Talk with your doctor about your goals for treatment. Your doctor may do a screening test to see whether neurostimulation will provide adequate pain relief.
Your participation in the screening test allows you and your doctor to evaluate whether you are a good candidate for neurostimulation treatment. The purpose of the screening test is to determine your response to neurostimulation, if it reduces your pain, if it meets your goals, and whether a neurostimulation system is the right pain therapy for your complex regional pain syndrome symptoms.
The screening test period lasts approximately 3 to 10 days.
You will have local anaesthesia when the leads are placed. There may be some occasional discomfort during the procedure and you may have pain at the incision site once the anaesthesia wears off. You should not have pain or discomfort during the rest of the screening test period.
Your clinician may reduce or withdraw your oral medication 1 to 2 weeks prior to the test. During the screening test, oral medication may be given for breakthrough pain. Never stop taking your prescribed pain medication without first consulting your clinician.
If the screening test has been successful and you go on to receive the permanent system, your pain relief may differ slightly. This is because the leads may be in a slightly different location than during the screening test. Be sure to tell your clinician about the way you feel so that changes can be made that will give you the best pain relief possible.
If the screening test is successful, you and your doctor will discuss when the system should be implanted. Some doctors prefer to do the implant right away while others prefer to wait a few days.
Typically, the implant of the neurostimulator is performed under general anaesthesia. However, you may wish to talk with your doctor about other options.
Depending on your doctor's preference and hospital policy, a hospital stay may be recommended. However, the procedure may be performed on an outpatient basis, which means no overnight stay is required. Discuss with your doctor the length of hospital stay you will require.
There are two incisions. The one for the neurostimulation pocket depends on the size of your neurostimulator. The other, made on your back, is 5 to 8 centimetres long.
In rare cases, you may experience a "spinal headache.” A spinal headache is caused when cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds your spinal cord) leaks out from the intrathecal or epidural space. This headache may correct itself, or your doctor may treat it.
In rare cases, spinal cord injury may occur from surgical placement of the lead.
No, because the incision needs to be made where the neurostimulator will be implanted to help properly anchor the device.
This depends on your specific condition and the results you received from the screening test. Your doctor will advise you of the recommended location.
The neurostimulator does not make any noise. The device does not normally show through your clothes. It is usually implanted in the lower abdomen, where it is most comfortable and least visible. It may be felt as a small bulge under your skin.
Yes. The screening test is designed to minimise the possibility that neurostimulation will not help manage your pain. If you no longer need the neurostimulator or change your mind about the treatment, your doctor can turn off or completely remove the system at any time.
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.