Efficacy of transverse tripolar stimulation for relief of chronic low back pain: results of a single center

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 1999;73(1-4):126-30. doi: 10.1159/000029770.


The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the transverse tripolar spinal cord stimulation system (TTS) in providing relief of low back pain in patients with chronic non-malignant pain. Transverse tripolar electrodes were implanted in the lower thoracic region (T(8-9) to T(12)-L(1)) in 10 patients with chronic neuropathic pain, all of whom reported a significant component of low back pain in combination with unilateral or bilateral leg pain. One patient reported inadequate pain relief during the trial and was not implanted with a permanent generator. A visual analogue scale of low back pain showed a nonsignificant decrease from 64 +/- 19 to 47 +/- 30 (p = 0.25; paired t test) after 1 month of stimulation. Similarly, functional disability evaluated using Oswestry Low Back Pain Questionnaire was not improved (p = 0. 46; paired t test). We conclude that chronic low back pain is not particularly responsive to the transverse stimulation provided by the TTS system.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / adverse effects
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Retreatment
  • Treatment Outcome