A spinal cord stimulator may be a safe and effective way to treat pain by interfering with the pain signals from reaching the brain. Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial is necessary prior to the implant to see if you indeed get the relief and qualify for the permanent device.
A permanent device is typically placed under general anesthesia by initially removing a portion of the bony roof (lamina) by performing a laminectomy. This allows for visualization of the spinal epidural space where the electrode(s) will be slid under fluoroscopic (special x-ray machine) guidance. Next, a separate incision will be made in the upper posterior buttock (gluteal) region where the generator will be implanted. Using a special device, the electrodes are tunneled to the gluteal incision where they are attached to the generator. The electrodes are secured in place and the two incisions closed. The patient typically is discharged home within a few hours.