Introduction. Spinal cord stimulators (SCS) are indicated for the management of multiple pain states with strong evidence. Recent guidelines recommend discontinuing aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the described procedures. The goal of this investigation is to assess the rate of bleeding and neurologic sequelae in patients undergoing SCS trials and implantation. Methods. This is a retrospective review from 2005 through 2014 of all patients 18 years or older undergoing the following procedures: Percutaneous SCS implantations, SCS revisions, and SCS trials. Baseline characteristics, antiplatelet and anticoagulation medications, coagulation parameters, and procedural details were extracted. The primary outcome was the presence of a bleeding complication within 31 days of the procedure requiring emergency medicine, neurology, or neurosurgical evaluation. The neurological complication was independently categorized for its potential relationship to procedural bleeding, and periprocedural red blood cell transfusion requirements were analyzed as a secondary outcome. Results. A total of 642 percutaneous SCS procedures were performed on 421 unique patients, including 346 SCS trials, 255 SCS implantations, and 41 revision surgeries. Patients had received aspirin or NSAIDs within 7 days of needle placement for 101 procedures (15.7%). There were no bleeding or neurological complications identified in this cohort. Conclusion. Although the incidence of epidural hematoma is low, the development of bleeding complications following SCS lead placement can be devastating. In the present investigation, we identified no cases of epidural hematoma following percutaneous SCS lead placement, including more than 100 patients receiving aspirin or NSAIDs. Future investigations with larger numbers are needed to better define the relationships between periprocedural aspirin and NSAID utilization and bleeding complications.
- Spinal cord stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine