Latest Research
New techniques reduce the complications of spinal cord stimulator implant
Apr 11, 2013 - 4:00:00 AM

April 11, 2013, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- Two innovative techniques in the placement of an implanted spinal cord stimulator (SCS) are expected to reduce common complications at the implant site, according to new research revealed today. Results from a case series highlighted an advanced lead anchoring technique and the emerging technology of using large single-port introducers, which enable placement of multiple neurostimulation leads through a single needle-entry point.

Neurostimulation leads are used in SCS therapy for the management of chronic pain. The researchers presented their findings at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

The single-port introducers have revolutionized the field by allowing multiple lead arrays and paddle leads to be placed through a single percutaneous port, said Daniel A. Fung, MD, lead study author. The anchoring technique secures and deeply buries the anchors.

Dr. Fung explained that the new approach addresses the two most common complications of SCS systems -- lead migration and anchor site pain. In contrast, conventional anchoring technique attempts to secure leads subcutaneously (i.e., under the skin) to connective tissue or the supraspinal ligament using bulky anchors.

Often the anchor will be palpable under the skin and can cause discomfort. Also, if not anchored securely to strong tissue, it is easy for the sutures to come loose, which could result in lead migration, Dr. Fung said. Some patients have stimulators removed due to pain at the anchor site despite good coverage of their usual pain. Thus the decrease in anchor site pain should help decrease the need for spinal cord stimulator revisions or removals.

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