Pinellas County Spinal Cord Stimulation Doctor

If you suffer from long-term back pain and have not been able to obtain relief, you probably wish there were a device that could simply banish your pain. It turns out such an item exists, and it is known as a spinal cord stimulator.

While this device does not stop the source of your pain, it does block the pain signals from reaching your brain, offering great relief. A Pinellas County spinal cord stimulation doctor can ease your pain by implanting this device. A well-versed doctor can work with you to determine whether this is the correct solution to your pain.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

Think of the spinal cord stimulator as a pacemaker for the spine. Once a spinal cord stimulator is implanted, it will prevent the brain from receiving pain signals. While the device may not eliminate all back pain, it is designed to reduce pain by 50 to 70 percent, which the difference between leading a normal life and a more limited one for many people.

The surgery to implant the device is performed under local anesthesia. A hollow needle containing very fine wires is inserted into the epidural space. It may prove necessary to remove part of the small bone known as the lamina to provide room for the permanent wire leads. Those leads are implanted and the generator is then placed under the skin in either the chest, buttocks, or abdomen. The wires and generator are then connected.

The Two Types of Spinal Cord Stimulators

Spinal cord stimulators are available in two basic varieties. Those containing a non-rechargeable battery require replacement every two to five years, while those with replaceable batteries may last a decade or more. However, with the latter, it is the patient’s responsibility to recharge the battery daily.

While the patient may feel a slight bump at the implantation site, no one will see it when the person is clothed. Though the surgery is minimally invasive, the patient should still expect a recovery period of up to six weeks before they can resume all normal activities.

Who is a Candidate For This Treatment?

Not everyone with back pain is a candidate for spinal cord stimulation. Patients who have a pacemaker cannot have a spinal cord stimulator, nor can those with a systemic infection. The device is also not used on patients diagnosed with severe depression or other psychological conditions that may affect pain perception. Spinal cord stimulators are also generally not implanted in those who smoke, although they could be a consideration if the patient successfully quits this habit.

The Pinellas County spinal cord stimulation doctor will take a thorough medical history and perform an examination to see whether a patient is a candidate. Spinal cord stimulation is generally reserved for those for whom back surgery was ineffective at providing pain relief. The doctor will explain all aspects of the device and surgery and makes sure the patient understands the procedure and potential benefits.

Prior to final implantation, a trial simulator is installed. If the patient does not receive significant relief during the trial period, there may be little point in performing the permanent surgery and the doctor and patient will explore other options.

A Spinal Cord Stimulation Doctor in Pinellas County Can Provide Relief

If surgery has not solved your back pain, you still have options. A spinal cord simulator could help you find the long-term relief you need. If you are ready to explore your options, contact a Pinellas County spinal cord stimulation doctor today.