Female patient hands a clipboard to female physician



THE TRIAL
SPINAL CORD STIMULATION

YOU DESERVE TO TRY IT FIRST

An Intellis™ screening and spinal cord stimulator trial helps you take control of your treatment and assess how well the neurostimulator relieves your pain during different activities.

Afterwards, you and your doctor will decide if you should proceed with a permanent spinal cord stimulator implant.

FIND A PHYSICIAN
Male physician speaks to older male patient about spinal cord stimulation therapy

MARTY'S STORY

“The day I left the hospital with my temporary neurostimulator, my grandson was born. I rode four hours in the car to Abilene. Then, I walked three miles with another grandson. I hadn't sat in a car that long or walked that far for years!”*

SEE MORE STORIES

DISCREET TRIALING SYSTEM

The Intellis trialing system mimics the actual treatment without requiring you to have the neurostimulator implanted. Mild electrical pulses from the external neurostimulator (A) travel through the temporary leads (B) to the nerves along your spinal cord. The wireless programmer (C) lets you adjust the stimulation levels.

Medtronic Intellis spinal cord stimulation trialing system, including external neurostimulator, temporary leads, and wireless programmer

BEFORE THE TRIAL

Discuss your therapy goals with your physicians. Make a list of goals you would like to achieve if your pain were managed better. For example, one goal might be to walk to the back of the grocery store without resting.

You may receive a workbook to track pain relief and improvement in your day-to-day activities. This will help you and your physician assess your response to the spinal cord stimulation trial and personalize your therapy.

DURING THE TRIAL

The trial procedure usually takes about 30 to 90 minutes and is done in a clinic, day surgery center, or hospital.

  • Leads (thin, flexible wires) are placed in the area near the spine, using a special needle.
  • The leads are connected to an external wireless neurostimulator that’s secured to your back during the trial.

AT HOME WITH THE SYSTEM

The trial period can last up to 10 days. With your trialing system in place, live as normally as possible. Consider doing some of the things you normally can’t do because of your pain — like walking up stairs, standing in one place, or getting ready in the morning. The benefits of the screening trial may be immediate or they may take a few days.

AFTER THE TRIAL

  • You’ll discuss your experience with your physician.
  • Your physician will help you decide if you should proceed with the neurostimulator implant.
  • The next step is to schedule surgery to get the permanent Intellis system implanted.

NEXT STEP THE IMPLANT

LEARN ABOUT THE IMPLANT
The Medtronic Intellis Device with AdaptiveStim technology for spinal cord stimulation shown on a white background

POTENTIAL RISKS WITH THE TRIAL

Complications can occur during the trial, including bleeding into the epidural space, infection, and other side effects. You should not undergo a trial if you have an active infection at the time of the procedure.

Keep your doctor’s number handy, in case you have any questions.


SPEAK WITH AN EXPERT

We’ll help you get the answers you need to determine if this therapy is right for you. Chat with a current patient (Ambassador) or nurse, or find a physician.


*

Every patient experience is unique. Not everyone who receives Medtronic neurostimulation therapy will experience the same results. 


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.