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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2004 March;70(3):117-24

language: English, Italian

Prospective study of the success and efficacy of spinal cord stimulation

Allegri M. 1, Arachi G. 1, Barbieri M. 2, Paulin L. 2, Bettaglio R. 2, Bonetti G. 2, Demartini L. 2, Violini A. 1, Braschi A. 1, Bonezzi C. 2

1 Anesthesia and Resuscitation Service I “S. Matteo” Polyclinic, IRCCS, Pavia, Italy
2 Unit of Palliative Care and Pain Therapy “S. Maugeri” Foundation, IRCCS, Pavia, Italy


Aim. To explore success, the percentage of patients who received definitive implants compared to all patients screened, and efficacy, the percentage of patients that had improved in at least 3 of the 5 parameters after 1 year. In addition, we determined if there was a statistically significant reduction in pain and functional limiting. Finally, we wanted to investigate if the different paresthesia coverage has a different outcome after 1 year of SCS treatment.
Methods. We studied 170 patients with neuropathic pain syndrome, failed back surgery syndrome and vascular disease, who received spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in the last 4 years. We evaluated, at the beginning and after 1 year, the patients with a questionnaire that assessed pain, what kind of function, drug consumption, patient’s satisfaction and the improvement in the quality of life.
Results. This study showed a success of more than 50% and an efficacy of more than 69.9%, with no significant differences in 3 different chronic pain conditions. Pain and functional limiting presented a statistically significant reduction. Finally, we confirmed that there were no statistically significant differences between patients with different paresthesia coverage.
Conclusion. This prospective study confirmed that SCS had good success and efficacy in the treatment of several types of chronic pain. Finally, our study showed the importance of obtaining paresthesia in the affected area but it is not essential to cover the entire painful area.

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