C O A S T A L

Spinal Cord Stimulator with Coastal Neurosurgery & Spine

Spinal Cord Stimulator

If you're a chronic pain sufferer and have tried other therapies that have failed, our Surgeons at Coastal may recommend a spinal cord stimulation.

Spinal cord stimulators (SCS) are implantable neurostimulation devices designed specifically for managing back pain and neck pain syndromes, as well as other complex conditions. Over 50,000 people have spinal cord stimulators safely implanted every year according to the American Assoc. of Neurological Surgeons to deliver long-term pain relief without needing drugs or major surgery.


Pain sensations originate from nervous system cells by sending electrochemical signals to the brain. Since pain signals are part electrical and part chemical, researchers have learned that it is possible to block pain signals using low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate the spinal cord.

Many patients are considered for SCS to avoid minimally invasive spine surgery or spinal fusion surgery.

Pain

Neurological Conditions Treated by a Spinal Cord Stimulator

The arachnoid is one of three protective membranes protecting the spinal cord and brain. The arachnoid may develop painful inflammation due to viral or bacterial infections, spinal surgery complications, epidural steroid injections or spinal cord injuries. Symptoms of arachnoiditis include burning/stinging pain in your lower back and legs, numbness and debilitating muscle spasms. Severe arachnoiditis could cause incontinence and bowel dysfunction.


Failed Back Syndrome


Also called post-laminectomy (cervical or lumbar) syndrome, failed back syndrome is characterized by recurring or persistent pain involving the legs and lower back. People with failed back syndrome often have a build-up of thickened scar tissue that restricts movement and worsens pain. This type of scar tissue and associated pain cannot be corrected with surgery but responds well to spinal cord stimulation.

Treatment for failed back surgery syndrome may include physical therapy, nerve blocks, medications, injections or a chronic pain management program. If the pain is possibly coming from the facet or sacroiliac joints, chiropractic care may be recommended as well.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

A chronic nerve disorder causing intensely painful, burning sensations in the feet, legs, hands and arms, complex regional pain syndrome often arises after injury to the tissues or nerves in or surrounding the affected area. Other symptoms of CRPS include extreme changes to the skin involving sensitivity, moistness and temperature of the skin. Doctors do not know what exactly causes CRPS. Currently, there is no cure for CRPS, but implantation of a spinal cord stimulator can give CRPS patients long-term relief of pain.

Types of Scoliosis Treatment in the Panhandle

Scoliosis is most often diagnosed in childhood. As a congenital disorder, it is typically recognized very early, which is lucky in terms of treatment. That’s not to say that all individuals receive scoliosis treatment in childhood, however. Some do not, while others do but still need it in adulthood. No matter what your scoliosis story is, it’s important to continue care throughout life to prevent symptoms from getting worse.


Scoliosis treatment, fortunately, is very common – as indicated by AANS. That means doctors have a deep familiarity with these treatments, making them both available and safe. When a physician prescribes a course of scoliosis treatment, they will first start at the least invasive forms of care, then progress to more invasive ones. These include:


  • Non-surgical treatments: A range of adjustments can help you align your spine and body better, heal from injury, experience less pain and live a more normal life.
  • Exercise: While exercising won’t help reverse spinal curvature, they do help prevent progression or worsening of the disease. There are a number of exercises you can
  • Bracing: Wearing a specific brace can give the spine the support it needs to halt or slow progression.
  • Spinal Fusion Surgery: While it is a last resort, spinal surgery is a very good option to have.

Neuropathy/Nerve Damage/Neuritis

When the protective layer of myelin covering nerves, cells deteriorates and exposes nerve cells to environmental stressors (high blood glucose in diabetics, for example), nerve damage occurs causing pain, tingling, numbness and prickly sensations in various areas of the body. Over 100 different types of neuropathy exist, with each producing specific symptoms characteristic of its underlying cause. Severe signs of a neuropathy involve muscle wasting, partial paralysis, gland/organ dysfunction and burning pain that does not respond to medications.

Who are Good Candidates for Implantation of a Spinal Cord Stimulator?<

When you visit Coastal Neursurgical & Spine for diagnosis of your chronic pain, back pain and/or neck pain, your provider will evaluate your candidacy for SCS treatment by determining if you meet the following criteria:


  • Pain is not coming from a malignancy (such as a tumor or mass)
  • You have tried conservative treatments without success for at least six months
  • Revision surgery has a very low chance for being successful and is not really an option
  • You are not wearing a pacemaker
  • You have no medical contraindications
  • You have not been diagnosed with a major psychiatric disorder
  • You are capable of giving informed consent for implantation of a spinal cord stimulator

What is the SCS Trial Procedure?<

Spinal cord stimulators are initially implanted on a trial basis to determine if the implant works for you. During this trial phase, a lead connected to a trial SCS is implanted temporarily. Trial stimulators are guided by at least one stimulation program customized to address specific areas of your chronic pain. Trial phases are essential for helping patients and their physicians assess whether the implant effectively alleviates pain and for determine which kind of spinal cord stimulator technology works best for you.

What Happens During the Actual Implantation Procedure?

If the trial period proves successful with eliminating neck pain, back pain and other chronic pain, your doctor will go ahead with permanently implanting a spinal cord stimulator system. However, since this procedure is a reversible therapy, SCS may be stopped at any time and the implanted components removed or simply turned off.


During implantation of surgical leads, patients are given a general anesthesia. If leads are placed underneath the skin, local anesthetics and light sedation is administered. Leads are placed into the spinal cord's epidural space using a very small needle. The exact location of leads depends on where pain originates. A spinal cord stimulator generator is typically implanted in the buttock or abdominal region.


Most spinal cord stimulator patients return home the same day of the procedure. Upon leaving the hospital, patients are provided with instructions for incision care and how to regulate and program the spinal cord stimulator device.


If you think you may be a candidate for SCS implantation, please call us now or email us at .

Now Take the First Steps Toward Feeling Better

Schedule Appointment

Take Control Of Your Pain Through Education

Our goal is to improve and maintain your overall health by empowering you with an understanding of your condition and wellness plan. We know there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all cure, so we never use a one-size-fits-all approach to your diagnosis.

Schedule An Appointment

Insurances We Accept

Not covered by any of these plans? Contact us and we will find a solution for you.

Your path to a pain free life starts here

Make An Appointment
Right Now.

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Treatment with Coastal Neurosurgery & Spine

Facts About SI Joint Pain (Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction)

Lower back and leg pain can stem from issues with the sacroiliac joint. Pain caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction can easily be confused with a lumbar disc herniation (sciatica) because it is a similar, radiating pain. An estimated 15% to 30% of all lower back pain problems is due to sacroiliac joint issues.

The sacroiliac joint is located between the tailbone and the lumbar spine. The purpose of the sacroiliac joint is to absorb shock that occurs between the upper body, the pelvis and the legs. When the joint is not working properly, the instability or tension can cause problems that lead to pain and immobility.

Pain

What Causes SI Joint Dysfunction?

  • Too much mobility (hypermobility or instability) will cause the pelvis to lack stability and pain will be felt in the lower back, hip and even the groin area.
  • Too stiff (hypomobility or fixation) and the pelvis will feel tense, painful and may limit your mobility. The pain in this scenario will likely lead to pain in the side of the low back, buttocks or even pain down the back of the leg, feeling very similar to sciatica pain.

When inflammation occurs in the joint, it can lead to these problems. Women who have recently been pregnant are more susceptible to sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Young and middle-aged women are the most common to struggle with SI joint pain.

Treatment Options for SI Joint Pain

In most cases, there is more than one treatment—but not all treatments are created equal and may not work without side effects. Some doctors resort to surgery and medications without trying non-invasive approaches first. Here at Coastal Neurosurgery & Spine, we start with treatment strategies that promote natural healing and pain relief.


  • Physical Therapy: Certain movements, exercises, and stretches can help improve the mobility and strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments to help support the SI joint. Your Coastal provider can help you know what movements will most help your condition.
  • Radiofrequency Rhizotomy: This nonsurgical procedure stops the pain with heat by “burning” the nerve causing the pain. This interruption can provide some much-needed relief during the healing process.
  • Injections: We use injections, like epidural steroid injections, to help reduce inflammation and allow healing to occur. This is a fast-acting pain relief method that should only be used with other therapies to actually address the cause of the pain.
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery: While we never turn to this as our first option of treatment, our spine surgeons will certainly consider minimally invasive joint pain surgery as a potential treatment option. We want to have every helpful option available so each patient is treated with an individualized plan that works best for them.
  • Sacroiliac Joint Fusion: Typically our last option, we only suggest SI joint fusion if the other joint pain treatment options aren’t working as desired. The fusion stops the movement in the joint, reducing the pressure causing the discomfort.

If you are struggling with lower back pain that radiates into your legs or groin, you should see a chiropractor today to treat the underlying cause. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can find relief and stop things from getting worse. Adjustments and other therapies have brought relief to many of our patients within just a few visits. We want to help you find a solution that gets you back to feeling great again. Call us now to schedule your Coastal Neurosurgery and Spine consultation!

Now Take the First Steps Toward Feeling Better

Schedule Appointment

Take Control Of Your Pain Through Education

Our goal is to improve and maintain your overall health by empowering you with an understanding of your condition and wellness plan. We know there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all cure, so we never use a one-size-fits-all approach to your diagnosis.

Schedule An Appointment

Insurances We Accept

Not covered by any of these plans? Contact us and we will find a solution for you.

Your path to a pain free life starts here

Make An Appointment
Right Now.