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Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

St. Luke's Spine & Pain Associates

What is this procedure and why is it helpful?
Neurostimulation works by intercepting pain signals before they reach the brain. To do this, a small system is implanted within the body. A trial is performed before permenant implantation to determine if this is the right system for the patient. This system, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, is used to replace pain with a different feeling. Some people describe this feeling as a gentle massaging sensation or, in some cases, simply the absence of pain.

What steps are needed for the implanted device?
Prior to the permanent placement of this device, there is a trial period during which you assess your response to the stimulator leads which are placed through a needle into the epidural space in the spine or along the nerves lying just below the skin. If you obtain significant pain relief during the trial with improved function, the next step would involve permanent implantation of the lead, a minor outpatient surgical procedure.