Spinal cord stimulator reviews — what to look for
Like other medical procedures, there are many spinal cord stimulator reviews online that can help patients gain a better understanding of what to expect from all aspects of treatment. From the trial period to the surgical procedure to the recovery phase and beyond, it’s natural to want to gauge other peoples’ experiences if you’re considering this form of therapy yourself. If you see that a lot of people have found relief from chronic back pain and other issues with a spinal cord stimulator, it can be a good indicator that it could work for you.
The most important thing to remember when reading spinal cord stimulator reviews is to not make a decision based off of one or two reviews. This is especially true of negative reviews. The fact is that there is evidence supporting positive outcomes for spinal cord stimulator procedures in a majority of cases, so any reviews reporting complications or inadequate pain relief will represent a significantly smaller sample.
Reviews should also only represent one element of the data you use to make a decision about getting a spinal cord stimulator. You should also fully examine the practice and surgeon as well as the specific type of surgical procedure and device. To help you reach an informed and confident decision, we’ve created the following guide to what to look for from spinal cord stimulator reviews as well as how to weigh reviews against other factors.
What to consider when reading spinal cord stimulator reviews
When going online to read reviews for any prospective treatment, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I getting reviews from multiple sources? The goal is to get as wide a range of reviews and perspectives as possible while still staying relevant to your situation. If you are reading reviews on one forum or website, it may be beneficial to find out what the sponsoring organization is. Getting reviews from multiple sources can help you filter out bias and better identify larger trends.
- Does the person writing the review have the same or similar condition as me? While spinal cord stimulators share a basic function by sending electrical currents directly to the spinal cord, they can treat a wide range of symptoms and conditions, from failed back surgery syndrome to heart pain. To get the most accurate sample, try to find reviews by patients who were treated for the same or similar diagnosis as the one you have.
- Are you reading spinal cord stimulator reviews for your recommended surgical procedure or device? Similarly, if you are farther along in the process and have been recommended for a specific procedure and spinal cord stimulator device, try to narrow your reviews to that particular procedure and do some research on the specific device.
- What is the overall reputation of the surgeon or facility in the review? You should be trying to identify trends whenever possible and not let one negative or positive review sway you in one direction or the other. If you read a bad or glowing review for a prospective facility, try to follow up by doing as much research as possible to see if this review is representative of a normal outcome.
- What other contributors may have led to a positive or negative outcome? Spinal cord stimulators can be effective, but they are also just one part of the treatment puzzle. For example, chronic back pain sufferers should also be focused on lifestyle changes that include posture improvement, nutrition and regular exercise. Many patients also require pain medication to some degree and may be wanting to lessen their dosage. Often, a spinal cord stimulator can offer the relief needed to make these changes when they were not previously possible. When reading spinal cord stimulator reviews, it is important to determine whether the writer is taking these other contributors into account. Was the patient able to achieve lifestyle goals and reduce pain med dosage?
Ultimately, reading spinal cord stimulator reviews can provide perspective and give you a better idea of what to expect from the procedure and process, but it shouldn’t be the primary factor for making a decision.
Other considerations for choosing a spinal cord stimulator
Undergoing any type of surgery, even a minimally invasive procedure, is a very important decision and should be made on as informed a basis as possible. When researching spinal cord stimulator procedures, take some time to research the following:
- The surgeon — Spine surgeons should have specific experience for the procedure you are undergoing as well as any appropriate education, fellowships and certifications. Always look into the reputation of a prospective surgeon and don’t be afraid to ask around.
- The facility — Spinal cord stimulator surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, which means it can be performed on an outpatient basis at an ambulatory surgery center. These facilities can offer reduced exposure to hospital-based infections as well as reduced costs. When researching facilities, look for centers that are patient-focused, well-lit and have appropriate accommodations and certifications for the industry.
- The device — There are many different spinal cord stimulator devices on the market that may be beneficial to treating a specific condition or offer features. Try to find out which device your surgeon is planning to use during the surgical procedure. Do some research to find out if there are any drawbacks to this type of device or if it is recommended for a particular condition, such as chronic back pain or failed back surgery syndrome.
When working with a potential surgical provider, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You should feel comfortable getting the information you need to make a confident decision. Feeling rushed or pressured is almost always an indicator to look elsewhere for your treatment needs.
Spinal cord stimulator surgery at USA Spine Care
At USA Spine Care, our dedicated team is passionate about providing the highest level of patient-centered care to everyone who comes to us for relief. Our state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery centers are staffed by expert and highly experienced surgeons who have been performing surgical procedures for spinal cord stimulators for years. We want to help you find the relief you need to get back to the healthy and active lifestyle you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about our procedures, facilities and surgeons.
Call toll free 1-866-249-1627.