Real-World Outcomes Using a Spinal Cord Stimulation Device Capable of Combination Therapy for Chronic Pain: A European, Multicenter Experience

J Clin Med. 2021 Sep 10;10(18):4085. doi: 10.3390/jcm10184085.


Given the differing mechanisms thought to underlie therapeutic sub- and supra-perception-based neurostimulative modalities, Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) systems designed for combined delivery of these approaches may help improve analgesic outcomes and quality of life, and reduce treatment failures. This multicenter, observational case-series evaluated 188 patients with chronic back and/or leg pain implanted with an SCS device capable of sequential or simultaneous delivery of sub-perception and supra-perception stimulation programming (i.e., combination therapy) at 16 in Europe. Following implantation, patients were provided with an array of advanced supra-perception programs (e.g., paresthesia-based SCS using multiple independent current sources), and a custom set of sub-perception programs optimized with specific waveforms and/or field shapes. A mean overall pain score of 7.9 ± 1.7 (Standard Deviation (SD)) was reported pre-trial (Baseline). Overall pain was reduced by 4.4 ± 2.8 points (NRS) at 3-months (n = 117) and at 12 months post-implant (n = 90), respectively (p < 0.0001). Substantial quality-of-life (EQ-5D-5L) improvement as assessed at last follow-up was also observed (n = 60). These results suggest that an implanted SCS device capable of combination therapy, while also enabled with patient-specific waveform optimization and stimulation field targeting capabilities, can enable highly effective pain relief and improve quality of life in patients suffering with chronic pain.

Keywords: SCS; chronic pain; combination therapy; customized stimulation field targeting; spinal cord stimulation.