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Neuromodulation. 2010 Jul;13(3):218-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1403.2009.00269.x. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

Patient perspectives on the efficacy and ergonomics of rechargeable spinal cord stimulators.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.



  Rechargeable spinal cord stimulation (RSCS) systems have been advocated as a way to reduce replacement surgeries, overall costs, and the morbidity of therapy. However, little data exist as to patients' experiences with these devices, which require more care and maintenance than prior primary cell systems. We analyzed patient experiences with RSCS.


  Thirty-five patients with implanted RSCS systems completed a survey regarding their use of the system, their experiences with recharging, and their perspectives on the device.


  Patients reported recharging an average of 5.2 times per month for 2.3 hours each time. Overall, 23.3% of recharging attempts were problematic. There was great variability in the length, frequency, and ease of recharging RSCS systems. These factors determined the patients' level of satisfaction.


  RSCS systems benefit most patients. However, in some patients, the lifestyle costs of recharging may not make RSCS an appropriate means of pain management. Several areas of improvement exist for the design of future devices.

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