This technology has been used to successfully treat Post-Laminectomy Syndrome, Failed Back Syndrome, cervical/ lumbar radiculopathy, neuropathic pain syndromes (CRPS/RSD, causalgia, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy), and vascular disorders such as angina and peripheral ischemia.
Most patients who may be candidates for this therapy have unsuccessfully been treated with conservative measures. These include medications, spinal injections, and physical therapy. Also, further surgical interventions have been ruled out. Initially a “test” or “trial” is done, in which an electrode is placed into the epidural space, under x-ray guidance. The electrode extends outside of the body and is connected to a remote. The patient can increase or decrease the level of stimulation according to his/her pain level. The “trial” can last between 3- 7 days, depending on the preference of the physician. The patient is told to conduct his/her normal activities in order to get the best assessment of their pain relief.
If the trial is successful then a completely enclosed system is implanted, permanently. As with the trial, the electrode is placed into the epidural space, however, now the opposite end is tunneled to a generator which is under the skin. There is still a remote that is used to adjust the level of stimulation based on the pain level. Both the trial and implant are typically done on an out- patient basis. In addition, the patient is instructed to take several days of antibiotics, which decreases the chance for an infection.