Posts Tagged ‘spinal cord stimulator problems’

postheadericon Surgery Helps Relieve Spinal Cord Compression

Spinal Cord Surgery

A spinal cord stimulator, also called a dorsal column stimulator, is an implanted electronic device used to help treat chronic pain. They have been used for over 30 years. The device delivers a low level electrical current through wires. The wires are placed in the area near your spinal cord. The device is similar in size to a pacemaker.

The spinal cord stimulator will not cure your pain. A 50 percent or greater decrease in pain can be expected, however. This should allow you to be more active. Also, need for less pain medication is considered a successful result. A trial with an external device for about a week is done, before having the device implanted.

The cervical spinal column is made up of vertebral bodies which protect the spinal cord.


Cervical spine disease is usually caused by herniated intervertebral discs, abnormal growth of bony processes on the vertebral bodies (osteophytes), which compress spinal nerves, trauma, and narrowing (stenosis) of the spinal column around the spinal cord.

Symptoms of cervical spine problems include:

Pain that interferes with daily activities

Neck pain that extends (radiates) to the shoulder or arm

Weakness of arms or legs

Numbness of arms, hands, or fingers


The surgery is done while the patient is deep asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia). For the neck (cervical spine), an incision may be made either in the back of the neck (posterior cervical) or in the front side of the neck (anterior cervical), depending on the location of the problem.


The bone that curves around and covers the spinal cord (lamina) is removed (laminectomy) and the tissue that is causing pressure on the nerve or spinal cord is removed. The hole through which the nerve passes can be enlarged to prevent further pressure on the nerve. If an intervertebral disc herniation is present, the intervertebral disc is removed. Sometimes, a piece of bone (bone graft) or metal rods (such as Harrington rods) may be used to strengthen the area of surgery.


What might go wrong?

This procedure is considered minimally invasive and safe. However there are several complications that may occur during or after this procedure. No procedure is 100 percent foolproof. This document doesn’t provide a complete list of all the possible complications, but it does highlight some of the most common problems. Complications are uncommon, but you should know what to watch for it they occur. Some of the most common complications following implantation of a spinal cord stimulator include :

* Infection * Increased localized pain

* Paralysis or loss of movement

* Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)

* Spinal fluid leaks

* nerve damage

* allergic reaction

* symptoms worsen

* seroma (fluid around a surgery site)

* device failure

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