Purpose Spinal cord stimulation is a known modality for the treatment of chronic back and neck pain. Traditionally, spine surgeons and pain physicians perform the procedures. We report our experience in performing neuromodulation procedures in an outpatient interventional neuroradiology practice.
Methods A retrospective analysis of medical records of all trial and permanent implantation patients over a period of 4 years was performed. 45 patients (32 men) of median age 47 years were included in the study. The primary diagnoses were 23 cases of failed back or neck surgery syndrome, 12 cases of spinal stenosis, 4 cases of axial pain, 3 cases with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, 1 case of peripheral vascular disease, 1 case of phantom limb and 1 case of post-concussion syndrome.
Results Thirty-four trials were performed in an outpatient clinic while 11 trials were performed in hospital outpatient settings. Trial periods were 3–7 days. 27 patients (60%) who reported ≥50% pain relief underwent a permanent implantation. An interventional neuroradiologist performed 17 implantations, while spine surgeons performed 10 implantations. 23 implants were epidural (19 lumbar and 4 cervical) and four implants were subcutaneous. During the follow-up period, three patients had infections (13%) and required removal of the device and two cases (8%) reported lead migration.
Conclusions Neuromodulation procedures can be performed safely in an outpatient interventional radiology setting. Although the infection rate was relatively higher in this study population, the other complication rates and trial-to-implant ratio are similar to published data.
- Spinal cord
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