Chronic lower back radiating to your arms and legs can significantly affect your overall wellbeing. Fortunately, your surgeon might suggest a spinal cord stimulator when the pain fails to resolve with treatments like medications and therapy. The device works by relieving your symptoms using electrical current, thus enhancing your mobility. Is chronic back pain preventing you from enjoying your everyday life? If so, Clark spinal cord stimulator can help. However, before permanently fixing the device, the medical expert might suggest a trial treatment to assess its efficiency.
What does the spinal cord stimulator entail?
During treatment, your surgeon will implant a temporary device. Guiding the process with fluoroscopy, the medical expert will insert the electrodes in your spine’s epidural space. Your doctor will then request feedback to determine the best position for the electrodes. The trial treatment needs a single incision in your lower back for electrodes’ placement. However, your doctor will tie the battery outside the treatment area for approximately one week to evaluate how the device minimizes your debilitating symptoms. The medical professional will consider the treatment a success if it minimizes at least 50% of your pain.
Your surgeon will carefully remove the electrodes without damaging your nerves or spine if the treatment fails to give you relief. On the other hand, the medical expert might schedule a surgical appointment to permanently fix the stimulator if it significantly lowers your pain.
When can your doctor suggest treatment using a spinal cord stimulator?
Your surgeon will most likely suggest a stimulator if you have:
- Worsening back pain even after a corrective surgery
- Nerve pain and numbness, especially in your legs and arms
- Chronic back pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Inflammation of the lining in your spine and brain
What are the different types of spinal cord stimulators you might have?
There are three standard types of spinal cord stimulators:
- Conventional implantable pulse generator (IPG). Since the device is battery-operated, your surgeon implants it in your spine during the surgical procedure. However, you might need another process to change the battery when the power runs out. Your healthcare provider will most likely recommend the stimulator if you have a single pain source in your spinal cord due to its low current output.
- Rechargeable IPG. This type is similar to IPG. However, you might not require a surgical procedure to replace the battery when it powers out. Since you can charge the device’s power source, the device uses more electricity. The device is ideal if you experience painful symptoms in areas near your lower back or legs because the signals from the power source can extend further.
- Radiofrequency stimulator. Unlike other simulators, this type has its battery outside your body. The device is less common, thanks to technological advancements. Since the battery is rechargeable, it is ideal for lower back pain.
Whichever stimulator your healthcare provider suggests, he will help you operate it, teaching you how to adjust the electrical intensities.
A spinal cord stimulator will allow you to do more than you can imagine. However, there are things your doctor might not suggest, including going for an MRI or operating heavy machinery. Call your surgeon to know your options with the device.