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Spinal Cord Stimulators

Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a method of treatment in which a surgically implanted pulse generator sends electrical currents through the spine in order to interfere with nerve impulses that cause chronic pain. The pulse generator is inserted in the abdomen, and small, coated wires run to the point in the spinal canal where the pain originates. The level of electricity (pulse strength) depends on the severity of the pain, and the patient activates the pulse generator for one to two hours at a time, three or four times a day. This method of treatment may be recommended for people who have failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) or severe neurogenic pain caused by a degenerative spine condition.

Potential risks of SCS

There are many potential benefits of SCS, including the ability to control the amount of pain relief you receive at the time and place of your choosing. However, there are several potential pitfalls. One of the biggest is that the body can develop a tolerance for the electrical stimulation, which can decrease the effectiveness of the treatment. Other risks include:

  • Fibrosis (scar tissue) that develops around the site of the implant
  • Pain that advances beyond the reach of the pulse generator
  • Electrode or hardware failure
  • Infection
  • Spinal fluid leakage
  • Headache
  • Bladder issues

Minimally invasive treatment for nerve compression

If you have tried SCS but continue to experience chronic pain after undergoing traditional open back surgery, consider contacting Austin Midtown Ambulatory Spinal Center. We may be able to help you find relief from neck and back pain with a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure performed using advanced technology. Our various procedures can possibly treat your FBSS, or even prevent it in the first place if you choose Austin Midtown Ambulatory Spinal Center to treat your degenerative spine condition.

Our minimally invasive techniques provide patients with many advantages over traditional open spine surgery, which generally requires large incisions and muscle disruption in order to provide surgeons with sufficient access to the spinal components. In contrast, minimally invasive spine surgery is performed using a tiny camera and micro-instruments that are inserted through small incisions. As a result, these procedures are much less invasive than traditional open back surgery and carry less of a risk of complications.