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Spinal Cord Stimulation

Deschutes Surgery Center, LLC

Surgery Center located in Bend, OR

A survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics found that 4 out of 13 people who couldn’t work due to physical or emotional limitations had chronic back or neck problems. If you spend your days in pain that’s not relieved by standard medical therapy, the providers at Deschutes Surgery Center, LLC, have a safe and effective option: a spinal cord stimulator. To learn whether you might find pain relief with a spinal cord stimulator, contact the surgery center at Central Oregon Spine & Sports in Bend, Oregon.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q & A

How does a spinal cord stimulator relieve my pain?

Spinal cord stimulators treat a specific area of your spine with a mild electrical impulse. The impulses block or mask nerve signals carrying pain messages to your brain. Since the stimulation stops your brain from getting the message, your pain is diminished even though the source of the pain still exists.

What health problems are treated with a spinal cord stimulator?

Your doctor at Deschutes Surgery Center may recommend a spinal cord stimulator to treat chronic back, neck, leg, or arm pain. In most patients, this type of chronic pain is due to conditions such as:

  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disc
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Spinal bone spurs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Failed back surgery

Many patients with complex regional pain syndrome, painful peripheral neuropathy, or leg pain due to peripheral vascular disease can alleviate their pain with a spinal cord stimulator.

How is a spinal cord stimulator implanted?

A spinal cord stimulator has three parts. The first part, a small pulse generator, is implanted under the skin of your abdomen, upper chest, or upper buttocks.

The second part, flexible wires with multiple leads, are gently threaded along your spine using fluoroscopic imaging to guide their placement. Your doctor at Deschutes Surgery Center places the leads near the nerves that are sending pain signals to your brain.

The final part is the remote controller. Your doctor programs the initial frequency and strength of the electrical impulses that will be emitted by the generator. Then you use the controller to turn the generator on and off.

How will I know whether a spinal stimulator can help alleviate my pain?

You’ll have the chance to learn whether a spinal cord stimulator relieves your pain during a trial period. Your doctor places the wires along your spine, but you’ll wear the generator around your waist.

Your trial period lasts about a week, which is long enough for most patients to decide whether the stimulator relieved their pain. If you’re happy with the results, the generator is implanted. If spinal cord stimulation didn’t relieve your pain, your doctor at Deschutes Surgery Center removes the wire leads.

If you’d like to learn more about spinal cord stimulators, contact Deschutes Surgery Center at Central Oregon Spine & Sports.