The doctor talked about a Spinal Cord Stimulator. What does this mean?

A spinal cord stimulator is a small implantable device used to relieve chronic persistent pain. Some spinal cord stimulators produce a soothing tingling (or "pins and needles") sensation in order to relieve your pain, while others do not produce a sensation. There are several devices: SCS, PNS, ONS SNS, PENS. Your specialist will advise which one is correct for your particular case.

You will be allocated a nurse to “case manage” your care including supporting you through the process keeping you well informed and providing education on the procedure and aftercare. The position of the implanted stimulating leads along the spinal cord depends on your area of pain. The device can be programmed to fine-tune the level of pain relief and perception of the stimulation. Before a device is implanted, a trial is performed at the day surgery. This means the leads are strapped to the outside of your body for a seven-day trial to see if your pain is improved. A positive outcome means there is potential for an implant.

There are several companies which provide devices and the doctor will advise the best one for you. Representatives from the company will meet with you and be your case manager and continue to provide organisation for programming indefinitely.

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