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      The effect of spinal cord stimulation on pain medication reduction in intractable spine and limb pain: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials and meta-analysis

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          Objective: To synthesize the evidence regarding the effect of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) on opioid and pain medication reduction in patients with intractable spine or limb pain.

          Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify RCTs of patients with chronic back and/or limb pain of greater than one year duration. Only comparative studies were included (ie, conventional SCS vs medical therapy, conventional SCS vs high-frequency SCS) and were required to have a minimum follow-up period of 3 months. Random effect meta-an alysis was used to compare the three interventions. Results were expressed as odds ratio (OR) or weighted mean difference (WMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

          Results: We identified five trials enrolling 489 patients. Three of the trials reported the results as a number of patients who were able to reduce or eliminate opioid consumption in the SCS vs medical therapy group. The odds of reducing opioid consumption were significantly increased in the SCS group compared to medical therapy (OR 8.60, CI {1.93–38.30}). Two of the trials reported the results as mean medication dose reduction as measured by the Medication Quantification Scale (MQS) in the SCS group vs medical therapy group. MQS score significantly decreased in the SCS group and not in the medical group (WMD –1.97, 95% CI {–3.67, –0.27}). One trial reported a number of patients in high-frequency SCS who were able to reduce opioids vs number of patients in conventional SCS group who were able to reduce opioids. Thirty-four percent of the patients in the high-frequency group and 26% of the patients in the conventional SCS group were able to reduce opioid consumption; however, there was not a significant difference between groups (OR 1.43, 95% CI {0.74, 2.78}). This trial also quantified the opioid reduction in morphine equivalent dosage (MED). In the high-frequency SCS group, average MED decreased by 24.8 mg vs average MED decrease of 7.3 mg in the conventional SCS group. Again, the difference between groups did not reach statistical significance (–17.50, CI {–66.27, 31.27}).

          Conclusions: In patients with intractable spine/limb pain, SCS was associated with increased odds of reducing pain medication consumption. However, results should be treated with caution as available data were limited, and clinical significance of these findings requires further study.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Pharmaceutical overdose deaths, United States, 2010.

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            Novel 10-kHz High-frequency Therapy (HF10 Therapy) Is Superior to Traditional Low-frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation for the Treatment of Chronic Back and Leg Pain: The SENZA-RCT Randomized Controlled Trial.

            Current treatments for chronic pain have limited effectiveness and commonly known side effects. Given the prevalence and burden of intractable pain, additional therapeutic approaches are desired. Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) delivered at 10 kHz (as in HF10 therapy) may provide pain relief without the paresthesias typical of traditional low-frequency SCS. The objective of this randomized, parallel-arm, noninferiority study was to compare long-term safety and efficacy of SCS therapies in patients with back and leg pain.
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              Opioids for chronic noncancer pain: a position paper of the American Academy of Neurology.

              The Patient Safety Subcommittee requested a review of the science and policy issues regarding the rapidly emerging public health epidemic of prescription opioid-related morbidity and mortality in the United States. Over 100,000 persons have died, directly or indirectly, from prescribed opioids in the United States since policies changed in the late 1990s. In the highest-risk group (age 35-54 years), these deaths have exceeded mortality from both firearms and motor vehicle accidents. Whereas there is evidence for significant short-term pain relief, there is no substantial evidence for maintenance of pain relief or improved function over long periods of time without incurring serious risk of overdose, dependence, or addiction. The objectives of the article are to review the following: (1) the key initiating causes of the epidemic; (2) the evidence for safety and effectiveness of opioids for chronic pain; (3) federal and state policy responses; and (4) recommendations for neurologists in practice to increase use of best practices/universal precautions most likely to improve effective and safe use of opioids and to reduce the likelihood of severe adverse and overdose events.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                30 April 2019
                : 12
                : 1311-1324
                [1 ]Division of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Mayo Clinic , Rochester, MN 55905, USA
                [2 ]Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Mayo Clinic , Rochester, MN 55905, USA
                [3 ]Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Mayo Clinic , Rochester, MN, USA
                [4 ]Preventive, Occupational, and Aerospace Medicine, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic , Rochester, MN, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Tim J LamerDivision of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Mayo Clinic , 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN55905, USAEmail Lamer.tim@ 123456mayo.edu
                © 2019 Pollard et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 4, References: 31, Pages: 14


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