New Port Richey Spinal Cord Stimulation Doctor
If you are suffering from chronic pain and other treatments have not offered relief, you may be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation. While spinal cord stimulation may not bring complete pain relief, it could reduce pain levels by 50 percent or more. This may be the difference between disability and living a relatively normal life.
A New Port Richey spinal cord stimulation doctor may know whether you are a good candidate for this type of treatment. A skilled doctor could discuss your pain with you to help create a treatment plan that works for you.
The Spinal Cord Stimulator
Spinal cord stimulators are available in several forms. They all work by delivering a low electric current to the spinal cord for pain signal blockage, and each contains a battery-operated pulse generator, a lead wire with electrodes delivering impulses, and a handheld remote control so the patient may adjust the settings.
While conventional systems do not require much maintenance on the patient’s part, they must undergo minor surgery when the power source runs out. Patients may opt for a rechargeable system, where they could recharge the device.
Rechargeable systems last longer than conventional systems. At some point, the power source may also require replacement via minor surgery. For patients in the most severe pain, a radiofrequency system is also an option. For this, the patient must keep an external power source on the body to enable stimulation.
The Treatment Procedure in New Port Richey
Spinal cord stimulation works by masking the pain signals from the spinal cord before they reach the brain. In lieu of pain, the patient feels a mild tingling sensation.
Before permanently implanting the stimulation device, each patient goes through a spinal cord stimulation trial lasting a week or so. During the trial period, the New Port Richey doctor will instruct the patient on the use of the spinal cord stimulator. If a patient does not experience considerable pain relief during that period or does not like the sensation of the stimulator, the physician will help find a different treatment plan. If they decide the stimulator helps, the doctor will install a permanent device.
Prior to installation, the doctor orders a battery of tests performed to ensure the patient is a good candidate for the procedure. This could include chest X-rays, blood tests and electrocardiogram.
The surgery itself lasts between one and two hours. The patient lies on their stomach and is given light sedation. The doctor implants the device into the back guided by fluoroscopy. Once installed, the doctor will do test stimulations. The patient must avoid strenuous activities for the next six weeks.
Contraindications and Side Effects
Not every chronic pain patient is a candidate for spinal cord stimulation. Those with implanted pacemakers or defibrillators are not to have spinal cord stimulators installed. Spinal cord stimulators also may not suitable for pregnant women and those with substance abuse issues.
In some patients, a spinal cord stimulator implantation may result in pain or infection at the implant site, gastrointestinal difficulties or bladder leakage. It is important to see a New Port Richey doctor if these complications result following a spinal cord stimulation procedure.
Consult a New Port Richey Spinal Cord Stimulation Doctor
If you would like more information about spinal cord stimulation and whether you are a candidate for this procedure, call today and schedule an appointment. A New Port Richey spinal cord stimulation doctor can explain the entire procedure so you can make an informed decision.