Cutting Wait Time Improves Success Rate for Spinal Cord Stimulation Implants

A retrospective analysis presented in a scientific poster at the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine last week reported that success rates for Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) therapy for chronic pain are time sensitive, and as wait times decline, long-term outcomes with SCS are enhanced.

The study included 443 patients who received SCS. Beginning with the initial pain diagnosis, investigators examined points of delay to referral for implantation by primary care physicians and specialists. Success rates soared to 75% for patients who waited less than 2 years for a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implant, compared with 15% for patients whose implants happened 20 years after the onset of pain.  Successful SCS outcomes also depend on appropriate candidate selection, and researchers highlighted the importance of examining underlying pain pathology. For example, patients suffering from failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, refractory angina pectoris, pain due to peripheral vascular disease, postherpetic neuralgia, chronic migraine or post-surgical neuropathy are considered good candidates for SCS.

Read a news story about the findings here.

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