Many people suffer from persistent sciatica (aka radiculopathy) despite spinal surgery (aka failed back syndrome). Many also suffer from painful neuropathy and RSD (aka reflex sympathetic dystrophy or complex regional pain syndrome) . Spinal cord stimulation is a great scientific breakthrough treatment for these difficult to treat conditions.
Previous treatments were very limited and patients suffered due to severe pain. Traditional treatments include physical therapy and pain medications. If a patient failed spinal surgery, repeat surgery was often offered. Success of repeat surgery is often lower than the intial spinal surgery. For painful peripheral neuropathy options are even more limited. Patients are often so disabled that they can’t work and can’t participate in normal daily activities like walking or excercising.
Spinal cord stimulator is an implanted device. It works by sending low grade electrical impulses to the nerves of the spinal cord. These nerves are involved in carrying pain sensation to the brain. This is effective in blocking the pain impulses and results in pain relief. In many cases pain relief is so significant that many patients reduce or stop taking pain medications and return to work.
Before the implantation step of this device, a trial (test) period is used to see if the device will help. If pain relief is not good, the surgical step of implantation is not recommended. If pain relief is excellent, implantation is recommended. Because this therapy is not indicated for everyone, a thorough history, physical exam and MRI review is necessary before this treatment can be recommended.
A herniated disc can be a source of severe pain that radiates into the arm or into the leg. It can also be associated with numbness, tingling, pins and needles, or weakness. A herniated disc can often be a source of severe dysfunction, including many days missed from work. Simple tasks like walking, standing, and sitting can seem like an impossible task.
Typical medical treatments include physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, and pain medications. In severe cases surgery is recommended. Percutaneous Discectomy is a minimally invasive alternative to open or endoscopic spinal surgery. What makes it different than traditional surgery is there is no incision, no general anesthesia, and no prolonged recovery. Procedure is done outpatient with light sedation.
After a diagnosis of herniated disc is confirmed on MRI, an epidural steroid injection is done to reduce the inflammation around the irritated nerve root. If pain relief is inadequate a percutaneous discectomy is scheduled.
A small tubular device called a STRYKER DEKOMPRESSOR is used to enter the disc. A small amount of herniated disc material call nucleus palposus is removed. This results in the decompression of the herniated disc and pain relief. This procedure is not for everyone with a herniated disc. But if appropriate for your condition, it presents a great minimally invasive option.