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Spinal Cord Stimulation

Many patients believe that they “need” major spine surgery because they were told so and believe surgery is the answer to alleviate their pain. The truth is there are only a few indications where a patient might “need” major spine surgery. These include severe spinal stenosis, neurological deficits (i.e. profound weakness, loss of bowel/bladder function, and foot drop) and tumors of the spine. Short of any of the true indications for spine surgery – pain caused from a spinal problem does not always require surgery. Other effective and less invasive options often exist. Additionally, there are no guarantees that surgery will alleviate the pain it is trying to treat. In fact major spine surgery is often followed by a long and painful recovery.

Enter spinal cord stimulation. A spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a small implanted pacemaker like device that delivers electrical impulses to tiny wire leads placed in the epidural space. The signals delivered to the spinal cord by the SCS intercept and change the painful nerve signals going to the brain so that less pain is perceived. Unlike surgery there is no drilling, hardware, or removal of bony structures of the spine that can jeopardize the spines functional integrity.

One major benefit of SCS over major surgery is that unlike surgery where there is no ability to sample or test drive the results – SCS always is preceded by a test drive. Would you buy a car without driving it first? The test drive is non-surgical and called a spinal cord stimulator trial. There are no sutures and no incisions!

SCS is an effective, FDA-approved treatment for those with certain types of chronic pain in their back, legs and arme. Worldwide, over 50,000 neurostimulators are implanted in such patients each year. Four out of five of these recipients report improvements in their quality of life along with reduced pain levels and reduced reliance on prescription medications. Yet, patients need to understand that SCS is not a cure for their pain. But it can reduce pain to manageable levels and allow greater function.

Senza® System

For years spinal SCS technology relied on what are called low frequency stimulation which provided a sensation of tingling – known as a paresthesia – as a distracting substitute for a patient’s pain. In May of 2015 the FDA approved a different kind of SCS – Nevro HF10 Senza - system that relies on high frequency stimulation. The clinical difference to the patient is much more effective pain relief which is free of the parasthesias offered by traditional low frequency stimulation. That’s right – patients have pain relief without having to endure the annoying and sometimes uncomfortable paresthesia sensation.

Dr. Glaser was one of the first doctors in the United States to implant the Senza® SCS system. The Senza® system, which delivers Nevro's proprietary HF10™ therapy, is a FDA-approved spinal cord stimulator that has demonstrated superior results compared to traditional SCS for the treatment of back and leg pain in a large multi-center study in the United States.

100 million people in the U.S. suffer from common chronic pain conditions, and chronic pain is the primary cause of adult disability in the United States. The majority of these pain conditions are felt in the back or legs. There are a variety of treatment options for chronic pain that range from medications to surgical interventions.

SCS is an exciting treatment option for chronic pain. It is most commonly used to treat severe low back and lower extremity pain. SCS uses electrical pulses to alter pain signals before they reach the brain. Hundreds of thousands of people with chronic pain have received relief with spinal cord stimulation.

Senza, HF10, Nevro, and the Nevro logo are trademarks of Nevro Corp.

HF10™ Therapy

HF10™ therapy, Nevro’s high-frequency therapy at 10,000 Hz, represents a significant advance in spinal cord stimulation. FDA approval for HF10™ therapy included superiority labeling over traditional SCS therapy (HF10™ therapy is the only SCS therapy with this distinction), validating that HF10™ therapy reduces pain more effectively in more patients.

Additionally, HF10™ therapy is also the only SCS therapy indicated to deliver pain relief without paresthesia (a stimulation-induced sensation, such as tingling, burning, or pricking, which is the basis of traditional SCS) and is also the only SCS system approved by FDA to be used without patient restrictions on driving while receiving therapy.

HF10™ Therapy Fact Sheet

HF10™ therapy, Nevro’s high-frequency therapy at 10,000 Hz, represents a significant advance in spinal cord stimulation. FDA approval for HF10™ therapy included superiority labeling over traditional SCS therapy (HF10™ therapy is the only SCS therapy with this distinction), validating that HF10™ therapy reduces pain more effectively in more patients.

Additionally, HF10™ therapy is also the only SCS therapy indicated to deliver pain relief without paresthesia (a stimulation-induced sensation, such as tingling, burning, or pricking, which is the basis of traditional SCS) and is also the only SCS system approved by FDA to be used without patient restrictions on driving while receiving therapy.

Senza, HF10, Nevro, and the Nevro logo are trademarks of Nevro Corp.

Trial or permanent SCS?

The stimulator trial procedure is performed on an outpatient basis using light sedation and local anesthetic. Dr. Glaser will place one or more leads in the epidural space. The leads are then secured to the back with bandages and connected to a portable external generator that exactly mimics the relief one would receive from an implantable device, but without surgery. The system will generate mild electrical pulses that intercept the painful nerve signals before they get to the brain.

Dr. Glaser will determine the length of the trial period. A longer trial allows him to test the patient's response to stimulation throughout the day. A shorter trial is often indicated when the pain response is immediate and pain relief is dramatic. The typical trial lasts four to seven days.

If the trial is successful, Dr. Glaser will implant the SCS system on an outpatient basis using light sedation and local anesthetic – just like for the trial. Two small incisions are made for this procedure. Patients are discharged home the same day and can even shower that day.

For advanced, comprehensive pain relief and care, including sciatica relief, come to Glaser Pain Relief Center. You can reach us at 818-501-PAIN (7246). For your convenience, you can use our Patient Portal to book your consultation. Our SCS patients come to us from Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas, Camarillo, Encino, Granada Hills, Lancaster, Los Angeles, Malibu, Northridge, Palmdale, Porter Ranch, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, Stevenson Ranch, Studio City, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Toluca Lake, Valencia, Westwood, Woodland Hills and the nearby communities.

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16311 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 518,
Encino,CA 91436


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818-501-PAIN (7246)

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