A spinal cord stimulator is a small electronic device that is implanted beneath the patient’s skin in the lower back area. Used to manage chronic pain, the device allows the patient to send low levels of energy to nerve fibers to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain.
In this video, Dr. Daniel Heller shows how the device works and both explains and demonstrates the testing (spinal cord stimulator trial) procedure. A trial is performed before any surgery is planned. This entails inserting the wire to the epidual space using an x-ray for precise placement. Patients get to go home and test the device for 3-5 days. If they feel it is successful they can elect to have the device implanted surgically.