Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Trial and Implant
Implantable peripheral nerve stimulation for chronic pain is a type of neuromodulation therapy that involves the implantation of surgical electrodes targeting the specific peripheral nerves that your doctor has identified to be the origin of your pain. How does your doctor determine that you’re targeting the correct peripheral nerve? Easy, a trial program similar to spinal cord stimulation.
During the trial period electrodes will be inserted at the peripheral nerves that are believed to be causing your pain. You’ll be instructed by your doctor on how to adjust the stimulation being provided and will need to describe your pain relief in detail so that your treatment can be optimized. After the trial you and your doctor will decide if a completed implant is in your best interests. It can take a few weeks and sometimes a few different implantation locations to zero in on the correct nerve to stimulate.
The key difference between peripheral nerve stimulation and spinal cord stimulation is the placement of the stimulating device directly over the nerve at the targeted pain area, not on the spinal cord where the nerve originates. So, it’s somewhat less invasive and lower risk and only requires small incisions over the targeted areas.
Usually the procedure involves a hospital stay of about two days and a recovery process of six to eight weeks with regular appointments with your doctor to check on your progress.
According to UCLA,You may also be a candidate for peripheral nerve and field stimulation if you experience:
- Nerve injury
- Nerve entrapments
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Occipital Neuralgia
- Chronic Headaches
It’s important to remember that peripheral nerve stimulation is a TREATMENT and not a cure for back pain. Typically two-thirds of patients will experience relief during the trial program and move forward with an implant, and about two-thirds of those patients will feel long term relief. It winds up being about a forty percent success rate.