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Spinal Cord Stimulator Review: Disadvantages And Risks Of The Surgery Implant

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Dr. Deuk
An expert in all things spine, Dr. Deukmedjain is a board certified neurosurgeon who has performed thousands of minimally invasive surgeries and procedures including the revolutionary Deuk Laser Disc Repair and the Deuk Spinal Fusion. 

The spinal cord stimulator is a device that delivers electrical impulses to the spinal cord in order to reduce pain. While it is mostly recommended for back and neck pain by pain management doctors, there are numerous risks associated with the surgical implant. This article is a comprehensive spinal cord stimulator review and will discuss the potential disadvantages and risks of spinal cord stimulators.

What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator, and how does it work?

A spinal cord stimulator is a device that delivers electrical impulses to the spinal cord in order to reduce back or neck pain. The spinal cord stimulator is a battery-operated device that is implanted under the skin on the back.

The spinal cord stimulator has two parts: the pulse generator and electrodes. The pulse generator is a small device that produces electrical impulses to be sent to the spinal cord. It is made up of a battery, computer chip, and electrical leads that come from the spinal cord stimulator. The electrodes are a set of wires that deliver the impulses to the spinal cord. The electrodes are placed between the spinal cord and the vertebrae (the epidural space), and the generator is placed under the skin, usually near the abdomen or buttocks. Spinal cord stimulators allow patients to transmit the electrical impulses using a remote control when they feel pain. Both the remote control and its antenna are outside the body.

Where is a spinal cord stimulator implanted?

The spinal cord stimulator can be implanted in different places, depending on the person’s needs. It can be implanted under the skin on the back or neck.

Does a Spinal Cord Stimulator Work to Cure Pain?

No, it does not. What is happening with spinal cord stimulators is similar to what happened with addictive drugs made from opioids in the 80s. Back in the 80s, people who suffered from chronic pain were prescribed addictive drugs made from opioids. The common drugs around that period were oxycodone and oxycontin. To help spread these drugs, pharmaceutical companies would go into doctor's offices with reps and meet with primary care doctors. They convinced the doctors to prescribe these addictive drugs, and in return, doctors got paid more. 

The result was that patients built a tolerance for these addictive drugs and needed more of the drugs to get the same pain-relieving effects they were initially used to. People who were addicted to this pain killer started spending lots of money on these pills, causing them to lose jobs and causing frictions within families. 

Due to the negative effects of the pain pills, the government started criminalizing these addictive pills and getting them off the streets. About 80% of addicts on the street are former chronic pain patients that used to go to the doctor with back pain, neck pain, knee pain, etc.

The same scenario that happened with the opioid pain killers is repeating itself with Spinal Cord Stimulators. Spinal Cord Stimulators require a surgical procedure to be placed over your spinal cord, but neurosurgeons do not perform these procedures because it doesn't really work. Companies have reached out to pain management doctors willing to carry out this procedure and have promised them that there's a ton of money to be made if they simply inserted it into their patients. For the past ten years, VCs have been coming in and buying pain management doctors with the promise of the rewards that they would make.

Spinal Cord Stimulators do not work; it's simply a money-making scheme prescribed/recommended by people who are only looking after their own pockets and not your health.

if you're looking for an alternative to Spinal Cord Stimulators, you'll find them here:

Alternatives to the Spinal Cord Stimulator

If you're suffering from chronic back and neck pain and you need an alternative solution to spinal cord stimulator, connecting with a qualified surgeon at Deuk Spine Institute is the best alternative. Request a free MRI review.

Deuk Spine Laser Disc Repair

Deuk Spine Institute is the world leader in minimally invasive Laser Spine Surgery. Dr. Ara Deukmedjian, founder of Deuk Spine Institute, developed the world's most advanced laser spine surgery. This laser spine surgery is known as Deuk Laser Disc Repair.  

Deuk Laser Disc Repair is used as an alternative to dangerous invasive surgeries like total disc replacement and spinal fusion. Deuk Laser Disc Repair is a form of endoscopic spine surgery performed in a state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center under sedation while the patient relaxes. This procedure does not compromise or weaken the health and integrity of the spine.

In over 15 years of performing this procedure and with over 1,300 patients treated, there has been a 95% success rate with no complications in any patient.

How Deuk Laser Disk Repair Works

To get started, Deuk Laser Disc Repair requires a very small incision, less than a quarter-inch long. A cylindrical rod called a dilator is inserted in the small opening to gently spread the muscle to create a small passage and guide through which the surgery is performed endoscopically. The tip of the dilator is advanced into the symptomatic disc through the tear in the annulus where the herniation originates, and a tube called the retractor slides over the dilator and is carefully positioned into the painful disc. The rest of the entire Deuk laser disc repair surgery will occur inside this narrow tube.

To access the spine, an endoscopic camera is inserted into the tubular retractor to allow the surgeon to guide the laser inside each symptomatic disc. This process ensures that bones and surrounding tissues are not damaged, unlike traditional spinal fusions, microdiscectomy, and artificial discs.

The Holmium YAG laser used in the Deuk laser disc repair is manipulated accurately with millimeter precision under endoscopic visualization to remove only painful inflammatory tissue from the disc. The laser is precisely used to remove damaged disc material that is causing the pain. 

The entire process takes about an hour and leaves less than one-quarter inch incision in the skin, which can be closed with a single stitch and a band-aid. After the surgery, the Deuk laser disc repair patient is back home, enjoying life with a speedy recovery allowing normal activities without pain. Another advantage of Deuk laser disc repair is that no opioids or powerful narcotic painkillers are needed after surgery.

If you’re suffering from chronic back and neck pain, submit your MRI for a free review with our team.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Types: 

There are three types of spinal cord stimulator devices:

  • Traditional spinal cord stimulator
  • Rechargeable spinal cord stimulator
  • Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (pENS)

What is the Traditional Spinal Cord Stimulator?

It is a battery-operated device that is implanted under the skin on the back. It is typically implanted near the spinal cord and connected to two leads that are placed along the spinal cord for pain relief.

What is a Rechargeable Spinal Cord Stimulator?

A rechargeable spinal cord stimulator is a newer type of spinal cord stimulator device. It is a battery-operated device that is implanted under the skin on the back or abdomen. The spinal cord stimulator can be recharged, so it does not have to be replaced as often.

What Is a Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (PENS)?

A percutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (pENS) is a spinal cord stimulator device that sends electrical impulses through the spinal column. It does not have leads or wires, so it can be placed in different areas of the spinal cord to help with pain relief.

What is the success rate and life expectancy of a spinal cord stimulator?

The success rate of a spinal cord stimulator is variable and depends on the person’s situation. The life expectancy of a spinal cord stimulator also varies and depends on the type of device and how it is used.

How long does it take to recover from a spinal cord stimulator?

There is no one answer to this question since everyone recovers differently. However, most people do not require a lot of time to recover from the surgical implant.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Side Effects

The spinal cord stimulator can cause some side effects, such as:

  • Weakness or tingling in the legs.
  • Infection.
  • Bleeding under the skin near the implanted area of the spinal cord stimulator.

What are other risks and disadvantages associated with spinal cord stimulators? 

  • Like we mentioned earlier, a spinal cord stimulator does not work to reduce chronic back and neck pain. 
  • Also, it is expensive when compared with other alternative treatments for chronic low back pain, such as medications, physical therapy, exercise programs, massage, acupuncture, and Deuk Laser Disc Repair. 
  • Another disadvantage of this procedure is that people who have had surgery implantation can experience complications after their operation, including infections at the surgical site and bleeding around the electrodes.
  • People with spinal cord stimulators can experience side effects from surgical implantation. These include infection, bleeding around the electrodes, and scar tissue at the site of electrode placement. Spinal fluid leaks or spinal headaches are other potential risks that may occur following spinal cord stimulator implantation. 
  • Device may need to be replaced often.
  • It may not be covered by insurance.
  • Surgery implants may cause spinal cord injury or other complications.

Before deciding if they are right for them, people should discuss the risks and disadvantages of spinal cord stimulators with a trusted doctor.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Horror Stories

Some people have experienced severe problems with their spinal cord stimulator, such as:

  • Spinal cord stimulator caused paralysis
  • Spinal cord stimulator caught fire
  • Implant site became infected

These horror stories serve as a reminder that it is important to weigh the risks and disadvantages of spinal cord stimulators before deciding if they are right for you.

Video Credit

Living with a Spinal Cord Stimulator

If you're already living with spinal cord stimulators, we've provided answers to common questions that you might have.

Can I have CT scans and X-rays with a spinal cord stimulator?

So long as your spinal cord stimulator is powered off, X-rays and CT scans are generally safe. It's always a good idea to let someone know you have one before undergoing any medical procedure that requires them to be aware of this fact!

Will the spinal cord stimulator set off airport security?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has confirmed that they can detect stimulators, but your physician will give you an identification card to allow bypassing the machine. Some people find passing through airport security gates causes uncomfortable interference with their device; if possible, turn it off before going into the screening area.

Are spinal cord stimulators MRI compatible?

If you have a spinal cord stimulation device and are considering an MRI, make sure to discuss the risks with your doctor beforehand. Even newer models can cause injury or interference if they're not compatible with MRIs in general terms. 

Can I drive with a spinal cord stimulator?

No! When driving or operating heavy machinery, it is crucial that you power off your stimulator. 

Can I swim with a spinal cord stimulator?

Swimming is great for those with a permanent, implanted generator. But you cannot get your temporary stimulator wet, so avoid baths and showers during that short trial period!

Can a spinal cord stimulator be removed?

Yes. It is important to know that a spinal cord stimulator can be removed safely if you are unsatisfied with the level of pain relief it provides or there has been an infection in your system.

The Bottom Line

Spinal cord stimulators do not work to cure chronic back and neck pain instead, it's been shown to cause spinal fluid leaks or spinal headaches as well as other complications. If you're suffering from chronic back and neck pain, you should consider Deuk Laser Disc Repair. Deuk Laser Disc Repair is the most advanced laser spine surgery in the world, and it's only offered at Deuk Spine Institute. 

At Deuk Spine Institute, we believe physicians are responsible for doing what’s best for patients. Spinal Cord Stimulators that damage the spine are more profitable for spinal surgeons. We’re not driven by opportunities to make more money. We’re driven by our capacity to help others.

As a world-renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Deuk has unique insight into the intricacies of spinal health and nerves. Laser spine surgery at Deuk Spine Institute can treat bulging discs, sciatica, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and other conditions that cause intense chronic pain.

If you would like to enjoy premium patient-oriented care delivered by world-class physicians, contact us at Deuk Spine Institute today. We also offer free consultation on your MRI scan. Visit our site here to start your treatment. Submit your MRI for a free review with our team.

Cure your back and neck pain once and for all.

Deuk Laser Disc Repair has patients back on their feet within an hour, feeling zero pain
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About Deuk Spine Institute
World leader in Laser Spine Surgery
With world-class physicians on staff, the newest and most advanced technology, and a patient experience pathway that is unrivaled in it’s efficiency and and pedagogy of care, Deuk Spine Institute has performed thousands of procedures and achieves a 95% success rate in elimination of pain.

 The services we offer are not offered anywhere else in the world, and the treatments are curative, not palliative.  On top of that, Dr. Deukmedjian is personally invested in the well-being of each and every patient, and has spared no expense to guarantee the best possible outcomes.
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