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Pain. 1993 Jan;52(1):55-61.

Spinal cord stimulation in failed back surgery syndrome.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen, Edegem, Belgium.


We have reviewed our experience with spinal cord stimulation in treating patients with the failed back surgery syndrome and have assessed patient and patient-selection characteristics as predictors of the long-term outcome. Neuroradiological investigations eliminated the possibility of a surgically treatable lesion and electromyogram assessed the chronic radicular suffering in correlation with the complaints and the clinical examination of the patient. Excellent pain relief (75% or more) during 1 week of trial stimulation and no major psychiatric or psychological pathology were criteria of selection. Seventy-eight patients underwent trial stimulation. Fourteen (18%) failed to obtain excellent pain relief during 1 week of stimulation and their electrodes were removed. The remaining 64 underwent an internalization of the system and they were followed by a clinical observation every 3 months and this for a mean follow-up period of 4 years (range: 1-7 years). Thirty-five patients (55%) continued to experience at least 50% of pain relief at the latest follow-up. Fifty-eight patients (90%) were able to reduce their medication, 39 patients (61%) reported a change in lifestyle, in that their ability to perform daily activities had improved significantly. Fifty-three patients (83%) continued to use their device at the latest follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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