How Does it Work?
The first step involves a trial – a temporary stimulator is implanted to determine if the therapy provides satisfactory pain relief.
A local anesthetic is used to numb the area before one or more leads are placed in the epidural space along the spinal cord. These soft, thin wires with electrical leads on their tips are placed using a thin needle. When the leads are positioned in the best location, they are connected to a portable, external generator. Once connected, the system generates mild electrical pulses that will be programmed to replace your areas of intense pain with the more pleasing paresthesia.
If your trial is successful, and you and your doctor decide you will benefit from SCS, your doctor will work with you to schedule the placement of a permanent SCS system. Using a magnetic remote control, you can turn the current on and off, or adjust the intensity, rapidly responding to changes in the location or severity of your pain. Since the system is portable, SCS makes it possible to resume many normal daily life activities at home and at work, as well as recreational activities.