GULF COAST
PAIN MANAGEMENT 
  
Northwood Plaza Medical Building
3001 Eastland Boulevard Suite 7
Clearwater, Florida 33761
 
 

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Phone: (727) 789-0891
Fax: (727) 789-1570
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Gulf Coast Pain Management
SPINAL CORD STIMULATION
Pre-Procedure Instructions
 

There have been many improvements in the treatment of chronic pain. Many patients benefit from a variety of treatment approaches, but there are those patients for whom relief is not so easily achievable. Better understanding of the chemical and physical mechanisms of pain has led to newer, very sophisticated approaches to the relief of pain.

One therapy that offers potential for relief of intractable pain is Spinal Cord Stimulation. Spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, is the technique of electrical stimulation of a precise portion of the spinal cord, with very low energy current, which essentially shuts down the input of pain fibers from a desired portion of the body. The technique provides pain relief, but dues not interfere with normal sensation, normal muscular ability, or any other bodily function.

SCS is accomplished using a small wire electrode, or lead, which is passed through the skin, and comes to rest close to the spinal cord, along the segment of the cord that is involved with a patient's pain. One end of the lead rests in what is called the "epidural space," and, the other end is attached to a battery operated signal generator, about the size of an oatmeal cookie. After the SCS lead is placed properly, the signal generator is adjusted to provide a "pattern" of stimulation that provides maximal pain relief for the patient.

Not all patients are candidates for this therapeutic approach, but for those who are, relief can be expected in patients between 70% and 80% of the time.

Indications for SCS Treatment
1. Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
2. Adhesive Arachnoiditis
3. Phantom Limb or Stump Pain
4. Peripheral Neuropathy
5. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Causalgia, and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
6. Ischemic Pain

Patient Selection

Generally, successful outcome is most likely when the physicians carefully considers patient selection. Patients do best if most of the pain is experienced in the limbs, if the patient demonstrates minimal psychological difficulty, and if there is no substance abuse.

The Spinal Cord Stimulation Technique

The SCS procedure is essentially a two-step modality. The first step involves the use of a temporary lead, which is place through the skin to the targeted level of the spinal cord. The temporary lead exists the skin and is attached to a battery-signal generator which is worn on the belt. The temporary, or trial lead, is kept in place for 3 - 5 days.

If satisfactory pain relief is obtained, the temporary lead is removed, and at a later date, a permanent lead is placed at the same location. The remainder of the lead and the signal generator are implanted under the skin. The signal generator is about the size of a pacemaker battery, which is quite small.

After placement under the skin, and after the bandage is removed, normal activities are possible.  Little special care is required for the system, although periodic medical evaluation is a good idea. There are very few special considerations, and many patients return to a more normal, satisfying life.

PLEASE NOTE:

There are remarkably few circumstances where relief of pain is unachievable. The diagnostic skill of the physician is the most important determinant of successful treatment of pain. Judgment, which is the ability to properly decide which of many therapeutic paths to choose, is also important. Without technical skill, or the physical ability to perform a medical procedure, the ability to treat a complicated patient fails.

Before considering any intervention, it is extremely important that the patient makes certain that the physician is properly informed, properly trained, and uses the highest quality equipment. 
 

Cancer Pain Management - cancer pain, cancer education, pain management, chronic pain
Get real answers at Gulf Coast Pain Management.
If you have any questions whatsoever regarding this procedure,
please do not hesitate to ask Lynne Carr Columbus, D.O.

 

 
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at Gulf Coast Pain Management


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Lynne Carr Columbus, D.O.

NEW Office Address
Office Hours 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Phone: (727) 789-0891 office Fax: (727) 789-1570
Northwood Plaza Medical Building

3001 Eastland Blvd. Suite 7 Clearwater, FL 33761
 

   

                                    

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