Forty-three patients with chronic pain disorders of different causes were selected for spinal cord stimulation. All underwent implantation of a ribbon electrode through a small laminotomy, under general anesthesia. Thirteen patients (30%) failed to obtain significant pain relief during a period of trial stimulation, and their electrodes were removed. The remainder underwent a definitive implant and were followed for a mean of 13 months (range, 3-33 months). Nineteen of them (63%) continued to experience pain relief. A detailed analysis of this series, as well as a literature review, is presented.