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J Neurosurg. 1989 Apr;70(4):519-24.

Spinal cord stimulation in management of chronic pain. A 9-year experience.

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  • 1Institute of Neurosurgery, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.


Between 1978 and 1986, 109 patients with chronic pain underwent spinal cord stimulation (SCS) at the authors' institute as part of their pain treatment program. The results of SCS in these patients at the end of the test period and at the latest follow-up examination are analyzed in relation to the etiology of their pain. In 40 patients pain was associated with an obstructive peripheral vasculopathy, in 10 with a previous herpes zoster infection, in 15 with an incomplete traumatic spinal cord lesion, in nine with root and/or nerve damage, in 11 with cancer, and in 19 with previous back surgery. The etiology of the pain in five patients was uncertain. This experience supports the conclusion that the best indications for SCS are vasculopathic pain and post-herpetic neuralgia. No clinical usefulness was found for SCS in cancer pain or in central deafferentation types of pain.

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