Spinal Cord Stimulation Specialist

Southern Pain and Spine

Pain Management & Interventional Spine Specialists located in Gainesville, Jasper, & Athens, GA

Spinal cord stimulation is a treatment that stops pain signals from ever reaching your brain via an implanted device. At Southern Pain and Spine in Gainesville, Athens, Fayetteville, and Jasper, Georgia, Ankur Patel, DO, RPH, Jordan Tate, MD, MPH, and the team implant spinal cord stimulators for patients with chronic pain who haven’t experienced significant results from more conservative therapies. To schedule a consultation, call Southern Pain and Spine or book an appointment online today.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q&A

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is a treatment for chronic pain that works by disrupting the pain signals before they have a chance to reach your brain. The treatment involves an implanted device that includes electrodes for your spinal cord, a battery pack or generator, and a remote control you use to operate the device.

Typically, the team at Southern Pain and Spine recommends spinal cord stimulation when less invasive treatments for chronic pain have not given you sufficient relief. Getting a spinal cord stimulator involves a minor surgery and a trial period beforehand to see if the treatment works well for you. 

Spinal cord stimulation can fit into your comprehensive treatment plan alongside physical medicine and behavior modification. It reduces or eliminates your need for pain medications like narcotics, which carry a risk of addiction and overdose.

What does spinal cord stimulation treat?

Spinal cord stimulation treats a wide variety of painful chronic conditions that don’t respond well to other conservative treatments, like spinal injections or medications. The team at Southern Pain and Spine routinely uses spinal cord stimulation to help manage conditions like:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
  • Pelvic pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

If the Southern Pain and Spine team believes spinal cord stimulation may benefit you, they tell you more information about how it works and what the effects may be for your specific condition. Then, they talk to you about starting the trial. 

What is the implantation process for a spinal cord stimulator?

Before the team can implant your permanent spinal cord stimulator, you must go through a trial stage with a temporary device. This is to see if having a spinal cord stimulator benefits you. The team guides the electrodes into the epidural space around your spine using fluoroscopy, or X-ray, guidance. The temporary generator stays outside your body attached to a belt.

If the week-long trial period goes well, you can undergo the procedure for permanent implantation. It takes around two hours in the office at Southern Pain and Spine. During the procedure, the team makes two incisions in your back. They place the permanent electrodes through one of the incisions and implant the generator in another. 

Once the device is secure in place, the team closes the incisions. They tell you about the maintenance your specific device needs, such as charging or changing the battery. You also learn about how to live with a spinal cord stimulator since the device can disrupt imaging scans, airport security, and other machinery. 

If you’re interested in learning more about spinal cord stimulation for pain, schedule your appointment with Southern Pain and Spine by calling the nearest office or requesting a referral online today.