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HomeHealthAll You Need to Know About Spinal Cord Stimulation

All You Need to Know About Spinal Cord Stimulation

Chronic pain is long-standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period; it often lasts more than three months. Besides interfering with your daily activities, including working, it can cause mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. When all nonsurgical treatments have proven futile, your healthcare provider may recommend spinal cord stimulation. Usually, spinal cord stimulation Houston is used along with other pain management treatments, including medications, exercise, and physical therapy. If you are considering this treatment, here are essential things to know.

What to expect during implantation

During the permanent implantation procedure, your surgeon places the generator beneath the skin and replaces the trial electrodes with sterile electrodes. But this time, the surgeon will anchor the electrodes with sutures to reduce movement. Before surgery, you will receive local anesthesia to be comfortable throughout the procedure.

Once the medication effects kick in, your surgeon will make an incision along your lower abdomen to hold the generator. They will also make another incision along your spine to insert the permanent electrodes. Using fluoroscopy, your surgeon ensures they place the electrodes correctly. Once the electrodes are in position, your surgeon closes the incisions.

The implantation takes anywhere between one to two hours, after which you can go home.

Recovery after spinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation is often performed on an outpatient basis, meaning most patients go home on the same day of their procedure. But first, you will stay in a recovery room for the surgical team to monitor you as the anesthesia wears off. Your incisions may be painful several days after surgery, so try not to twist, stretch or reach; such movements could pull at the incision. You will have dressings over the incision sites, which you can remove after approximately three days. The incision sites usually heal within two to four weeks after the procedure.

Your doctor will give you detailed instructions to follow during your recovery, but strenuous activities are generally off-limits for at least two weeks. You can resume work and other activities like driving once your surgeon approves you for regular activity. Usually, this is typically one to two weeks after surgery.

What are the possible complications?

The risk of complications is low with spinal cord stimulation surgery, but no procedure is without risks. Below are some of the complications that a few patients may experience.

  • Bleeding
  • Infection. This may occur in the first two to eight weeks.
  • Device damage. The stimulator may break due to a fall or intense physical activity.
  • Device migration. The electrodes may shift to a different location, affecting the effectiveness of the stimulator. Usually, this requires follow-up surgery to reposition the electrodes.
  • Spinal cord trauma. Although very rare, some nerves can get injured during the insertion of the spinal cord stimulator, causing paralysis.
  • Dural puncture. The stimulator is usually inserted in the area just outside the dura mater – the epidural space. A needle or electrode can pierce the dura mater, causing cerebrospinal fluid leakage. The result of these punctures is usually severe headaches.

If you have chronic pain, consult your provider at Expert Pain to establish whether spinal cord stimulation is the ideal treatment.

James John
I am the admin of this health and fitness blog. I completed his diploma in medical science. I loves to share my knowledge in medical science.
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