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III MEETING OF PAIN SECTION OF SIAARTI
INTERNATIONAL J. J. BONICA MEMORIAL
Capo Calavà (Messina), September 20-23, 2004
Costantini A. 1,2
1 Unit of Physiopathology and Therapy of Pain SS. Annunziata Hospital, Chieti, Italy
2 Department of Anesthesia and Resuscitation G. D’Annunzio University, Chieti, Italy
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a neuromodulation technique using electricity, proposed for the first time by Shealy in 1967, as an alternative to neuroablation. Technological impro-vements in the last 20 years (percutaneous electrodes, single and dual leads, octopolar electrodes, high energy internal pulse generators) have allowed to obtain good results with SCS in various clinical situations of chronic pain. The main clinical indications to SCS are: vascular pain - refractory angina and peripheral vascular diseases (PVD); rachidian pain - failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), degenerative low back leg pain (LBLP), nerve root lesions, incomplete spine lesions, spinal stenosis; neuropathic pain; chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) type 1 and type 2; perineal pain and urological diseases (urge-incontinence, interstitial cystitis). There are important differences between Europe and USA in the SCS use in various indications, especially about PVD. Really, in Europe this technique has been widely used and, finally, there are prospective studies establishing the utility of SCS in: limb survival; pain control; regression to Fontaine stage II; improvement of free interval of claudication. All of this is going to change the attitude towards SCS in USA, where the amputation incidence for critical ischaemia is considerably higher than in Europe. An indication to SCS not very mentioned in literature and that seems to have good results is LBLP due to acquired or mixed (constitutional-acquired) spinal stenosis. In this situation SCS seems to improve notably pain control and quality of life index of patients.