Has your world shrunk because your legs hurt and moving is difficult? If you’ve been diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease and the treatments you’ve tried so far haven’t helped, is there hope?
Our caring staff at Apollo Pain Management in Sun City Center, Florida, provides an array of noninvasive and minimally invasive approaches to treat chronic and unremitting severe pain. One effective, minimally invasive treatment for peripheral vascular disease is spinal cord stimulation.
When you have peripheral vascular disease, a substance called plaque narrows the arteries that carry blood to your arms and legs so you don’t get enough rich nutrients to keep them functioning normally. In extreme cases, the condition can lead to amputation.
Spinal cord stimulation triggers the nerves in the area of your pain by delivering electric pulses to your spinal cord through a small device that goes just under your skin. The current prevents the nerves from sending pain signals to your brain.
Not everyone experiences enough pain relief with spinal cord stimulation to warrant implanting it under your skin. Doctors consider at least a 50 percent improvement in pain the proper threshold in order to implant the stimulator. With that much improvement, you can reduce pain medication or possibly eliminate it. In order to determine whether spinal cord stimulation works for you, your physician engages you in a trial period of stimulation to your spinal nerves.
You’ll receive local anesthesia or sedation for this procedure. Your physician inserts a needle containing wires with electrodes on the ends into the area of your spinal canal where your pain is located. Your expert pain management physician may wake you to check on all of the areas where you have pain to determine if you feel relief. You’re sedated again until the end of the procedure.
If you’ve experienced enough pain relief, the trial continues for a number of days. You wear a small device on a belt that is taped to your back. You have a hand-held device so that you can adjust the degree of stimulation you receive. It’s been programmed based on your feedback during the trial procedure in the Apollo Pain Management office.
You should keep notes on what stimulating settings help provide pain relief at certain times — for instance, getting up out of a chair. Many patients experience significant relief.
If the trial works, our board-certified pain management physician places a small spinal cord stimulator that weighs about one ounce just inside your skin in your abdomen or your buttocks. Tiny, insulated wires with electrodes on the ends run from the stimulator to a space in your spinal canal. The stimulator has a rechargeable battery that makes it convenient and easy to use. You have a remote to control the pulses.
Call Apollo Pain Management to schedule an appointment when your doctor provides a referral. We’re your partner in pain management. You can also request an appointment online.