Lumbar spinal cord stimulation can improve muscle strength and gait independently of the analgesic effect: a case report

Neuromodulation. 2006 Oct;9(4):309-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1403.2006.00072.x.


Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is widely used for pain relief in patients with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), and muscle weakness is a common finding in patients with chronic pain. We present here a single case report of a 47-year-old woman, who, after SCS for FBSS, had continuous improvement in lower leg muscle strength and gait, but only transient and minimal pain relief. To the authors' knowledge, this is only the second published case report of significant improvement in "motor" function, independent of the analgesic effect following SCS in FBSS. If SCS, in fact, does improve muscle strength, new strategies for the management of patients with chronic pain might be opened up. Further studies are needed to verify this hypothesis.