Life with a Spinal Cord Stimulator : When nonsurgical pain therapy approaches have failed to offer enough relief, spinal cord stimulation is performed.
To test and implant a spinal cord stimulator, two operations are required: the trial and the implantation.
Spinal cord stimulation can enhance general quality of life and sleep while also lowering the need for painkillers. It’s usually used in conjunction with other pain-relieving medications. Let us learn more about Life with a Spinal Cord Stimulator.
What is a spinal cord stimulator and how does it work?
Spinal cord stimulators are made up of tiny wires (electrodes) and a compact battery pack that looks like a pacemaker (the generator). The electrodes are put in the epidural space, which is the region between the spinal cord and the vertebrae, and the generator is implanted beneath the skin, generally towards the buttocks or belly. Patients using spinal cord stimulators can use a remote control to emit electrical impulses when they are in pain. The remote control, as well as its antenna, are located on the exterior of the body.
Experts aren’t sure exactly how spinal cord stimulation works, but they do know that it can target several muscle groups straight from the spine and even change how the brain perceives pain. Let’s learn more about Life with a Spinal Cord Stimulator.
Traditional spinal cord stimulators replace pain with a gentle tingling sensation known as paresthesia. For patients who are bothered by these paresthesias, modern gadgets provide “sub-perception” stimulation that is not felt.
Many of the newest devices are implanted under X-ray and/or ultrasound guidance by physicians with advanced training in interventional pain treatment.
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About 20% of the population in the United States suffers from chronic pain, defined as discomfort that lasts for more than 12 weeks. Chronic pain can make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks and puts you at risk of developing an opiate dependency or addiction. Let’s learn more about Life with a Spinal Cord Stimulator.
A spinal cord stimulator blocks pain impulses, allowing you to feel better without or with less medicines. Our skilled doctors at The Spine Center at the Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge may prescribe spinal cord stimulation to alleviate your persistent pain.
What is a spinal cord stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a type of electrical device that blocks pain impulses from reaching your brain. An SCS is made up of three parts:
• Hand-held remote control
• Battery-powered pulse generator
• Lead cable with electrodes that extend from the generator to your spinal cord
The SCS generates electrical pulses that interfere with your nerve’s pain signals, thereby scrambling the signal so that it is not perceived as pain by your brain. Instead, you can have a tingling feeling. Alternatively, discomfort can be lessened. Alternatively, nothing at all. Let’s learn more about Life with a Spinal Cord Stimulator.
You give it a trial run
Before acquiring a SCS, you don’t have to commit to surgical implantation. In reality, a trial run is required to ensure that the SCS relieves your discomfort. So, if you want to know what it’s like to live with a SCS, you’ll get to see it all before the operation. Your pain should be reduced by 50-70 percent after a good trial run.
We create tiny incisions near the nerves on your spinal cord that are conveying your pain during the initial portion of SCS. While we guarantee that our X-ray-guided insertion has targeted the precise nerves, you remain awake but numb locally. We know we’ve got the appropriate nerves when your pain signal fades or disappears.
After that, the pulse generator is linked to a belt that is worn around your waist. We change the signal while you’re at work. We do, however, supply you with a hand-held remote that allows you to customise the intensity of stimulation to meet your needs.
Wear the belt for the following 4-7 days and adjust the stimulation as needed. We also provide instructions on how to care for your incision areas. You return to the office for evaluation when the trial time has ended.
Your pain is less. And different.
An SCS does not treat the underlying cause of your pain. It just alters how your brain processes pain signals. We advocate permanent surgical implantation of the pulse generator if you received alleviation throughout your trial period.
SCS implantation is done in the hospital under general anesthetic. It takes roughly 1-2 hours to implant the device.
Life after SCS surgery
After your SCS implantation operation, the pain alleviation you enjoy should be similar to what you had during your trial run. You still have control over the signal intensity, which you can modify using your remote.
You must rest for the following six weeks to allow your body to repair. Lifting, sex, manual labour, and exercise should all be avoided. Before your operation, we provide you with a complete list of limitations.
You must take care of your incisions during the healing time and return for follow-up sessions. In addition, we provide you with pain medicine and instructions.
You can expect long-term pain alleviation following your procedure. You may be able to minimise or even eliminate the need of pain relievers.
If you use a rechargeable battery for your pulse generator, you will need to do it every few days. If you go with a non-rechargeable battery, you’ll have to replace it every 3-5 years. Rechargeable batteries have a ten-year lifespan.
Dr Vipin the managing director of KLM Group. He is a well-known gold-medalist Orthopedic Surgeon, strongly reputed for his trusted and focused attitude our rich knowledge and experience, be assured of quality healthcare and world-class medical services in Orthopedic, Spine care, Ophthalmology, X-ray & Diagnostics services along with physiotherapy services.
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