Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial (for pain after surgery)

Spinal Cord Stimulator with external battery

Although many patients experience significant or complete relief after back or neck surgery, others continue to live with pain that keeps them from enjoying life and doing the things they love.

If you’ve experienced a failed back or neck surgery, you may worry that you will never get out of pain, or that you’ll once again have to risk an extensive surgery in order to finally find relief.

However, at Cahaba Pain and Spine Care, our Board Certified Pain Physicians are experts who specialize in the implantation of Spinal Cord Stimulators that could help you overcome the pain that spine surgery has left you with, so that you can take back your life.

To help you determine if a Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial is right for you, we’ve broken down the most common questions patients have, including how it works and what to expect from this advanced treatment option.

What Is A Spinal Cord Stimulator and How Can It Help Me?

A Spinal Cord Stimulator is an implantable electrical stimulation device. It works by interrupting the pain signals that you normally feel, weakening the signals that travel from your spine to your brain.

The device involves a battery-operated pulse generator, a wire with electrodes that transfer the stimulation to your cord, and a small remote control.

While the Stimulator won’t eliminate the cause of your pain, it does work to alter the intensity of pain you actually feel. Patients often report that instead of feeling severe pain, they experience only a tingling sensation.

How Does Spinal Cord Stimulation Work?

To have a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted, your pain specialist will make a small incision near your spine. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

Once implanted, the generator portion of the Stimulator sends tiny pulses of electrical current through the wire to your nerve fibers located within your spinal cord. Once activated, the device reduces your pain by altering the sensation before it has a chance to reach your brain.

With a Spinal Cord Stimulator, you are in full control, since you can turn it on and off and adjust its settings as needed with the handheld remote control.

Am I a Good Candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation?

If you have had a back or neck surgery that has failed to provide relief, you could be a good candidate for a Spinal Cord Stimulator. To determine if Spinal Cord Stimulation can help you overcome your severe or chronic pain, the spine specialists at Cahaba Pain and Spine Care can conduct a Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial.

This trial uses a temporary stimulator placement in order to determine if the device will provide the relief you’re looking for and generally lasts 2-7 days.

For the most part, you will not be a good candidate for the stimulator if you have a cardiac pacemaker or bleeding disorder, or if you are susceptible to infections around your spine.

What Are the Results?

If your physician determines you’re a good candidate for a Spinal Cord Stimulator, you can move forward with the implantable device in order to overcome the constant pain you’ve been living with.

Although Spinal Cord Stimulation won’t treat the cause of your pain, it can help you get back to the activities and life you love.