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      Complications of Spinal Cord Stimulation and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Techniques: A Review of the Literature

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      Pain Medicine

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Spinal cord and peripheral neurostimulation techniques have been practiced since 1967 for the relief of pain, and some techniques are also used for improvement in organ function. Neuromodulation has recognized complications, although very rarely do these cause long-term morbidity. The aim of this article is to present a review of complications observed in patients treated with neurostimulation techniques.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Post-dural puncture headache: pathogenesis, prevention and treatment.

          Spinal anaesthesia developed in the late 1800s with the work of Wynter, Quincke and Corning. However, it was the German surgeon, Karl August Bier in 1898, who probably gave the first spinal anaesthetic. Bier also gained first-hand experience of the disabling headache related to dural puncture. He correctly surmised that the headache was related to excessive loss of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In the last 50 yr, the development of fine-gauge spinal needles and needle tip modification, has enabled a significant reduction in the incidence of post-dural puncture headache. Though it is clear that reducing the size of the dural perforation reduces the loss of CSF, there are many areas regarding the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of post-dural puncture headache that remain contentious. How does the microscopic pattern of collagen alignment in the spinal dura affect the dimensions of the dural perforation? How do needle design, size and orientation influence leakage of CSF through the dural perforation? Can pharmacological methods reduce the symptoms of post-dural puncture headache? By which mechanism does the epidural blood patch cure headache? Is there a role for the prophylactic epidural blood patch? Do epidural saline, dextran, opioids and tissue glues reduce the rate of CSF loss? This review considers these contentious aspects of post-dural puncture headache.
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            Is Open Access

            Sustained Effectiveness of 10 kHz High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation for Patients with Chronic, Low Back Pain: 24-Month Results of a Prospective Multicenter Study

            Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term efficacy and safety of paresthesia-free high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (HF10 SCS) for the treatment of chronic, intractable pain of the low back and legs. Design Prospective, multicenter, observational study. Method Patients with significant chronic low back pain underwent implantation of a spinal cord stimulator capable of HF10 SCS. Patients' pain ratings, disability, sleep disturbances, opioid use, satisfaction, and adverse events were assessed for 24 months. Results After a trial period, 88% (72 of 82) of patients reported a significant improvement in pain scores and underwent the permanent implantation of the system. Ninety percent (65 of 72) of patients attended a 24-month follow-up visit. Mean back pain was reduced from 8.4 ± 0.1 at baseline to 3.3 ± 0.3 at 24 months (P < 0.001), and mean leg pain from 5.4 ± 0.4 to 2.3 ± 0.3 (P < 0.001). Concomitantly to the pain relief, there were significant decreases in opioid use, Oswestry Disability Index score, and sleep disturbances. Patients' satisfaction and recommendation ratings were high. Adverse Events were similar in type and frequency to those observed with traditional SCS systems. Conclusions In patients with chronic low back pain, HF10 SCS resulted in clinically significant and sustained back and leg pain relief, functional and sleep improvements, opioid use reduction, and high patient satisfaction. These results support the long-term safety and sustained efficacy of HF10 SCS.
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              Spinal cord stimulation for patients with failed back surgery syndrome or complex regional pain syndrome: a systematic review of effectiveness and complications.

              We conducted a systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in relieving pain and improving functioning for patients with failed back surgery syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). We also reviewed SCS complications. Literature searches yielded 583 articles, of which seven met the inclusion criteria for the review of SCS effectiveness, and 15 others met the criteria only for the review of SCS complications. Two authors independently extracted data from each article, and then resolved discrepancies by discussion. We identified only one randomized trial, which found that physical therapy (PT) plus SCS, compared with PT alone, had a statistically significant but clinically modest effect at 6 and 12 months in relieving pain among patients with CRPS. Similarly, six other studies of much lower methodological quality suggest mild to moderate improvement in pain with SCS. Pain relief with SCS appears to decrease over time. The one randomized trial suggested no benefits of SCS in improving patient functioning. Although life-threatening complications with SCS are rare, other adverse events are frequent. On average, 34% of patients who received a stimulator had an adverse occurrence. We conclude with suggestions for methodologically stronger studies to provide more definitive data regarding the effectiveness of SCS in relieving pain and improving functioning, short- and long-term, among patients with chronic pain syndromes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pain Medicine
                Pain Med
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1526-2375
                1526-4637
                December 14 2015
                : pnv025
                Article
                10.1093/pm/pnv025
                26814260
                © 2015

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