Thoracic Spinal Cord Stimulator
Spinal cord stimulation is a well-established and effective pain management modality. The success of this procedure depends on proper patient selection and accurate lead placement.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Stimulation is a treatment modality in which the pain signals are masked before they get a chance to reach the brain. For this purpose, a small device, which is similar to a pacemaker, helps deliver electronic pulses to the spinal cord.
Who needs Thoracic Spinal Cord Stimulator?
Our specialists perform a complete checkup on the patient and thoroughly study the patient’s physical condition, pain history, and medication regime. After the evaluation, specialists may suggest spinal surgery that includes placement of the stimulator.
The specialists also consider the previous procedures performed on the patient and determines the success rate of the laser spine surgery to place the stimulator.
As a patient, you may be the ideal candidate if:
- Conservative treatments have failed.
- You would not benefit from additional surgical procedures.
- The pain is caused by a correctable problem and should be fixed.
- You do not wish further surgery because of the risks involved or long recovery. Sometimes Spinal Cord Stimulator may be chosen over a large, complex spine surgery.
- You do not have untreated depression or any drug addiction; these problems should be treated prior to having a Spinal Cord Stimulator.
- You have no medical conditions that would stop you from undergoing implantation.
- You have passed a Spinal Cord Stimulator trial.
How Is It Performed?
- The procedure usually takes 1 to 2 hours.
- You will lie on your belly on the table and be given light anesthesia. Next, the areas of your back and buttocks are prepped where the leads and generator are to be placed.
- The electrode leads are gently inserted with the aid of fluoroscopy (a type of X-ray). A tiny skin incision is made in the middle of your back, exposing the bone.
- A portion of the bony arch is removed (laminotomy) to allow some room to place the leads. The leads are then positioned in the epidural space above the spinal cord and secured with sutures. The leads do not directly touch your spinal cord.
- Once the lead electrodes are in place, the wire is passed under the skin from the spine to the buttocks, where the generator will be implanted.
- A tiny skin incision is made below the waistline. The surgeon creates a pocket for the generator beneath the skin. The lead wire is attached to the pulse generator.
- The generator is then correctly positioned within the skin pocket.
- The incisions are closed with special dissolving sutures and skin glue.
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Does Insurance Cover Spinal Cord Stimulator?
Most health insurance programs, including Medicare, most worker’s compensation programs, and commercial payers, cover spinal cord stimulator surgery.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
- You should expect a complete recovery from a spinal cord stimulator implant in a period of six weeks to two months.
- The period depends on your overall health, age, and surgical placement.
How Long Does the Battery Last in a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
- Some spinal cord stimulator systems with a non-rechargeable battery need to be surgically replaced every two to five years.
- Rechargeable battery systems can last for eight to ten years and even longer, depending on the frequency of use.
- You must remember to charge the system daily.
What Is the Success Rate of a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
- Patients suffering from chronic back pain reported good to excellent long-term relief with a spinal cord stimulator implant.
- Spinal cord stimulator is considered successful if the pain is reduced by half.