6 doctors weighed in:

What are the risks and benefits of spinal cord stimulators? I have rsd and pain in my right arm. My doctor provided videos on stimulators, but they were rather commercial in nature.

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brian Le
Pain Management
2 doctors agree

In brief: SCS benefits

Besides anesthetic and surgical risks, there are risks involved with scs itself.
It includes scs malfunction, scs affecting the wrong location, overstimulation, the lead may move or become damaged, requiring surgical repositioning or removal ... The benefits of scs include pain control, improving quality of life, reducing medication dosage ...

In brief: SCS benefits

Besides anesthetic and surgical risks, there are risks involved with scs itself.
It includes scs malfunction, scs affecting the wrong location, overstimulation, the lead may move or become damaged, requiring surgical repositioning or removal ... The benefits of scs include pain control, improving quality of life, reducing medication dosage ...
Dr. Brian Le
Dr. Brian Le
Thank
Dr. Rick Fisher
Anesthesiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Do the trial!

The stim manufacturers are competing for business.
..The best part of the videos is that they offer more information that you can reflect on after you leave the docs office. Rsd (crps) is usually very responsive to spinal cord stimulator therapy. The great part is that you can have the trial placed and see if it will work (most, if not all insurance companies require the trial anyway).

In brief: Do the trial!

The stim manufacturers are competing for business.
..The best part of the videos is that they offer more information that you can reflect on after you leave the docs office. Rsd (crps) is usually very responsive to spinal cord stimulator therapy. The great part is that you can have the trial placed and see if it will work (most, if not all insurance companies require the trial anyway).
Dr. Rick Fisher
Dr. Rick Fisher
Thank
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine

In brief: You

You were wise to notice: this is one treatment that is very hard to tell how much is real evidence versus how much is advertising.
There have been a couple of studies about the efficacy of these devices. It seems like the do work in some people, but it is hard to know how effective they are. So the benefit is that you have a chance it will help your pain, but nobody can really give you are hard number. The risks are easier to explain. The surgeries are pretty easy. There is a small risk of infection, as with any surgery. The surgeon putting it in is responsible for telling you the side effects, and he/she will not be commercial about it. Once it's in (assuming there were no problems with the surgery), there really are no long term side effects of the device, other than that sometimes they lose effectiveness over time and will need battery replacement.

In brief: You

You were wise to notice: this is one treatment that is very hard to tell how much is real evidence versus how much is advertising.
There have been a couple of studies about the efficacy of these devices. It seems like the do work in some people, but it is hard to know how effective they are. So the benefit is that you have a chance it will help your pain, but nobody can really give you are hard number. The risks are easier to explain. The surgeries are pretty easy. There is a small risk of infection, as with any surgery. The surgeon putting it in is responsible for telling you the side effects, and he/she will not be commercial about it. Once it's in (assuming there were no problems with the surgery), there really are no long term side effects of the device, other than that sometimes they lose effectiveness over time and will need battery replacement.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Thank
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