A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a small medical device, similar to a pacemaker, that uses electrical impulses to mask pain signals before reaching the brain. Below are a few SCS highlights.
Before a permanent spinal cord stimulator is inserted, a trial is performed to ensure adequate pain relief. At our surgery center, temporary leads are placed into the back (image 1). Unlike the long-term implant, the temporary leads have an external stimulator device that can be easily disconnected (image 2). Over the next 3 to 7 days you will be able to see if the SCS works for managing your pain.
The spinal cord stimulator is programmed before leaving the surgery center. Approximately 10 days after the procedure, the incision is checked to ensure adequate wound healing. Fine tuning of the device also occurs to ensure maximum pain relief.