Dorsal column stimulation is a minimally invasive treatment for intractable pain in the back and extremities. As a pain management technique, it interferes with the transmission of pain signals from the nerves to the brain, and can significantly reduce pain and improve the ability to participate in daily activities. Dorsal column stimulation is a reversible neuromodulation technique.
This FDA-approved procedure is used to treat a variety of chronic back pain conditions:
Dorsal column stimulation (DCS) is only recommended after more conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medication and injections have failed to alleviate the pain. DCS does not cure the underlying condition causing the pain, but the neurostimulation provides a low frequency that excites the neurons and impairs their ability to send pain messages to the brain.
If surgical treatments have not been successful or are not an available alternative to treat the underlying cause of your condition, dorsal column stimulation may be your best option for your chronic back or limb pain.
The procedure is a two-step process:
Before the battery-operated generator is implanted under the skin of the abdomen or buttocks, the neurostimulator is tested to verify that it does significantly reduce pain and to determine which stimulation settings work best.
The patient tracks the effectiveness of the different settings. If after about a week, the trial stimulation is effective in alleviating pain symptoms, a more permanent implantation of the lead wires and generator occurs.
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