Spinal cord stimulation in chronic pain therapy

Clin J Pain. 1990 Mar;6(1):51-6. doi: 10.1097/00002508-199003000-00010.


Spinal cord stimulation was undertaken in 45 patients referred to the University Hospital in Ghent. Failed back surgery was the major indication for implantation. Raynaud's phenomenon, causalgia, polyneuropathy, phantom limb pain, and diverse causes were the other indications. Before neurosurgical implantation of the system, a percutaneous epidural trial procedure was performed. The efficacy of the implanted stimulation system was estimated by considering the use of medication and the patients' personal appreciation of the obtained pain relief. Thirty-five patients experienced very good pain relief. Only two patients needed further narcotic analgesics. Eight patients stopped using the stimulation system. To ensure good results, strict selection criteria and many surgical reinterventions seemed to be necessary. Although spinal cord stimulation is a nonablative technique, many complications may occur.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Electric Stimulation / adverse effects
  • Electric Stimulation / instrumentation
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Pain Management*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / surgery