If you have chronic back pain that isn’t improving despite trying conservative approaches for many months or years, you might want to consider a spinal cord stimulator. Exceptional orthopedic spine surgeon Kade Huntsman, MD, practicing in Salt Lake City, has considerable experience of implanting this cutting edge technology, which uses an implanted device to control the signals from your nerves to your brain. If you’d like to be able to literally dial down your pain, call Dr. Huntsman today to find out more about spinal cord stimulation, or book an appointment online.
A spinal cord stimulator is an implantable technology that reduces chronic back, leg, and arm pain by affecting the nerves in your spinal cord.
Chronic pain is a debilitating problem that affects millions of Americans. Many patients who have chronic pain benefit from conservative treatments such as physical therapy and steroid injections, but in some cases, conservative treatments don’t provide sufficient pain relief.
The spinal cord stimulator is a minimally invasive option that can benefit patients who aren’t responding to conservative treatments. The electrical pulses the spinal cord stimulator produces help prevent pain signals from reaching your brain, which could reduce the symptoms of a variety of nerve-related pain problems.
Spinal cord stimulator implantation does involve a surgical procedure, so if Dr. Huntsman believes you’re a good candidate, the first stage is to undergo trial implantation. A week or so’s trial gives you the chance to make sure the technology is going to be beneficial and that spinal cord stimulation reduces your pain to a significant degree.
For the trial implantation, you have an anesthetic to numb your back, then Dr. Huntsman places small wire leads into the area around your spinal cord, which is called the epidural space.
The wire leads contain electrodes that produce the pulses of electricity designed to act on your spinal nerves. Dr. Huntsman asks you to tell him when the electrodes have the greatest effect so that he can position them in the best place.
You can alter the strength of the electrical pulses using a control unit that connects to the leads. If you find the spinal cord stimulator effective in controlling your pain, Dr. Huntsman can arrange for permanent implantation.
When you have permanent implantation, it usually takes place under general anesthesia. Dr. Huntsman positions the permanent leads in the same place as the trial leads then places the implantable pulse generator (IPG) battery under the skin on your abdomen or buttocks.
With the leads and the IPG in place, the electrical impulses are under the control of a portable wireless programmer. You can use the programmer to set your spinal cord stimulator to the most effective signal for the amount of pain you feel at any one time.
As the spinal cord stimulator implant surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, you have very small incisions that should heal quickly without too much pain. You might feel a little uncomfortable after the surgery, and there may be some swelling at the implant site, but this should pass very soon.
To find out more about spinal cord stimulator implantation and whether it could help you, call Kade Huntsman, MD, today, or book an appointment online.