Pain is usually managed with non-surgical methods such as oral medications, injections and nerve blocks. When these options fail and severe pain turns into a chronic condition, spinal cord stimulation may be the next step for you. After this procedure, patients feel a tingling sensation in place of their pain.
Spinal cord stimulation is a type of neuromodulation, which is a surgical procedure that implants electrodes in the body to change how the nervous system works. Spinal cord stimulation involves placing the electrodes on the spinal cord to control pain signals. It is a minimally invasive procedure, requiring a small incision over the targeted area.
If medications and other therapies fail to treat your pain symptoms, your doctor considers surgical options. You may also be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation if you experience:
Patients are awake during spinal cord stimulation surgery so we can test the electrodes and make sure they are in the right place. A local anesthetic is used. The procedure happens in two stages:
Interested in spinal cord stimulation at UCLA? Get prepared for your first appointment.