Spinal Cord Stimulation – North Texas*

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About Spinal Stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation uses mild electrical pulses from a small implanted device to interfere with pain messages being sent to the brain. Spinal cord stimulation has been used for decades to treat a wide range of back pain as non-pharmaceutical solutions for pain management have become more popular. Unlike many spinal procedures that involve major surgery and permanently affixing hardware to the spinal column, spinal cord stimulation devices can be tested for a one-week trial period to see if the patient perceives any benefit. Dr. Kendall Carll of Spine Care of North Texas is a board-certified, fellowship-trained spine surgeon with more than 15 years of experience treating complex back conditions. Dr. Carll uses spinal cord stimulation to help chronic back pain sufferers achieve relief. Contact one of our North Texas facilities for more information.

Ideal Candidates

Only an experienced spine surgeon can determine if you are an ideal candidate for spinal cord stimulation. Dr. Carll recommends this procedure to patients who have:

  • Chronic pain after one or more back or neck surgeries (sometimes referred to as failed back surgery syndrome)
  • Arachnoiditis: painful inflammation and scarring of the protective layers of the spinal nerves
  • Chronic back pain with or without leg pain
  • Chronic neck pain with or without arm pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome: a chronic progressive disease characterized by severe pain and swelling
  • Peripheral neuropathy: a constant burning pain of the legs caused by the most distant nerves dying off

Procedure Technique

The implantation procedure will be completed as an outpatient procedure under general and local anesthesia. After numbing the injection site, Dr. Carll will insert a hollow needle into the epidural space with the help of fluoroscopy (x-ray technology). This needle contains the wires, leads, and electrical contacts needed for stimulation. The permanent leads and then implanted, at times requiring the removal of a small portion of the lamina (small bone covering the spinal cord). At this point in the procedure, the patient will be woken up to help Dr. Carll manipulate the leads into the proper place. Next, the patient is put back to sleep while the generator is implanted under the skin. This typically requires a small incision to the abdomen, buttocks, or chest.

What to Expect

As with any surgery, the initial recovery period following spinal cord stimulation implantation can be painful. Complete recovery may take six to eight weeks, and certain physical activities will be off limits for three or four months. While pain medications can be used to treat postoperative pain, long-term use is highly discouraged.

To reach pain relief, each patient will have to develop his or her own spinal stimulation habits. For some people, using a spinal stimulation device that produces high-frequency pulses, as opposed to low-frequency pulses, has proven more effective for pain management. Both high- and low-frequency systems effectively relieve pain in the legs and feet, but low-frequency therapy has generally not worked as well for direct back pain.  Studies have also found that significantly more people improved their back function and were able to reduce or eliminate opioid use when using high-frequency therapy, rather than low-frequency therapy.

Successful Pain Reduction

Spinal cord stimulation does not eliminate all pain but it has the potential to significantly reduce it, helping you to regain a better quality of life. Finding effective treatment for chronic back and neck pain can be challenging, but Dr. Carll and the team at Spine Care of North Texas have helped countless patients find solutions that work for them. If you are interested in and ready to obtain relief from your chronic back pain, there is no better time to get started. We offer treatment from four convenient locations in Frisco, Plano, and Addison, TX. Call us today to schedule your appointment.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.