A spinal cord stimulator is an implanted device that is inserted over the middle of the spinal cord to help with unremitting back and leg pain from a spinal source that does not respond to surgery or injections. This can be a very effective treatment because the electrical leads inserted over the spinal cord can disrupt the pain signals on their way to the brain. We will do a trial of the device for one week and if you have a good result, we will refer you to a surgeon for definitive implantation. After implantation, the leads can be programmed with external software to give you the best pain control.
A peripheral nerve stimulator is like a spinal cord stimulator, but instead of placing the leads over the spine itself, smaller peripheral nerves are targeted. Any nerve can be a potential source of pain when there is impingement upon it, so if we are able to identify a nerve through physical exam and imaging studies it can be a potential target for a peripheral nerve stimulator. Like a spinal cord stimulator, the leads can be adjusted through external software to give you the greatest pain control.