What is a spinal cord stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator is a small device that is surgically implanted directly into the spine that helps to relieve pain and other symptoms through gentle electrical impulses. Since the spinal cord is responsible for transmitting sensory and motor information from the brain to the rest of the body, injuries and complications can result in debilitating pain and severe mobility problems.
Spinal cord stimulators have been developed as a treatment for patients who have exhausted conservative treatment options without finding relief from spinal cord pain. The team at USA Spine Care wants to help patients learn about the wide array of treatment options that are available that can lead to improved quality of life and lasting pain relief. If you have questions or want more information as you read over the following information, please contact us at any time.
What conditions are spinal cord stimulators used for?
The spine is intricately constructed to protect the spinal cord, but it is also tasked with supporting the upper and lower body and allowing for movement and flexibility. This puts the spinal cord and surrounding nerves at risk for compression and other injuries. Although not every spine condition is best treated with a spinal cord stimulator, commonly treated conditions include:
- Chronic back pain and leg pain due to age-related conditions like arthritis or degenerative disc disease
- Complications related to previous spine surgery, also known as failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)
- Arachnoiditis, or painful inflammation of the thin membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord
- Neuropathy related to diabetes
- Complex regional pain syndrome, a progressive condition that causes pain in the extremities
While medical researchers are still working to fully understand the mechanisms of spinal cord stimulation, there is strong evidence that this is an effective form of treatment for many patients dealing with chronic pain.
Spinal cord stimulator procedure and recovery overview
Before receiving a permanent spinal cord stimulator, patients will typically first undergo a trial procedure to determine if it will be effective. A spinal cord stimulator consists of two electrodes and a battery pack similar to a pacemaker. For the trial procedure, a single tiny incision is made to insert the electrodes into the epidural space of the spine while the battery remains outside of the body. Over a short period of time, patients can determine if spinal cord stimulation helps them experience long-term relief.
For the permanent implantation, the electrodes will be replaced with new ones that the surgeon anchors to the body and the battery pack will be implanted safely under the skin, often near the base of the spine. This is still performed as an outpatient procedure and generally only takes one to hours. Recovery is minimal, with the incision healing in about two to four weeks, with doctors recommending light activity for the first couple of weeks.
Spinal cord stimulator cost 2020-2021
The cost for a spinal cord stimulator procedure depends on a wide array of factors, including the device being used and the insurance carrier. Medicare patients should be aware that spinal cord stimulators have been approved under CPT code 63650. USA Spine Care works with Medicare and most private health insurances, as well as workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Our team can answer any questions about cost.
Reach out to the experts at USA Spine Care today
If you’ve exhausted conservative treatment options and chronic pain is reducing your ability to spend time with your family and perform at your job, spinal cord stimulation could be a potential treatment option. Our world class surgical team at USA Spine Care has decades of experience helping patients find the relief they deserve through spinal cord stimulation and other treatment options.
To learn more, contact our dedicated team today.
Call toll free 1- 866-249-1627.