Dual spinal cord stimulation for complex pain: preliminary study

Neuromodulation. 2005 Apr;8(2):105-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1403.2005.00226.x.


Objectives To retrospectively analyze by indices of success, patients with chronic complex pain, including, axial low back pain, receiving dual spinal cord stimulation (SCS) systems. Methods Eighteen patients with dual spinal cord stimulators have been retrospectively and nonrandomly analyzed. The preponderance of patients in our study group had failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). Parameters of success of our therapy included reduction of medication, if any, complications, if any, and satisfaction with therapy and improvement in the quality of life, measured by a visual analogical scale (VAS) from 0 to 10. Patients were asked to rate their overall experience with their SCS systems and were divided into four separate groupings according to their overall rating of their therapy. These four groupings included therapy ratings of excellent (70-100%), good (> 50%), fair (< 50%), and poor (< 30%). Satisfaction with therapy and improvement in quality of life were evaluated on a five-point scale. Patients were asked to rate changes in their quality of life after therapy using the following normative scale: much better, better, no change, worse, and much worse. All the patients in our study were asked if they would repeat their therapy with dual spinal cord stimulation. Results Paresthesia coverage, overlapping the reported painful region, was obtained in 80% of the patients in our study. The VAS decreased an average of 5.6 (range 2-10) after 6 months and 4.9 (range 2-8) at the end of the study. Six patients (37.5%) reported excellent results; four patients (25%) reported good; three (18.7%), fair and poor. Seventy percent of the patients were satisfied with the treatment and reported an increase in their quality of life. Medications were reduced in 75% of the patients. Thirteen (81%) patients with dual lead SCS therapy were willing to repeat the SCS implant procedure. Complications occurred in 43.7%. Conclusions Dual spinal cord stimulation is appropriate and efficacious for treating complex pathology and complex pain that including pain of the low, axial back.