A dorsal cord stimulator, also known as a spinal cord stimulator (SCS), is a medical device that is surgically implanted on the spinal cord’s dorsal column ( the area where pain is registered). This device sends a mild electric current to the spinal cord to block the feeling of pain. The low voltage stimulation feels like a mild tingling in the area where pain would usually be felt. This device helps patients to manage their pain better and to reduce the use of pain medications. The dorsal cord stimulator does not eradicate the pain, but rather interrupts the pain signals that would ordinarily be sent to the brain. This procedure is indicated if all non-operative measures have failed to deal with pain.
The patient will be sedated before the procedure to ensure a relaxed state. To monitor the patient’s response it is done while the patient is awake. A local anaesthetic is injected in the areas where incisions will be made. A small incision is made in your back and the lamina is removed to create space above the spinal cord for the surgical leads to be implanted. Test stimulation is performed so that you can inform the doctor of the coverage of the stimulation. Once this has been established, the patient is discharged for a week or two to ensure the test stimulation is working. If successful the final implant of the pulse generator is performed under a GA.