Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) for Diabetic Neuropathy
In this Medical Minute, Dr. Roger Sung discusses a new drug-free treatment, Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) for diabetic neuropathy. We will discuss what diabetic neuropathy is, what spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is and how it works to treat Diabetic Neuropathy, and what to expect post-operation.
What is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that is caused by high blood sugar within the body. This high level of blood sugar can injure nerves most commonly the nerves in the legs and feet. Symptoms generally include numbness or pain, but can also include digestive track issues, urinary tract issues, and issues with the blood vessels and heart.
For some individuals, symptoms are mild, but in some, more extreme cases can be extremely painful and disabling. According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 50% of individuals with diabetes experience burning, tingling, and numbness associated with diabetic specific neuropathy.
If you or someone you know is struggling with painful diabetic neuropathy, this new drug-free treatment offered at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group may be an option.
What Drug-Free Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy is available?
In collaboration with Nevro, a medical device company focused on individualized solutions for those suffering from chronic pain, we at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group are proud to offer the latest technology advancement, HFX™ for Painful Diabetic Neuropathy (PDN), a drug-free treatment addressing PDN through use of advanced spinal cord stimulation technology. Spinal cord stimulators (SCS) are electronic devices implanted against the spinal cord to disrupt nerve signals that are sent to the brain and cause pain. Through settings on the device’s remote control, patients can independently control their pain levels and find relief from living with PDN.
Studies have shown patients who have tried HFX™ for PDN, received 76% pain relief within the first six months of implantation. While there are some medication options to treat diabetic neuropathy, these medications generally have side effects. We believe this innovative treatment is a great Drug-free option for patients experiencing the pain and discomfort associated with PDN.
What does the Spinal Cord Stimulator Operation Entail?
After a thorough evaluation with one of our Board-Certified Spine Surgeons, they will determine if a patient is an appropriate candidate for HFX™ for PDN. If the patient and Surgeon agree to move forward with this treatment option, the surgeon will schedule the patient for an initial 7-day trial of the device. During the trial procedure, the surgeon will implant a temporary spinal cord stimulator along the patient’s spine and provide them with the tools and education to independently manage their pain throughout the next week. These trials allow patients to experience the device before they commit to receiving the permanent implant.
If the trial spinal cord stimulator implant is determined be an effective treatment for that patient, they will schedule the patient for their outpatient procedure that implants the permanent version of the device.
What is the Recovery Time for Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)?
The recovery time for the spinal cord stimulation implant operation is about six weeks however, many Patients are only generally sore for about one week. Moderate activity is limited during this time and strenuous activity is restricted for approximately six weeks post-operation to ensure that the device is received well, and the body has time to heal. Despite this recovery time, patients can feel pain relief in as little as a few days after their operation.
If you would like to see if this drug-free treatment can benefit you, call the Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group at (719) 632-7669 to schedule a consultation!
Roger D. Sung, MD
Dr. Sung is a Fellowship-Trained and Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, and Sacroiliac surgery, Microsurgery, and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery techniques. He also performs complex spine reconstruction using minimally invasive techniques.