Tagged: Spinal Column Stimulators

A Conversation with Dr. Daniel Batlan: Spinal Column Stimulators

Spinal Column Stimulators pic

Spinal Column Stimulators
Image: spinalcordstimulatorinfo.com

As a pain management physician, Dr. Daniel Batlan works with his patients to relieve, reduce, or manage pain. Among the most highly advanced pain control modalities is spinal column stimulation (SCS), a method that interrupts pain transmission, thus reducing or eliminating the perception of pain.

Question: Please explain the basics of spinal column stimulation.
Dr. Daniel Batlan: A spinal column stimulator is a small implantable device with a transmitter placed under the skin of the abdomen or buttocks, with leads that connect to the spinal column. After the device is implanted, the transmitter or stimulator sends electrical pulses along the leads to the spinal column, effectively interrupting pain signals.

Question: What can a patient expect when you implant one of these devices?
Dr. Daniel Batlan: The implantation is a two-part process. First, I want to be certain the device will effectively manage the patient’s pain, so I insert two small wires into his or her epidural space and attach an external unit. Then I have the patient use the device for several days to see how well the treatment works for them. If it is successful at reducing pain after several days, he or she can have the permanent stimulator inserted. The permanent device is implanted entirely underneath the skin, allowing the patient to resume virtually all of their normal activities.

Question: Who can benefit from this type of device?
Dr. Daniel Batlan: The device often works well for patients that have undergone previous spinal surgery and experienced no relief of pain relief. It also may be effective for patients who have tried a variety of management techniques and nothing works for them. Patients who are not surgical candidates or who do not wish to undergo surgery may also do well with these devices. Finally, spinal stimulation is also effective for selected patients with neuropathic pain, such as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy [RSD] and other causes of neuropathy.

Question: What is the efficacy of the treatment?
Dr. Daniel Batlan: I have had patients tell me it is life altering. In my experience, it provides relief to a large number of patients, eliminating 50 percent or more of their pain.

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Pain Management Practices

By Dr Daniel Batlan

In order to treat patients appropriately, pain management physician Dr. Daniel Batlan uses established medical practices. These approaches include: documenting subjective complaints via detailed medical history, establishing objective findings via examination and other studies, assessing a patient’s condition by achieving an accurate diagnosis, and providing a treatment plan to manage pain and its underlying conditions. Some of the treatment techniques Dr. Batlan employs with his patients include the following.

1. Medication Management: In some cases, controlled, supervised medication administration remains the most reliable method for treating pain. Pain medications may include anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, corticosteroids, and anesthetics. Additional pain relievers include anticonvulsants, which may relieve nerve pain; disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs); and other agents that may help manage pain from rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

2. Nerve Blocks: Highly effective at relieving multiple types of pain, nerve blocks consist of strategically injected medications that “turn off” pain signals from a given area. Although results vary, for many patients that pain relief can last months or even years. Nerve blocks may effectively treat pain from degenerative arthritis or bulging discs in the neck and back, sciatica, spinal stenosis, neuropathy (including from diabetes), headaches, endometriosis, some cancer pain, and pain associated with internal organ disease such as pancreatitis.

3. Spinal Column Stimulators: These implantable electronic devices treat chronic back pain using electrical stimulation. Units generate electrical pulses to the spinal column via small leads running under the skin. These pulses modify or interrupt pain signal transmission.At his practice, Dr. Batlan tests a temporary device for effectiveness before the permanent device is implanted. The permanent device is entirely placed underneath the skin (similar to a heart pacemaker), and often the permanent stimulator can be inserted in an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia and sedation. Spinal Column Stimulation is the most advanced means of achieving profound pain control, and it may be indicated for patients that suffer from single or multiple failed back surgeries, patients that are not candidates for formal spine surgery, or selected patients that suffer from neuropathies such as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YqfmFVlmDE&feature=related

4. Trigger Point Injections: Helpful in treating muscle pain or spasms, trigger point injections contain an anesthetic and, sometimes a corticosteroid. Dr. Batlan uses a small needle to inject these substances into knots of muscle in order to relax them and diminish pain.

5. Joint Injections: Dr. Batlan uses these simple in-office injections to help relieve pain in joints, such as hips or knees.

You can learn more about Dr. Daniel Batlan and Specialized Pain Management at the website: www.treatpainlv.com