Spinal Cord Stimulator Specialist

University Pain Medicine Center -  - Interventional Pain Management Physician

University Pain Medicine Center

Interventional Pain Management Physicians & Minimally Invasive Surgeons located in Somerset, NJ & Monroe Township, NJ

If you have chronic back pain that hasn’t responded to other treatments, you might benefit from a spinal cord stimulator. The team at the University Pain Medicine Center in Englewood Cliffs, Somerset, Monroe Township, Freehold, and Clark, New Jersey, provides spinal cord stimulators to relieve chronic back pain and restore your quality of life. Call the University Pain Medicine Center, or schedule a consultation online today, to learn more about this innovative treatment.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q&A

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is an innovative, implantable device that delivers a mild electrical current to malfunctioning nerves in your spine. The current disrupts pain signals and can relieve chronic back, neck, arm, and leg pain. 

A spinal cord stimulator can reduce your reliance on drugs and help you avoid surgery. However, spinal cord stimulation doesn’t address the root cause of your pain. It changes the way your brain perceives it. 

When is a spinal cord stimulator the right treatment?

A spinal cord stimulator isn’t a first-line treatment for pain. The team at the University Pain Medicine Center might recommend spinal cord stimulation to treat conditions like:

  • Failed back surgery
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Chronic leg, back, neck, or arm pain
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Peripheral artery disease complications
  • Neuropathy 

In most cases, the team tries other treatments before investigating spinal cord stimulation. Often, if nerve blocks or radiofrequency ablation have provided temporary relief, spinal cord stimulation can deliver the lasting results you need to regain your quality of life. 

What happens during spinal cord stimulator placement?

If your doctor thinks that spinal cord stimulation is right for you, they schedule your placement procedure. The team at the University Pain Medicine Center implants spinal cord stimulators in two stages: a trial phase and permanent implantation.

Spinal cord stimulation trial

Before permanent implantation, you have a two-week trial period to ensure that spinal cord stimulation relieves your pain and for your doctor to fine-tune the electrical current. During the trial implantation, your doctor prepares your back and provides a local anesthetic. Then, using fluoroscopy, they guide a hollow needle into your spine, close to the malfunctioning nerve. 

When the needle is in place, they insert a wire electrode into the epidural space of your spine, positioning it over the damaged nerves. Your doctor attaches the wires to a generator and tapes the generator to your back. Alternatively, you can wear it in a pouch around your waist. 

You go home with instructions on how to clean and care for the electrode site and to track your symptoms. 

Permanent implantation

If your trial is successful, your doctor schedules permanent implantation. The procedure is similar to the trial implantation. Instead of having the electrode come out of your body, your doctor places the generator under the skin of your lower back or upper buttocks and creates a tunnel between your spine and the generator for the wire. 

If you have chronic pain that hasn’t responded to other treatments, call the University Pain Medicine Center, or make an appointment online, to find out how a spinal cord stimulator can provide permanent pain relief.