Spinal Cord Stimulation for Intractable Chronic Pain
If successful, spinal cord stimulation can help you manage certain types of chronic pain that have not responded to other treatments and improve your ability to participate in your usual daily activities.1,2 Talk with your doctor about activities that may be easier with spinal cord stimulation. Many people experience improvements in their pain symptoms and quality of life after receiving Medtronic spinal cord stimulation.
After the initial healing period, neurostimulation therapy for pain relief will become a routine part of your day.
A typical follow-up schedule is once every 6 months, although initially the neurostimulation system may require more frequent adjustments. Your doctor may want to see you more or less frequently, depending on your pain treatment plan.
Between visits, you should call your doctor if:
Realistic expectations are key to satisfaction with any pain treatment. It is important to remember that your neurostimulator will not eliminate the source of your pain or cure any underlying disease, but can help relieve your pain.
Your patient programmer not only allows you to adjust your stimulation settings, but also alerts you when action must be taken with your programmer or neurostimulation system.
Warning screens indicate a problem with the programmer, recharger, or neurostimulator. See the controller (programmer) manual for more explanation of each Warning screen.
|Red triangle with an exclamation point||Warning screen|
|Orange triangle with an exclamation point||Alert screen|
|Blue circle with the letter "I"||Notification screen|
Alert screens indicate a pairing or other connection problem between the programmer, recharger, or neurostimulator. See the controller (programmer) manual for more explanation of each Alert screen.
Notification screens provide information about stimulation settings, error conditions, and battery levels. See the controller (programmer) manual for more explanation of each Notification screen.
Warning screens indicate a problem with the patient programmer, the antenna, or the neurostimulator. If the audio is turned on, three tones alert you to the message.
Following are some of the warning screens you may encounter and the actions you should take.
|Programmer Batteries Are Low
Replace the programmer batteries before they become depleted.
|Replace Programmer Batteries
Replace the programmer batteries now.
Reposition the programmer over the neurostimulator with the screen facing outward and try again. If using a detachable antenna, check to make sure the antenna is connected properly, reposition the antenna, and try again.
|Nonrechargeable Implanted Neurostimulator Battery Level Is Low
Call your clinician. The implanted nonrechargeable neurostimulator is nearing end of service. Stimulation will not be available soon.
|Call Your Doctor
Read the error code at the bottom of the screen. Error codes 0 to 252: Remove batteries from the patient programmer, wait several seconds, then re-insert the batteries. If the error message appears again, call your doctor. Other codes: Write down the code shown on the screen and call your doctor.
|Call Your Doctor
Your neurostimulator has reached end of service. Stimulation is not available. Call your doctor.
For complete information about screens that may appear on your patient programmer, refer to the Patient Programmer Manual.
If you no longer need the neurostimulator or change your mind about the pain treatment, your doctor can turn it off or remove the system.
Kumar K, Taylor RS, Jacques L, et al. Spinal cord stimulation versus conventional medical management for neuropathic pain: a multicentre randomised controlled trial in patients with failed back surgery syndrome. Pain. 2007;132:179-188.
Kumar K, et al. The Effects of Spinal Cord Stimulation in Neuropathic Pain Are Sustained: A 24-month Follow-up of the Prospective Randomized Controlled Multicenter Trial of the Effectiveness of Spinal Cord Stimulation. Neurosurgery. 2008; 63:762-770.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.