The Utility of a 7-Day Percutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial Measured by a Pain Diary: A Long-term Retrospective Analysis

Neuromodulation. 2005 Jul;8(3):162-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1403.2005.05234.x.


Objective. The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility of a 7-day percutaneous spinal cord stimulator trial using a 7-day diary to measure outcomes during the trial and at long-term follow-up. Materials and Method. Diaries completed prior to and during the trial were analyzed, as was a follow-up questionnaire. Trial and follow-up data were compared using nonparametric statistics and descriptive analyses. Result. Results revealed statistically significant differences between pretrial and long-term follow-up measures of pain, mood, anxiety, and suffering for patients with positive trials. Expected differences existed between patients with positive and negative trials during the trial. Responders to permanent implantation differed on anxiety before and after the trial compared to nonresponders. Conclusion. Patients who underwent a 7-day percutaneous trial, had a positive trial and received permanent implantation fared well long-term. The 7-day diary did not result in a superior method of determining responders vs. nonresponders at long-term follow-up. More research is needed to determine whether different quantitative measures would predict long-term outcome.