Benefits of Cluneal Nerve Stimulation

Chronic pain saps your energy and can darken your mood. There are many reasons for chronic pain in your lower back and buttocks, and pain that radiates down your leg. If you’ve received all the traditional treatments for pain with no real relief, you’re seeking an alternative. 

If your pain is the result of any of the following issues, you may be a candidate for cluneal nerve stimulation, a technique that can help ease your discomfort: 

The caring staff at Apollo Pain Management in Sun City Center, Florida, treats patients with chronic pain daily. We’re pain specialists. Our expert staff, led by Dr. R. James Warren, a board-certified physician in pain management, teams with your general practitioner, orthopedic specialist, or other specialist to ensure you receive the correct diagnosis.

Cluneal nerve stimulation involves a surgical procedure; our staff reviews your medical history and lets you know whether you’re a good candidate for it or whether another treatment is needed.  

 Where are my cluneal nerves?

Your cluneal nerves — including superior, medial, and inferior cluneal nerves — are located in your lumbar (lower) spine and your buttocks. The superior cluneal nerve is often the culprit in your pain; it can become entrapped by the tissue surrounding it. More than half of patients with superior and medial cluneal nerve disorder in a 2018 study had leg pain.   

What is cluneal nerve stimulation

The procedure involves two steps; the first involves a trial to see if the procedure is going to benefit you. You’ll be under light sedation along with having local anesthesia, so you’ll be comfortable during the procedure. Your Apollo Pain Management physician makes an incision and identifies the nerve to be treated. He places electrodes along the nerve and brings them up on top of your skin. 

Once you’re awake, staff attach the electrodes to an external device. It sends an electric current to your nerves; this helps mask your pain. If this trial procedure helps you, we proceed to step two. 

In stage two, we implant the electrodes under the skin next to the nerve. Deep sedation of general anesthesia is provided for this step. An external battery is used to power the electrodes and provide relief.  You will likely only need to use the battery for a few hours each day. The battery is programmed so that you receive the right amount of stimulation.

Post-surgery recovery

You’ll have a few stitches, which should be removed about four days after the surgery. Follow all of your post-op instructions. You’ll need to forgo vigorous exercise for about six weeks. However, it’s important to get regular lower-stress exercise. Take a walk in the neighborhood daily while you’re recovering. 

How long does pain relief from cluneal nerve stimulation last? 

The results vary depending on the individual. You’ll likely see a benefit for several years. Over time, the results may wane, but the setting on the stimulator can be increased to combat this change. 

Ask your general practitioner for a referral to Apollo Pain Management. Our coordinator calls you to schedule the appointment. Don’t wait another day; we’ll help you regain mobility and a better quality of life. 

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