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Spinal Cord Stimulation

Innovative Pain Specialists -  - Pain Management Specialist

Innovative Pain Specialists

Pain Management Specialists & Spine Specialists located in Arlington Heights, IL & Libertyville, IL

If you have back pain, nerve pain, post-surgery pain, or other types of ongoing discomfort, then the physicians at Innovative Pain Specialists in Arlington Heights and Libertyville, Illinois, can help you.

Board-certified pain management specialists Paul Marsiglia, DO, and Demetrios Louis, MD, offer their patients spinal cord stimulation in order to reduce pain, improve function and help you live your best life.

Call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online today to discuss the procedur further with your expert physician. 

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q&A

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is a drug-free solution to managing chronic pain!  It involves implanting a tiny FDA-approved device that transmits low-level electricity near the nerves in your spinal canal in order to provide you with pain relief. The device consists of electrodes and a small battery that your specialist places underneath the skin in order to emit impulses. You can be in control of your pain and use a remote control to activate these electrical impulses and alleviate pain as needed.


Why might I need spinal cord stimulation?

Your pain specialist may suggest spinal cord stimulation if you struggle with ongoing:

  • Post-surgery pain
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Chronic leg pain
  • Nerve pain
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Post-amputation pain
  • Chronic Knee pain after joint replacement

Your provider might recommend spinal cord stimulation if you don’t respond to other pain-relieving treatments.


Is spinal cord stimulation right for me?

After discussing your symptoms and medical history, your pain specialist will let you know if you're a candidate for spinal cord stimulation. Your doctor will obtain an extensive medical history, complete a physical exam that includes a neurological exam, and review imaging studies such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or other tests. 

Spinal cord stimulation should improve your ability to engage in your activities of daily living as well as improve your sleep quality.  It may also reduce the need for addictive pain medication or invasive surgery. Your specialist might combine spinal cord stimulation with physical therapy, exercise, relaxation techniques, or other noninvasive treatments depending on your individual condition. 


What should I expect during spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is a treatment that involves a trial phase and an implantation phase.  First, you will arrive to your doctor's office and have temporary electrodes placed underneath the skin. Your doctor will numb your skin and place the electrodes into the epidural space with a needle.  There are no incisions required.  Once the electrodes are in the correct position, then the needles are removed and a bandage is applied to the skin.  You will then be discharged home with temporary wires in your epidural space that are taped to to your skin.  There are no incisions and no sutures required.   

For approximately one week, you will engage in your normal activities.  You should walk, stand, sit and engage in low impact activity in order to assess your pain levels.  After one week, you will return to your doctor's office.  Your doctor will remove the tape and wires from your back and ask you how you felt over the preceding week.  It will be important for you to tell the doctor what activities you were able to do while the temporary wires were in your back.  In addition, you should tell your doctor if you were able to sleep better.  Lastly, your doctor will want to know if you required any pain medications during the 1-week trial.  

If you were able to move better, feel better and use less medication for the one week trial period, then you doctor may suggest implanting a permanent spinal cord stimulator in your body so that you can have long-term pain control.  If you are an appropriate candidate for a permanent spinal cord stimulator, then you will undergo a minimally invasive surgery to implant the wires and the battery underneath the skin.  Typically the implantation procedure takes 1.5-2 hours.  You will go home the same day.  Your doctor and his team will teach you how to use the device.  You will be provided with a wireless controller so that you can manage your pain, feel better and move better! 


What happens after spinal cord stimulator implantation?

Follow all post-surgery instructions after undergoing a spinal cord stimulation procedure. You can usually go home the same day as surgery.  You should not drive yourself home, but rather you must have a friend or family member drive you home.  

Get plenty of rest, keep the surgical site clean, keep dressings over the incision site, and avoid strenuous activity until your provider says it’s acceptable.  Complete healing of the incisions may take 2-4 weeks.  You will use your remote control to manage electrical stimulation and pain as needed.


To find out if spinal cord stimulation is right for you, call the Innovative Pain Specialists office or schedule an appointment online today.