When all else fails, or sometimes earlier.
For chronic pain coming from nerve injury (chronic neuropathic pain), spinal cord stimulation therapy is probably the best long-term therapeutic option. It usually decreases or eliminates the need for morphine-type medication.
For qualifying patients, the first step, and the most important is a trial procedure. This is a simple, office-based procedure. The trial period lasts for 3-7 days.
If the trial is successful, a small permanent implant battery is placed under the skin during a short, outpatient, surgical procedure. No hospitalization is usually required.
The most common conditions treated successfully with spinal cord stimulation are failed back surgery syndrome, chronic spinal nerve injuries (chronic radiculopathy), complex regional pain syndrome or reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
Spinal cord stimulator implant