After the patient has completed the “test drive,” the patient and pain specialist will decide whether or not spinal cord stimulation is an effective therapy. If they decide to go forward, then the patient will undergo another surgical procedure to surgically place the device. The leads may be inserted in a procedure similar to an epidural. In some cases, a pain specialist may recommend a surgical lead, also known as a paddle lead.
In this case, the paddle lead is placed at the target site during a surgical procedure. Patients may remain awake during this procedure, under local anesthesia and light sedation. In other cases, general anesthesia may be administered. Besides a cordless remote control, the patient will also receive a portable, cordless charger and a base station for the charger.