Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial Procedure

A spinal cord stimulator may be a safe and effective way to treat pain by interfering with the pain signals from reaching the brain. A trial is necessary prior to the Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant to see if one would indeed get the relief and qualify for the permanent device. The trial is conducted by placing the patient on their belly, localizing the entry point using a special x-ray machine (fluoroscopy), and injecting some local anesthetic agent to numb the area. A specialized needle is then inserted under fluoroscopy and an electrode advanced to the desired site. The electrode is then secured to the skin using special tape and connected to an external stimulator. The device is then programmed and turned on. Over the next few days, you will get an idea of whether or not it is providing you with adequate relief, and if so, will proceed with the permanent implantation. The temporary electrodes are typically removed in a few (2-5) days once the patient has had a chance to evaluate the effectiveness of pain control.