Spinal Cord Stimulator Specialist

Portland Neurosurgery

Board Certified Neurosurgeon & Spine Surgeon located in Portland, OR

For patients with chronic back or neck pain that cannot be treated effectively otherwise, a spinal cord stimulator may give you relief. Jeffrey Johnson, MD, and the team at Portland Neurosurgery, in Portland, Oregon, can tell you whether this device, which has helped others, might benefit you. Studies suggest spinal cord stimulators provide pain relief to at least 60% of patients. Find out more by calling today or booking an appointment online.

Spinal Cord Stimulator

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is an advanced technology to ease chronic pain. Spinal cord stimulation therapy relies on electrodes to send currents of low-voltage electric energy into your spine. The electrical currents block sensations of pain, giving you relief from chronic pain in your back and neck.

Dr. Johnson performs this procedure by making one incision to place the electrodes in the epidural space of your spinal cord. A second incision is made to place the battery underneath your skin. Once installed, you control the device with an external hand-held controller.

What conditions can be treated with a spinal cord stimulator?

The device may relieve symptoms of chronic pain associated with:

  • Failed back surgery
  • Spinal nerve damage
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

If you’re taking pain medications for these conditions or others, a spinal cord stimulator may help you reduce your reliance on these medications.

Is a spinal cord stimulator right for me?

Spinal cord stimulation may be right for you if surgery isn’t an option, or you’ve tried other treatments for pain relief for six months with little or no success.

Dr. Johnson initially recommends a trial procedure with a spinal cord stimulator. The trial allows you and the doctor to see whether the stimulator effectively relieves your pain and to evaluate different stimulation settings and programs.

If the trial is successful, your next step is implantation surgery.

What happens during the implantation of the stimulator?

Dr. Johnson makes one incision in your back to access your spinal cord, then inserts an electrical paddle. The exact location where he installs the paddle depends on your injury and type of pain.

The doctor also implants a small generator, which keeps the stimulator running, underneath the skin off to one side in your flank area. Once everything is in place, he closes your incisions. You’re taken to a recovery area to wake up from the anesthesia before going home. Most patients go home the same day.

The majority of patients find the stimulator reduces their pain. Research suggests that roughly 60% of people with a spinal cord stimulator reported some pain reduction or relief lasting a year or two after surgery. Unfortunately, not everyone gets relief from spinal cord stimulators.

If you’re seeking relief from chronic pain, find out more about the benefits of a spinal cord stimulator by calling Portland Neurosurgery today or booking an appointment online.