FAQ: What Does A St Jude Spinal Cord Stimulator Look Like?

What does spinal cord stimulator look like?

Spinal cord stimulators consist of thin wires (the electrodes) and a small, pacemaker-like battery pack (the generator). The electrodes are placed between the spinal cord and the vertebrae (the epidural space), and the generator is placed under the skin, usually near the buttocks or abdomen.

Can you see a spinal cord stimulator?

Can you see the spinal cord stimulator when it’s implanted? Some people report that they can feel the device when they apply light pressure with their fingers. The device itself is not generally visible.

How big is the incision for spinal cord stimulator?

During the surgical procedure, the doctor: Makes a small incision ( about 2 to 4 inches long ) on your back and places the leads (medical wires) that deliver the stimulation into the epidural space of your spinal cord.

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What is the life expectancy of a spinal cord stimulator?

With average use, fully implantable non-rechargeable pulse generators have a battery life of between 2 and 5 years. However, a new SCS system with a rechargeable power source may last up to 10-25 years.

What can’t you do with a spinal cord stimulator?

Starting a New Regimen with a Spinal Cord Stimulator After the device is implanted, you need to avoid bending, lifting, twisting, and stretching to give the body time to heal. You can do light exercise, like walking.

Can you shower with a spinal cord stimulator?

You may not shower, bathe or swim with a trial SCS device in, nor can you participate in any of these activities until your sutures have completely healed. After you have your permanent device implanted and your sutures are healed, you can be submerged in water safely.

What are the side effects of a spinal cord stimulator?

ADVERSE EVENTS May include: undesirable change in stimulation (uncomfortable, jolting or shocking); hematoma, epidural hemorrhage, paralysis, seroma, infection, erosion, device malfunction or migration, pain at implant site, loss of pain relief, and other surgical risks.

How often are batteries replaced in a spinal cord stimulator?

When you’re looking at SCS systems with rechargeable batteries, you should consider: Long battery life: Battery life for rechargeable spinal cord stimulators is 7-10 years. Many people can go more than ten years before needing replacement.

Who is a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator?

The best candidates for SCS treatment are patients who suffer from chronic back or neck pain that’s not related to movement. SCS can also benefit patients who have pain remaining after back surgery that is not due to movement, as well as patients with conditions including: Lumbar radiculopathy. Sciatica.

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Why is a psych eval needed for a spinal cord stimulator?

When patients are determined to be eligible and potential candidates for SCS, a psychological assessment is often requested. Psychological evaluation is designed to help identify an ideal patient to achieve maximum benefit from an implanted device.

What can I expect after a spinal cord stimulator implant post op?

Following your surgery, you will likely feel some discomfort at the incision sites for several days. This incisional pain feels like a bruise. If you notice any swelling, pain, or redness near your incision, notify your doctor. Once your incision has healed, the neurostimulator site requires no special care.

What is the success rate of a spinal cord stimulator?

Published studies of spinal cord stimulation show good to excellent long-term relief in 50 to 80% of patients suffering from chronic pain [1-6].

Is spinal cord stimulator a major surgery?

Spinal cord stimulation is an expensive treatment that does involve risk because of the major surgery needed to put the device in place. Spinal cord stimulation is usually used along with other pain management treatment. These include medicines, exercise, and relaxation methods.

How often do you charge a spinal cord stimulator?

Some users prefer shorter recharge times and are willing to recharge their device more often. For example, if a full recharge of a low battery takes about 8 hours once a week, some patients might prefer a 2-hour recharge every other day.

When is a spinal cord stimulator recommended?

When Is Spinal Cord Stimulation Used? Spinal cord stimulation is recommended when other treatments have not been successful, when surgery is not likely to help, or when surgery has failed.

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