SCS: Spinal Cord Stimulation
"SCS" is one of the lower back pain treatments. This page explains the contents, features and procedure of the treatment.
What is SCS？
In "SCS", electrical stimulation is provided to the spinal cord to block the pain signal to the brain. "SCS" is adaptable to pain of various kinds of diseases of the lower back, cervical spine and others. "SCS" is effective to the patients who failed to recover and got a postoperative recurrence, and suffering from the pain of the lower back and cervical spine, and the pain and numbness of the uncertain cause in the hands and legs. Also, it is effective to the patients who are impossible to have other surgical treatments.
"SCS" is also adapted to the patients who are taking pain relief medication or suffering from chronic intractable sharp pain even after surgery or treatments, or who are concerned about surgery or refuse the medication. The mechanism of pain is that the pain signal is conveyed to the brain from the spinal cord via the nerve. Therefore, in "SCS", electrical stimulation is provided to the spinal cord to block the pain signals to the brain.
Consequently, "SCS" is not the treatment which removes the cause of the pain, but it helps to alleviate pain. It is said that "SCS" is effective to 85% of the patients suffering from lower back pain. Although there is an individual difference in how to feel about electrical stimulation, commonly it feels like a rhythmical massage. As for surgery, electrical stimulation is provided in trial under local anesthesia to confirm the effect.
In trial of "SCS", the stimulation electrode called a “lead” is inserted into the outer of membrane called “extradural space” protecting the spinal cord. If the effect is verified afterwards and the patient has an intention to use it, an apparatus complete set of stimulation device is set into the patient's body in implantation operation.
Both surgeries of trial and implantation operation are done under local anesthesia. The operation time is about 1 to 2 hours, and hospitalization is about 1 week in total. An outpatient visit is necessary once a year. The life of a device of "SCS" lasts for about 10 years and it takes 2 days 1 night for exchanging it.
The features of SCS
- ・The burden to a body is small since "SCS" is minimally invasive surgery
under local anesthesia
- ・Chronic intractable pain is alleviated
- ・Trial only: Hospitalization is approximately 2～3 days
- ・Trial and Implant: Hospitalization is approximately 2～3 weeks
The procedure of SCS
※Hospitalization period differs depending on the condition of patients and individual differences.
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