Neuromodulation (Spinal Cord Stimulation - SCS)

Neuromodulation, also called Spinal Cord Stimulation is a highly effective treatment approach to chronic pain based on the implantation of a tiny device that sends controlled electrical impulses through the patient’s spinal cord to block the pain impulses he or she could be experiencing. This may be an option if you have chronic back, leg, or arm pain, and have not found relief through traditional methods.  This minimally-invasive procedure. Our highly skilled Interventional Pain Physicians utilize the equipment from: Boston Scientific SCS, Abbott DRG Stimulator, Nevro HF 10.

Neuromodulation Can Treat..

  • Chronic Sciatica or Arm Pain
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
  • Phantom Limb Pain
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Arachnoiditis

Is Neuromodulation Right for You?

Before determining if SCS is an option, your condition will be thoroughly evaluated and assessed. A comprehensive evaluation of your pain history will determine if your goals of pain management are appropriate to proceed with treatment. Sometimes pain also has psychological effects, a psychologist wil assess your condition to increase the probability of a successful outcome.

You may be a candidate for SCS if you meet the following criteria: 

  • conservative treatments have failed
  • your source of pain has been verified
  • you would not benefit from additional surgery
  • you are not seriously dependent on pain medication or other substances
  • you do not have depression or other psychiatric conditions that contribute to your pain
  • you have no medical conditions that would keep you from undergoing implantation
  • you had a successful trial stimulation

 

The Procedure

After a detailed consultation with Algone's highly-skilled pain management physician, and if no severe contraindications are present, the patient is offered a “test drive”, or trial period for SCS.

A temporary SCS device is implanted into the patients’ back, allowing them to check whether the results of this therapy meets their expectations. The patients then return to their everyday activities and later (usually within 7 days) return for a second consultation.

If the patient is positive about SCS therapy, then a long-term SCS device is implanted in place of the temporary one. And that’s it—simple as can be. To learn more, watch this video presentation by one prominent manufacturer of HF SCS Therapy.

Neuromodulation may be the ultimate answer to all your pain?

What is the Effectiveness of Neuromodulation?

One important parameter of spinal cord stimulation is the pattern of the impulses, which is generally categorized as either tonic (constant tone) or burst (delivered in packets).

Traditional devices usually operate with tonic impulses, while such modern technologies as the BurstDR by Abbott Laboratories work with burst stimulation.

Various recent studies indicate that burst stimulation may have significant advantages over the traditional tonic approach, including better patient tolerance and an increased possibility of success in patients who experienced no relief with previous SCS attempts. This is because burst impulses travel through the spinal cord into the brain and then diverge after reaching the thalamus. Such a pathway allows targeting both the somatosensory cortex AND the limbic system – thus not only relieving pain itself, but also how the patient perceives pain. 

In terms of numbers and effect, some studies affirm that burst stimulation could be slightly better than tonic SCS. Here’s a rough evaluation of effect (burst vs tonic):

  • For back pain: 46% vs 38%
  • For limb pain: 57% vs 36%
  • For general chronic pain: 54% vs 41%

Hear Steve's Story.. 

You're not alone, chronic back pain affects nearly 80% of Americans. If you feel like there are no other options, injections haven't worked for you, and you're tired of medications, Spinal Cord Stimulation may be right for you.