Spinal Cord Stimulation In Charleston, SC
Southern Coast Specialists offers the most innovative procedures available for pain management and treatment. We can help those seeking spinal cord stimulation in Charleston, SC, and relief from debilitating pain. As local spine specialist, our focus is directed at your health and well being.
Our team understands just how difficult it is to give up things you love to do (or need to do) because of pain. That’s why we’re committed to providing exceptional care to each client through customized, effective treatment. Spinal cord stimulation is a rather new treatment, one that offers relief from even long-term, chronic pain in some situations. It could be the right option for you.
Understanding Chronic Pain and the Need for Stimulation
Chronic pain occurs when the pain lingers long after an injury improves. Pain should act as a warning signal to the brain that something is wrong and to take action to fix it. The problem with chronic pain is that it’s no longer accurate. It doesn’t continue to protect the body from injury but becomes harmful itself. As it develops, it can lead to problems with daily activities and quality of life. Over time, this can also lead to depression, weight gain, and limited activity. Medications routinely only help for a short amount of time.
Why does this happen? It is often the result of damage to the nerves that send pain signals from the injured area to the brain. The nerves continue to send signals to the brain that something’s wrong, even when it isn’t. The goal of spinal cord stimulation is to break up those pain signals to prevent the brain from receiving them. The result is that less pain is felt. To accomplish this, you will need a spine specialists here in Charleston.
What to Expect from Spinal Cord Stimulation Surgery
Going through spinal cord stimulation surgery is not complex, but it is a procedure that needs to be done by a well-trained professional and someone who is a spine specialists. During the process, you will be put to sleep using general anesthesia. This is well controlled to ensure you are completely safe during it.
Once you are asleep, the surgeon will make a small incision into the area where the device will be placed. This is usually in the lower back region. The surgeon will then place each of the electrodes into the desired area between the spinal cord itself and the vertebra. Once in place, the doctor will position the generator and connect the electrodes to it. All components are secured to ligaments and bones located in the spine.
The surgeon will then test the device to ensure it is functional. Once all is set, the incision is closed, and you’ll be woken up. From start to finish, the procedure takes about two hours to complete. Both components of the procedure are done carefully to ensure no risk of complications.
After the procedure, you’ll be given medication for pain. This is an outpatient procedure. That means you can go home on the same day in most cases. Once you are healed and ready to start the process, the device is turned on to begin providing relief.
What Are the Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation Surgery?
Everyone’s outcome may be different. When you come in for a consultation for spinal cord stimulation in Charleston, we’ll talk to you about the various expectations you can have. However, many people see a number of advantages to this procedure over others.
Pain Adjustment Is Adjustable.
One of the benefits of this procedure is that the pain relief delivered is adjustable. This means that, over time, the stimulator can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. Having control over pain like this can be life-changing for those who have suffered for some time.
Less Pain Medication Use.
When using this stimulator, the need for pain relievers, such as opioids, is lessened or fully eliminated. That means less overall risk for side effects. Many people don’t need to use pain medications any longer, giving them a better quality of life.
Few Side Effects.
Overall, this procedure has few side effects. It often provides a significant amount of benefit right away and doesn’t involve large incisions. As a result, it may be right for those who have had complications before.
Because this is not a large incision or an invasive procedure, there’s more access to this procedure over others. Some people who may not qualify for other types of more extensive pain relief and procedures may still qualify for this one. For all, there are fewer risks of complications.
Pain Relief Is Targeted.
The use of this stimulation method allows for very targeted pain relief. That means there is less need to take pain medications in large doses that leave you tired or unable to function fully. This type of treatment does not limit your ability to engage with life.
Perhaps the best benefit of this procedure is that you can reclaim your life. Because it turns off those pain signals heading to the brain, it allows for significant improvement in activity levels, fitness, and overall health. You may be able to engage in activities that you have not before.
Coping with chronic pain is also mentally debilitating. When you eliminate that problem, you may see that life is more full than you thought possible.
Answering Key Questions About Spinal Cord Stimulation in Charleston
Hearing about the potential benefits spinal cord stimulation can offer is one of the best reasons to take action to get help. You may have one or more questions about what it is, how it works, and how it may help you.
Who qualifies for a spinal cord stimulator?
In most cases, a person will qualify for spinal cord stimulation if they have chronic pain that’s considered debilitating. This should be pain that has lasted three or more months. It works very effectively in areas such as the lower back, arms, or legs. Many people have already had spinal cord surgeries or other types of procedures to try to reduce the pain they have. Those procedures, along with other options, have typically failed. If this sounds like what’s happened to you, we can offer help.
What are the side effects of spinal cord stimulation?
As with most surgical procedures, there are some minor risks to spinal cord stimulation. These include bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction. Less likely are risks associated with spinal fluid leakage and paralysis. Most people have no or limited side effects during spinal cord stimulation surgery. It is an FDA-approved procedure, and when completed by an experienced team, the risks are very low.
Where is a spinal cord stimulator placed?
The spinal cord stimulator device is made up of electrodes, which are very small wires. There is also a small generator, which is much like a battery-sized device. During the procedure, the surgeon places the electrodes into the spinal cord areas impacted by pain. This is located between the spinal cord and the vertebrae itself. Then, the generator is placed just under the skin in a pocket. This is located closer to the abdomen or the buttocks muscles.
How long does it take to recover from a spinal cord stimulator?
Most people will find improvement from this procedure begins right away. You may feel improvements within days. This surgery is typically a minimally invasive one. That means there is no large incision for healing. It also means there’s a shorter recovery time. Most people will need one to two weeks for recovery. However, numerous factors play a role in this, including your physical health and the length of time you’ve struggled with chronic pain. Your surgeon will provide very specific recommendations about the procedure and any limitations you may have after it.
How painful is spinal cord stimulator surgery?
During the procedure, you will not feel anything. You will be given general anesthesia to ensure you are completely comfortable during the process. You will also have pain medications for after the procedure. This will help to significantly dull the discomfort you may feel. This is a minimally invasive procedure, so pain is less overall than larger and more complex procedures. However, there is still some pain associated with the recovery process. You may feel discomfort, often controlled well with pain medications, for a few weeks.
Are you put to sleep for spinal cord stimulator surgery?
Yes, spinal cord stimulator surgery requires the use of general anesthesia. That means you’ll be in a surgical center while it is performed. You will be put to sleep during the process, so you do not move or feel any pain during the process.
What about afterwards?
There may still be a need for additional therapy or one-on-one treatment. But if it’s recommended then it’s important to ensure long-term recovery benefits that can come from treatment.
Are You Ready to Learn More About Spinal Cord Stimulation in Charleston?
Spinal cord stimulation procedures are very effective. Our team at Southern Coast Specialists can help ensure you get the level and type of care you need. Let’s talk about how we can help you to see the improvement you deserve. Give us a call to set up an appointment today.