Practice Parameters for the Use of Spinal Cord Stimulation in the Treatment of Chronic Neuropathic Pain

Pain Control

What should be done to control procedural pain during trial electrode placement?

Whenever possible, screening trials should take place using a local anesthetic.  Under general anesthetic, the unconscious patient can not describe paresthesia coverage or react to changes in stimulation parameters or intraoperative events, which might increase the risk of neurologic injury.  In some cases, however, a general anesthetic might be necessary (e.g., for cervical electrode placement of a surgical plate/paddle electrode).

Strength of recommendation Evidence source(s)/rationale
A = Recommended or required
Valid, useful, or non-negotiable
  • Weighing risk versus potential benefit and expert consensus reveals a high likelihood of a favorable outcome 
  • Only option (in some cases)