What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant?

A Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant (also called SCS) uses electrical impulses to relieve chronic pain of the back, arms and legs. It is believed that electrical pulses prevent pain signals from being received by the brain. SCS candidates include people who suffer from neuropathic pain and for whom conservative treatments have failed.

Electrodes at the end of the lead produce electrical pulses that stimulate the nerves, blocking pain signals. The patient gives feedback to help the provider determine where to place the stimulators to best block the patient’s pain. The leads are connected to an external trial stimulator, which will be used for approximately one week to determine if SCS will help the patient.

What is a Stellate Ganglion Block?

A stellate ganglion block is an injection that numbs branches of nerves in your neck. This helps doctors find and treat a number of problems linked to the nerves. Treatment may require a series of injections.

The stellate ganglion nerves travel along both sides of your spine. They are associated with a wide range of bodily functions that you don’t consciously control. These include blushing, heart rate, sweating and the dilation of your pupils.