Recovery After Spinal Cord Stimulation Procedure

January 4, 2017

Spinal cord stimulation is recommended for those with neuropathic or radicular pain. Sometimes, amputees who suffer from “phantom pain” may require this surgery. Other candidates may be those who suffer from chronic pain following other types of surgery.

If you have ever considered seeking professional medical help for pain relief, here is what you should know about spinal cord stimulation and the ensuing recovery period:

How Spinal Cord Stimulation Is Performed

The procedure is done by inserting electrodes into the spinal canal’s epidural space. With an X-ray’s aid, the doctor guides the device into the epidural space. Electrodes are inserted through the needle. Then, a small battery is implanted, attached to the nerves which have been affected and powering the electrodes.

You now have a battery-powered device which sends energy to your nerve fibers. They are very low levels of electronic energy, and they prevent the brain from misinterpreting pain. On the newer devices, this battery is rechargeable, greatly improving your quality of life, and eliminating the need for further surgeries.

The operation should only take 1-3 hours, and you may be given a back brace for stabilization during recovery.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Recovery

Even though it is a quick procedure, you should be aware of necessary recovery time, which is six to eight weeks. During this time, it is vital that you listen to your body and go at a slower pace than usual. Do not try to lift heavy objects, bend or twist for at least six weeks. Those who must carry infants should be aware of this and seek help from others who can assist you.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you must cease all usual movements. Try to get up and about. The fresh air outside will do you good. If you are used to taking walks, riding bikes or going to outdoor activities such as sports games, then by all means continue.

Help During Your Recovery

Let family and friends know that you are taking it easy during these few weeks. Stay connected with your loved ones; don’t attempt to go through this alone. Emotional stability and a positive environment helps your body to recover faster.

Your physician is the best resource for knowing how you can help your body to heal. Always follow his or her instructions. Be sure to keep all of your scheduled doctor appointments during this recovery period. Call your doctor if you continue having unusual pain or feel that the therapy is having negative effects.

Southside Pain Specialists can assist you in everything from the start of the procedure until the therapy and recovery period is complete. Visit us for a consultation today.