Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is an FDA-approved therapy that is used for treatment of chronic pain in the back and limbs, along with other chronic intractable conditions. A case study shows that spinal cord stimulation for chronic knee pain may be one of the best alternatives for post-knee replacement surgery.
Total Knee Replacement:
Total knee replacement is a treatment for patients affected with severe degeneration of the knee joint. It is an option for patients with limited joint functionality, persistent knee pain, radiographic evidence of joint degeneration, and lack of improvement with non-surgical therapies.
Although total knee replacement is successful by means of objective findings, which typically indicate improved function, these findings fail to correlate with patient satisfaction of their condition after the procedure. Such patients may be a good candidate for SCS.
One case of a 68-year-old female diagnosed with osteoarthritis demonstrates the significance of SCS therapy. After she underwent partial and then total knee replacement, the patient suffered from deep burning and searing pain. It was exacerbated by prolonged walking or dancing. Treatments such as physical therapy, TENS unit therapy, scar injection, nerve block, epidural steroid injections, and radiofrequency lesioning of nerve roots did not provide lasting pain relief.
Pain medications also did not work, which makes sense considering we know they are poor for pain management. When the patient opted for a one-week trial period of the spinal cord stimulator, she reported greater than 50% relief in her knee pain.
After receiving permanent implantation, the patient was able to perform previous activities with less discomfort. Furthermore, she expressed satisfaction with her functionality and pain management. For patients who have exhausted conservative modalities and interventional pain therapies, spinal cord stimulation is an appealing option. SCS is minimally invasive and a viable option for patients with chronic knee pain following total knee replacement.
Spinal Cord Stimulator for Chronic Knee Pain:
If you are in need of a spinal cord stimulator, it’s probably because you suffer from some sort of neuropathic pain. Some patients report stabbing, cutting, or piercing pain. However, it is typically a burning, shooting, stinging, or tingling “pins and needles” type of sensation.
Neuropathic pain is inconsistent and occurs in waves over days, weeks, or months after initial injury. It commonly occurs in the legs, back, feet, thighs, and toes. Some patients experience pain in their buttocks, hips, upper back, arms, hands, abdomen, and neck.
When we feel pain, it is because our nerves are sending pain signals to our brain to indicate something is wrong. The following is a basic understanding of how spinal cord stimulation works:
- First, pain signals travel up the spinal cord to the brain
- One of our generators, which is similar to a cardiac pacemaker, sends pulses to a lead
- Signals reach the lead, which then delivers pulses to nerves along the spinal cord
- Pulses modify the way our brain perceives pain signals – leading to potential physical pain relief as well as relief from no longer suffering
- BurstDR Stimulation
- Spinal Cord Stimulation: What You Should Know
- Knee Pain
- Chronic Pain: What You Should Know
Finally, if you think spinal cord stimulation for chronic knee pain is right for you, contact us at 201.729.0001. Our staff at Metropolitan Pain Consultants looks forward to hearing from you and discussing spinal cord stimulator options with you. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. Moreover, our conveniently located clinics are in West Orange, Aberdeen, and Lyndhurst.