Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a treatment for chronic pain that is usually considered after standard treatments (such as those listed in section 2.4) have failed. SCS modifies the perception of neuropathic and ischaemic pain by stimulating the dorsal column of the spinal cord. SCS is minimally invasive and reversible. A typical SCS system has four components.
A neurostimulator that generates an electrical pulse (or receives radio frequency pulses) – this is surgically implanted under the skin in the abdomen or in the buttock area.
An electrode(s) implanted near the spinal cord either surgically or percutaneously (the latter via puncture, rather than through an open surgical incision, of the skin).
A lead that connects the electrode(s) to the neurostimulator.
A remote controller that is used to turn the neurostimulator on or off and to adjust the level of stimulation.