Don’t give up when previous treatments for your back pain have failed to bring much needed relief. Our top NYC pain management specialists have numerous options to help you live a pain-free, productive life. They stay up-to-date on current research and offer some of the most advanced pain treatments in Midtown Manhattan. A spinal cord stimulator is just one example of the pain treatment options available as you search for a remedy. It’s a solution that just may be the answer to your pain. Call and ask your pain doctor about the advantages of a spinal cord stimulator.
If you suffer from chronic pain, you may be dealing with the aftereffects of a back injury, disease or degeneration. This chronic pain is called pathological because it can’t always be attributed to a present injury or disease, and it can have wide-ranging effects on your day-to-day life, including presenting difficulties while eating, working and pursuing other activities.
A spinal cord stimulator is one solution for chronic back pain. Using low voltage electrical current continuously, the implanted device helps block chronic pain. A spinal cord stimulator is one of the most common neurostimulation devices used to inhibit the sensation of pain. There are three different kinds of spinal cord stimulators available:
- Standard systems. After a device is implanted, you’re not required to do very much to maintain it, although when the power source expires after two to five years, your doctor needs to perform a minor surgical procedure to replace it.
- Systems that recharge. If you have one of these devices, you’re taught how to recharge the system, so you can do it yourself. It’s the newest and longest-lasting spinal cord stimulator, although a minor procedure may be necessary when the charge no longer holds.
- Radiofrequency systems. These are the most powerful systems, designed for those with extreme or multi-limb pain that’s proven resistant to other types of therapy. You must wear a power source to keep this system active.
Ideal Candidates for Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy
The team of pain specialists at our pain and injury clinic rely on the most advanced pain management techniques, designed to suit your individual needs. Your pain doctor ultimately determines if you are a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator based on specific characteristics, such as:
- You’ve exhausted conservative treatment options without satisfactory results for longer than six months
- Surgical options to counter your pain aren’t viable options for you
- Your mental health has a solid foundation, and you haven’t fallen in to depression
- You have no malignancies or tumors
- Any inappropriate drugs are out of your system
- You don’t have a pacemaker or other electrical device implanted
- You’ve been diagnosed with systemic and widespread pain
Spinal cord stimulation therapy also works for those with:
- Failed back syndrome
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Arachnoiditis, which is swelling and pain around your brain and spinal cord due to a spider bite
- Extensive nerve damage or neuropathy
You may need to undergo a trial procedure without the device being permanently implanted to test its viability and your results. Not everyone gets the same pain resolution from the device.
Spinal Cord Stimulation Procedure
Although the procedure is termed permanent, it can be reversed at any time by removing or turning off the implanted device. Before the process begins, you’re given a light anesthetic to make you drowsy. Then the process follows certain steps, including:
- If you have trial leads, they are removed.
- The area is cleaned, sterilized and prepped.
- Permanent leads are placed under your skin, in the exact epidural space your doctor determines will affect your pain.
- After the leads are in place, you receive general anesthesia.
- The generator is usually implanted either in your abdomen or in your buttock region.
- After testing to make sure the generator and leads are working correctly, the incisions are closed and bandaged.
- After you wake up from anesthesia, you’re observed for a time to make sure you feel fine.
- You’re usually able to go home the same day. Some conditions and doctors require you to stay overnight in a hospital.
Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy Recovery
After the incision has healed, most people report little or no sensation regarding the generator placement or from the leads. As with all surgeries, however, there are minor risks such as bleeding, an allergic reaction or infection. These risks are minimized when you rely on spine pain doctors with extensive experience placing spinal cord stimulators.
During follow-up appointments, you’re encouraged to share your experiences. Your doctor may provide additional instructions, as you have to be mindful of the device as your pain may return. Your well-being and comfort are a top concern at Pain Management in NY.
Results from Your Spinal Cord Stimulator
You should be aware that the presence of metal and a magnet in the stimulator may set off metal detectors and be counter-productive for MRIs, defibrillators, ultrasounds or pacemakers. You shouldn’t drive while the device is active. Anti-theft devices may increase the output of your spinal cord stimulator, so proceed with caution. Your doctors ensure that you understand your limitations and cautions before he implants the device.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons reports that up to 60 percent of those who received an implanted spinal cord stimulator saw a reduction in or elimination of their pain. Those suffering from failed back syndrome or neuropathy in their legs showed the best outcomes. It’s possible that spinal cord stimulation therapy may provide you with much-needed pain relief. Contact your NYC pain specialist today to finally resolve your chronic pain.
Leon Reyfman, MD, is a top-rated, best-in-class interventional pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New York City and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.
Dr. Leon Reyfman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New York” and one of “America’s Top Doctors™” for advanced sports injury treatments. Among other accolades, he was voted by peers as a “Castle Connolly Top Doctors™” and “New York Super Doctors™”. Dr. Leon Reyfman was a part of the medical team at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.