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Pain Med. 2011 Feb;12(2):204-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.01019.x. Epub 2010 Dec 10.

Spinal cord stimulator--trial lead migration study.

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  • 1Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.



Investigate whether percutaneous spinal cord stimulator (SCS) leads migrate significantly during a 3-day trial, and determine whether the skin anchoring method influences lead migration.


Twenty patients were prospectively enrolled. Ten leads were anchored with suture and tape and 10 were anchored with tape only. A standardized X-ray protocol of lead position was obtained immediately following lead placement and upon completion of the trial.


Using a standardized method, SCS leads were measured and movement was calculated. The average movement for leads anchored with tape only was 8.72 mm (SD=5.77), inferiorly; while movement for leads anchored with suture and tape was 24.49 mm (SD=11.3), inferiorly. A t-test revealed a significant difference between the groups (t=3.9, P=0.001).


Percutaneous SCS trial electrodes migrate significantly, inferiorly, during a 3-day trial. Anchoring the trial electrodes to the skin with a suture and tape results in significantly greater inferior migration when compared with anchoring the lead with tape only.

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