Spinal Cord Stimulation Procedure
Spinal cord stimulation generally isn’t the first option for treating various conditions. Instead, this treatment is used when other treatments have been ineffective, such as steroid injections or physical therapy. Before you undergo spinal cord stimulation surgery, your doctor will before different tests to ensure you’re healthy enough for the procedure.
If your doctor recommends spinal cord stimulation, you’ll start with a trial period. This period involves implanting temporary leads or electrodes near the targeted area, usually through a minimally invasive procedure. The leads or electrodes are connected to an external generator, and the patient is given control so they can manage the amount of stimulation. The trial process is a way to determine if spinal cord stimulation is effective enough at managing a person’s pain.
A patient can move forward with a permanent implant if the trial procedure goes well. The permanent procedure is similar to the trial, but the generator is placed under the skin, usually around the abdomen or buttocks. The leads are placed near the spinal cord and are connected to the generator. After the implants are installed, a health care professional can program and adjust the device for customized pain management.
After the trial and permanent placement procedure, you’ll likely be able to go home without staying in the hospital overnight. Your health care professional will give you instructions for your aftercare so you can facilitate a successful recovery.