New Developments in Spinal Stimulation for Pain Management

Nov 20, 2018 | Markus (Mark) A. Bendel, M.D. | @markusabendelmd | Comments (17)

patient and provider looking at spinal column

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been a medical treatment available for certain types of chronic pain for over 50 years.  In general, this minimally invasive therapy involves putting a small lead in the spinal canal and using electrical energy from a battery to stimulate the sensory nerves of the spinal cord. This has been shown to decrease chronic pain from a variety of conditions.

There has been a rapid expansion of technologies and therapies in this area over the past few years.  Physicians are now able to treat certain pains more effectively than ever before. These new technologies are related to both better equipment technology, stimulation targets, and also how the electrical energy is delivered to the spine and nerves. In addition to treating chronic nerve pain, there have been improvements in the ability to treat chronic back pain, post-knee surgery pain, post-hernia repair pain, and foot pain. Traditionally, patients who have a spinal cord stimulator would feel a pleasant, buzzing sensation (called a paresthesia) in the area of their pain. Now, certain technologies allow for stimulation without creating this sensation, which some patients prefer. Other new technology allows for more specific stimulation of a particular area of the body, which has been shown to be valuable for certain pain problems. Many systems now are compatible with MRI machines which had been a hurdle for some patients in the past.

Generally, a pain medicine physician would be a good source of information to determine if a certain technology would be beneficial for an individual patient. All of this means that there are more options than ever before to treat a wide variety of patients!

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@lifetimepain

Some. A little bit disappointed because the trial sent the signal in a 360 degree pattern, the implant is much more focused and I think it's not in the EXACT same place as the trial was. It's kind of stupid because the permanent implant should replicate the trial, and I know it's not. The trial gave me 80% relief which was almost unbelievable! The implant now reduces my pain maybe 30-40% – which the company considers a success. I know it could be better.

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I'm sorry that you didn't get the 80% with the permanent one. Which SCS did you have implanted?

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@faithwalker007

@colleenyoung it actually depends on the model. Abbott has various models, one that does not need recharging and one that does. I have the type that I need to recharge. I know someone who does not need to recharge his.

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Right. I've been told that Abbott's premium XR does not need to be recharged. I've been told they have two models, the larger battery lasts for 7 years and a slightly smaller last for 5 years. I'm told they are guarenteed for 5 years and they make it sound simple to change the battery after it dies. I spoke to a nurse yesterday who had one put in about a year and a half ago. She had chronic pain in her foot and leg from 2 prior surgeries and then a car accident. and she got about 90% pain relief. No charging. She would recommend the Abbott.

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@lifetimepain

Hi, @martyk. @ifetimepain here. I have the Nevro SCS and it has to be charged daily, takes 20-30 mins. You also have to charge the charger by plugging it into the wall at bedtime. In the mornings, I unplug it from the wall, put the paddle behind me on top of the device, and when it finds the device (takes a bit of shifting around) you'll see 1, 2, or 3 circles light up – kind of like the bars of cell phone reception. Then you just sit there till it beeps at you. The rechargeable implant should last 5-10 years.

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Hi, once you find the device can you secure the paddle with a velcro strap or something like that to secure it in place and move around while the device is being charged for 20 to 30 minutes. I've been told With the DRG SCS made by Abbott, you don't need to charge that at all. Does anyone have the Abbott SCS and can comment on that?

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I have both chronic lower back pain L-4, L-5 area., and chronic pain in the toes of my right foot from 2 previous surgeries, nerve damage and surgical scar tissue. Does anyone know if the HF10 (Nevro) can target both area's where I'm having pain? Lower back and toes of right foot.

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@martyk

I have both chronic lower back pain L-4, L-5 area., and chronic pain in the toes of my right foot from 2 previous surgeries, nerve damage and surgical scar tissue. Does anyone know if the HF10 (Nevro) can target both area's where I'm having pain? Lower back and toes of right foot.

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@martyk you may wish to ask your questions in the discussions in the Spine Health group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/spine-health/

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