrillators and other such equipment can interact with the unit resulting in patient injury or damage to the unit
The decision is dependent on individual needs and potential risks. Consulting with a specialist prior to having an SCS unit implanted will provide guidance and education into how the unit is placed and its functioning. Hardware and implantation techniques are highly developed and always improving compared to the 1980s. The goal technologies are aimed at improving long-term outcomes at an affordable cost in a wide range of patients.
Patients who have gone through a problem with SCS should only go to the best and trusted specialist there is. Novocur provides a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of chronic pain and provides scheduling to allow maximum quality time while determining the most appropriate treatment for you.
For a consultation or more information email Novocur or call:
phone: (480) 374-3448