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Who is a candidate for spinal cord stimulation?

Dr. Michael E. Steuer, MD
Pain Medicine Specialist

A pain management specialist will thoroughly assess your condition to determine if you are a candidate for spinal cord stimulation (SCS). Your visit will include an in-depth evaluation of your:

  • pain history
  • current medications
  • previous therapies (including drugs, injections, procedures and surgeries)
  • treatment goals

This assessment will ultimately determine if SCS is a pain management option for you.

Patients selected for SCS usually have:

  • chronic pain that has lasted for more than one year
  • pain in their lower back and leg
  • history of one or more surgery that failed to relieve their pain

A psychological evaluation also may be ordered to better determine if SCS will be successful for you. Psychological factors play a significant role in pain tolerance.

The following criteria are considered when determining if you are a good candidate for SCS:

  • Your pain source has been identified.
  • Conservative therapies have not worked.
  • You do not have a psychological condition that contributes to your pain tolerance
  • Additional surgeries are not an option.
  • You have had a successful SCS trial (a trial is always conducted before permanent placement).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.