When there seems to be little hope in sight for relief from your chronic pain, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) might provide an answer. Shamsideen Musa, MD, of Algone Anchorage Interventional Pain Clinic in Anchorage, Alaska, is a board-certified anesthesiologist and interventional pain specialist who has considerable expertise carrying out spinal cord stimulator implant surgery. SCS offers hope for you even if nothing else works. Call Algone Anchorage Interventional Pain Clinic today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
A spinal cord stimulator is a device Dr. Musa implants in your body to help control chronic pain. The stimulator uses electrical impulses that you can increase or decrease using a remote control, putting you in charge of your pain management at all times.
The spinal cord stimulator interferes with signals sent from your nerves to your brain, specifically those nerves that send pain signals from your back, arms, and legs.
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is especially useful for managing neuropathic pain, which involves damaged or dysfunctional nerves.
Most patients with chronic back, leg, or arm pain find their symptoms improve with a carefully managed program of rest, exercise, and physical therapy. Some patients might also need slightly more invasive procedures, like steroid injections or radiofrequency ablation.
When patients don’t respond to these treatments, a spinal cord stimulator is a possible next-stage treatment. Before having the implant surgery, you need to complete a trial to see if SCS will work for you.
With the trial implantation, Dr. Musa positions the leads that deliver electrical impulses into your back under local anesthetic. He makes a small incision and uses an epidural needle to guide the leads into the space at the bottom of your spinal cord.
You can feel the electrical impulses and tell Dr. Musa when they have the most effect so he can make sure the leads are in the best place. He connects the leads to an external trial stimulator, which you go home with.
After a week of using the spinal cord stimulator, you return to Dr. Musa to discuss how the trial went. If it was successful, you could then arrange to undergo full implantation.
For the permanent implantation procedure, you’re either under sedation or have a general anesthetic. Dr. Musa takes out the temporary leads and inserts the permanent leads in the same place.
He then makes a small incision in your abdomen, or in some cases your buttocks, where he places the implantable pulse generator (IPG) battery.
The leads connect to the IPG, and Dr. Musa programs the implant. With the remote control device, you can switch the spinal cord stimulator on or off and increase or decrease the strength of the electrical impulses to suit your needs.
Dr. Musa uses Nevro® HF10™ therapy, a next-generation SCS device. One of the advantages of HF10 therapy is that it doesn’t cause paraesthesia, a common side effect of SCS that makes you feel a tingling sensation.
If your current treatments for chronic pain don’t work and you want to see if a spinal cord stimulator could help, call Algone Anchorage Interventional Pain Clinic today or book an appointment online.