Patient Outcomes and Spinal Cord Stimulation: A Retrospective Case Series Evaluating Patient Satisfaction, Pain Scores, and Opioid Requirements

Rebecca A. Sanders, Susan M. Moeschler, Halena M. Gazelka, Tim J. Lamer, Zhen Wang, Qu Wenchun, Bryan C. Hoelzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Introduction: Spinal cord stimulators (SCS) are used to treat various chronic pain states. Establishing patient outcomes in terms of pain control, opioid medication use, and overall satisfaction is vital in maintaining SCS's role in clinical practice. Methods: All patients who underwent SCS implantation between January 2001 and December 2011 at a tertiary academic pain medicine center were included if he or she underwent permanent cervical or thoracolumbar dorsal column SCS implantation and age was 18 or greater. For the 199 patients who met inclusion criteria, data were collected retrospectively. Preimplant information included indication for implantation, Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) score, and dose in oral morphine equivalents (OME). Postimplant NRS score was recorded at 6 months and 1 year. OME requirement and patient satisfaction were determined at 1 year postimplantation. Results: This data set showed an overall decrease in OME requirements and NRS scores at both 6 months and 1 year. These differences were statistically significant (P < 0.01) compared to preimplantation values. Additionally, 84.27% of patients were satisfied with their implants at 1 year. Patient outcomes were analyzed further in respect to implant indication; groups included failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), angina, and other. For all groups, there were statistically significant (P < 0.01) decreases in NRS scores at 6 months and 1 year. In the FBSS and CRPS groups, statistically significant (P < 0.02) decreases in OME usage existed. Conclusion: Retrospective review of patients with spinal cord stimulators revealed OME reduction at 1 year for those patients in the FBSS and CRPS groups; patient satisfaction at 1 year and NRS score reduction at 6 months and 1 year were statistically significant for all groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-904
Number of pages6
JournalPain Practice
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • observational study
  • opioids
  • outcomes
  • pain measurement
  • spinal cord stimulators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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