Spinal Cord Stimulators for Chronic Pain with Dr. Roger Sung
Welcome to a Medical Minute segment with Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group’s Dr. Roger Sung discussing chronic pain management through the use of spinal cord stimulators.
When a patient experiences chronic pain, what is the best option for them?
As every orthopaedic case is unique, if the pain begins to affect daily life we recommend scheduling an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor. With this, we recommend finding a doctor who specializes in the body region where pain is at it’s worst.
After a full evaluation to find the source of your chronic pain, our physicians at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group work diligently to create individualized treatment plans for every patient. From there, your physician will continue to adapt that individualized plan to best suit your specific needs as you work through the recovery process.
What is a spinal cord stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a battery-operated implant that sits along the spinal cord and aids in alleviating nerve tension by sending mild electronic pulses to the nerves. These pulses interrupt the transmission of pain signals to the brain and have shown great success in alleviating chronic pain.
The surgery for a spinal cord stimulator implant takes approximately one hour when performed in our outpatient surgery center, The Orthopaedic Spine Center of Southern Colorado (OSCSC).
Try before you buy?
The best news with this type of chronic pain treatment is that you can actually trial the stimulator before electing to have the permanent implant placed. This is a one-of-a-kind treatment option in that you and your physician can give the spinal cord stimulator trial implant a test run to see if this treatment will work for you. This trial run is typically between 5-7 days where you will have direct access to a qualified SCS representative who can help you learn the intricacies of the stimulator remote. This representative will be your direct contact if any setting adjustments need to be made moving forward.
How customizable is a spinal cord stimulator?
After meeting with your SCS representative, you are able to fully customize your device, independently choosing the intensity and schedule at which you prefer your device to operate at. With recent technological advancements, these adjustments can be made at the touch of your fingertips by utilizing an application on your phone. Patients will also receive a remote from which they can program their stimulator from as well.
What is the success rate of spinal cord stimulators?
Patients that respond well to this treatment are likely to see at least 50-75% improvement in their pain. These devices can last upwards of 10-25 years, while only requiring battery replacements as needed. Please contact your SCS representative or our office at 719-632-7669 if you are in need of a spinal cord stimulator battery replacement.
How long is the Spinal Cord Stimulator Recovery Time?
The surgical procedures for both trial and permanent stimulator implantations are performed as outpatient surgeries and can be completed within approximately one hour. Patients can expect to recover from the permanent implant procedures within 2-4 weeks. Many noticing significant chronic pain relief just days after surgery. Please note, these timelines will very case by case.
Think Spinal Cord Stimulation might be right for you?
Give us a call at 719-632-7669 to schedule an initial evaluation. Our Spine Center Doctors are ready to help get you back to living how you want to live.
Our Spine Physicians:
Roger D. Sung, MD
Dr. Sung is a fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in cervical and lumbar surgery, microsurgery, and minimally invasive surgery.
James M. Bee, MD
Dr. Bee’s interests include the full range of spinal disorders of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Scoliosis and the treatment of spine shrinkage and fractures from osteoporosis are a couple examples.
Paul Stanton, DO
Dr. Paul Stanton is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with surgical expertise in all aspects of spinal surgery, including minimally invasive techniques and complex reconstructive techniques for the cervical spine, adult spinal deformity, and degenerative scoliosis.
Robert Harper, MD
Dr. Robert Harper is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic spine surgeon specializing in cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacroiliac joint minimally invasive surgical techniques.