The use of 10-kilohertz spinal cord stimulation in a cohort of patients with chronic neuropathic limb pain refractory to medical management

Neuromodulation. 2015 Jan;18(1):18-23; discussion 23. doi: 10.1111/ner.12237. Epub 2014 Sep 25.


Objective: It is the purpose of this study to document our experience with the use of a 10-kHz high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) device for the relief of neuropathic pain of the upper and lower limbs.

Materials and methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of all patients treated with the 10-kHz high-frequency SCS system for neuropathic pain (upper or lower limb) refractory to conventional treatment. All patients underwent a trial with one or two eight-contact percutaneous leads using 50-Hz traditional stimulation. If ≥ 80% paresthesia coverage of the painful area with traditional SCS was obtained, high-frequency 10-kHz SCS was used. Patients who had a significant reduction in pain score (≥ 50%) at the end of the trial received a permanent implant and were then followed for up to six months. Outcome measures included a numeric rating scale for pain, the Brief Pain Inventory, health-related quality of life (EQ-5D), the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, and patient satisfaction.

Results: Fifteen patients completed a trial of high-frequency 10-kHz SCS. Eleven patients proceeded to permanent implantation. Ten of the 11 patients who proceeded to full implantation had significant reductions in all of the collected outcome variables at one, three, and six months.

Conclusions: In this small cohort of patients, high-frequency 10-kHz SCS reduced pain and improved quality of life. However, before we can conclude that high-frequency 10-kHz SCS for neuropathic pain of the upper and lower extremities is efficacious, a large-scale multicenter observational study should be performed to corroborate our small retrospective study.

Keywords: 10-kilohertz frequency; neuropathic pain; spinal cord stimulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuralgia / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation / methods*