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Understanding the Basics Behind Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation
What is Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation?
For most people, non-surgical options are all it takes to alleviate spine pain.
But for those patients who require further treatment, a spinal cord stimulator implant in Kansas City might be the best choice.
Spinal cord stimulators are a device implanted directly into your skin, usually near your buttocks or abdomen. This device allows patients to send electrical impulses using a remote control (located outside of the body) when feeling pain.
Despite the source, for many patients, it is fairly common for the level of back pain to wax and wane. Some signs that a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant may be necessary include:
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance Spinal Cord Stimulator Assessment
Assessing the Condition
Finding the right back pain treatment in Kansas City starts with an assessment.
During your appointment, you will meet with your KCOA physician of choice to discuss your condition, pain levels, exacerbating factors that increase or decrease pain, previous treatments, and more. From there, your provider will perform a physical exam and other necessary diagnostic studies. With your history, examination, and test results, your spine surgeon can build a treatment plan and determine whether a spinal cord stimulator implant in Kansas City is your best solution.
Your physician will utilize diagnostic tests to determine the severity of your spinal issues. Commonly, you may have an X-ray exam to help diagnose the source of your pain. You may also undergo other testing such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scan or electromyography (EMG).
Establishing a Care Plan
Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered specifically to you. From there, we outline what you can expect with your spinal cord stimulator implantation and how to prepare for your procedure.
The decision to implant a spinal cord stimulator rests on a number of factors. Your physician will thoroughly discuss all options to help control your pain that are less invasive than the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator before moving forward with the procedure.
Prior to your procedure, you will typically receive at least 2 phone calls:
Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:
Pre-procedure instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your procedure. Always check with your physician prior to your procedure for specific instructions.
Most physicians require patients to not eat or drink after midnight prior to their procedure the next day. Additionally, you may need to designate a family member or friend to drive you home from the procedure. We recommend people having this type of procedure not drive themselves home.
Day of Procedure
If you schedule your procedure with a specialist from KCOA, you can expect the following on the day of the procedure:
What to Expect
After your same-day procedure is complete, the incision area may be painful for several days. You will follow up you’re your physician 2 weeks after the procedure at which time your staples or sutures will be removed. Additional follow-ups will be at 6 weeks and then annually thereafter.
There will be restrictions on activities for the 6 weeks following implantation, and this will include no excessive bending, rotation, lifting greater than 10 pounds of lifting above shoulder height. After 6 weeks have been completed, there would be no further restrictions to activities.
How it Works
Spinal Cord Stimulators
Spinal cord stimulators work by replacing normal pain sensations with paresthesia, or light tingling. For patients who are uncomfortable with paresthesia, there are also newer devices with stimulation that can’t be felt.
Spinal cord stimulators work by replacing normal pain sensations with paresthesia, or light tingling.
For patients who are uncomfortable with paresthesia, there are also newer devices with stimulation that can’t be felt.
The procedure starts with an insurance-required psychological evaluation. This is a very common requirement. We have a psychologist we recommend who makes this part of the procedure painless.
Your physician will then start you with a trial period lasting 5-7 days. During this time, your physician will implant a temporary device so you can test if it’s right for you. A unique type of X-ray, called a fluoroscopy, guides your physician as he or she carefully inserts the electrodes in their correct spaces along your spine.
This trial typically only requires one to two needle sticks in your lower back to place the electrodes. Usually, the procedure is also done under “twilight” anesthesia for your comfort. The generator for your temporary device will be outside your body, typically worn on a belt around your waist.
Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation
If the trial goes well, your physician will move forward with your spinal cord stimulator implantation generally 1-2 weeks later. That procedure usually takes less than one hour and is performed as an outpatient procedure under “twilight “or General Anesthesia.
Your physician will then make an incision near your buttocks to place the generator. Then, a second incision is made along your spine to insert the permanent electrodes. Each incision is roughly the length of a credit card.
Once the electrodes and generator are connected, your physician will close the incisions.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Back Pain
Back pain can manifest in many different forms. Anything from dull aching, acute, point-specific pain to symptoms that radiate into the buttocks, hips, and down the legs are all commonly related to back pain. Debilitating pain, an inability to lift the leg or foot, an inability to stand upright and loss of bowel or bladder control are signs that immediate treatment is necessary.
Causes of back pain
There are many different causes of back pain. At KCOA, we utilize advanced technologies and testing to accurately diagnose the source of your pain. With a proper diagnosis, we can appropriately assign target therapies and interventions for your specific pain, leading to a faster recovery.
Ongoing Treatment and Continued Care
Once your physician approves normal activities, typically 2 weeks after your procedure, you are free to return to your daily life. The pain relief provided by spinal cord stimulator implants in Kansas City is usually significant; it allows patients to do much more than they could prior to implantation.
There are some lifestyle changes that come with your spinal cord stimulator implant, like turning off the device while driving. You should also always inform any of your doctors about your implant, since diagnostic tests like MRIs can possibly cause issues if they aren’t compatible with your device.
Don’t compromise quality care.
Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.
With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.
Overland Park, Kansas10777 Nall Ave Suite 300 Overland Park, KS 66211
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Merriam, Kansas7450 W. Frontage Rd Merriam, KS 66203
Dr. Mark Winston is the best.
Dr. Mark Winston is the best. He is a caring and attentive physician who made a very painful injury so much easier for me. The staff is very professional and do an awesome job.
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The best staff. Everyone in this office are extremely friendly. I would recommend this office to anyone.