What Is a Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)?
Spinal Cord Stimulation is a procedure created to relieve the chronic pain that most treatments failed to overcome. It utilizes a tiny device and wires that emit electrical signals to your brain, effectively masking the pain you feel in your lower body. It’s not a complicated procedure, but the thought of installing a device on your body that can affect electrical impulses is scary for some people.
In this article, we will explain in full detail what SCS is and how it can be the best treatment for you.
How Does SCS Work?
Spinal Cord Stimulation works like a pacemaker. During surgery, a small medical device is set up under the skin and near the spine. This will send electrical impulses to the brain, forcibly blocking the pain signal from going up to the brain.
You can also control the pulse generator and adjust the electrical signals. Instead of sharp pain, you will experience tingling sensations in the treated area.
What Are the Different Kinds of SCS?
There are three main types of SCS to choose from. Your choice in picking a certain type may depend on the source of chronic pain. The differences of each kind are explained below:
- Conventional Implantable Pulse Generator (IPG) – During the procedure, a battery is placed in your spine. It will take at least before the battery runs out. By this time, you are expected to visit the doctor again and undergo another surgery to replace the worn-out battery. If you experience chronic pain in one region, this might be the better choice for you.
- Rechargeable Implantable Pulse Generator (IPG) – Like the conventional IPG, the battery of a rechargeable IPG is equipped in the spine amid the surgery. With a rechargeable energy source, this IPG can emit more electricity. If you are suffering from chronic pain in your back and legs, you should opt for a rechargeable IPG instead.
- Radiofrequency Stimulator – Unlike IPGs, this older design has the battery installed outside your body. Although it is rarely applied anymore, radiofrequency stimulators are great in treating the lower back and legs.
Regardless of which kind of SCS you are going to pick, you still have enough control over how much electricity will be discharged to the spine.
What Are the Results and Risks of SCS?
Like every medical procedure, there are upsides and downsides to SCS. Before proceeding with your SCS trial, you must be aware of the results you should experience and the risks you might encounter.
- Results – The results of a successful SCS largely depend on the surgical technique employed. Since SCS only helps you manage the pain, a 50% decrease in the discomfort you feel is already considered a success.
- Risks – Aside from the general complications that a normal surgery faces, SCS also risks possible mechanical failures. If it happens, additional surgery must be performed.
Dealing With Chronic Pain Through SCS
Chronic pain can be a hassle even when you are carrying out simple tasks. When all else fails, you can always opt for an SCS to help you manage the pain. Our staff from Central Texas Spine Institute are experienced in dealing with SCS patients, so you are in good hands.
The best spine surgeons in the country are also working with us to provide the treatment you need for a fast recovery. Book your SCS appointment with us today.