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Spinal Cord Stimulation Specialist

Leia Rispoli, MD

Interventional Pain Medicine located in Newport Beach, CA & Marina Del Rey, CA

Chronic lower back and limb pain is hard, sometimes nearly impossible, to treat with standard therapies. When you can’t find relief for your pain, it may be time to consider a spinal cord stimulator. Leia Rispoli, MD, has extensive experience relieving back and leg pain by implanting a spinal cord stimulator. Once you receive the device, it continues to relieve your pain in the long run. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Marina Del Rey or Newport Beach, California, or book an appointment online today.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q & A

How does spinal cord stimulation relieve my pain?

Spinal cord stimulators use a mild electrical impulse to change the activity of nerves in your spine. This treatment, called neuromodulation, masks or blocks the signals being relayed to your brain. When a pain signal doesn’t reach your brain, you may feel reduced or dampened pain. 

What painful conditions can spinal cord stimulation treat?

Dr. Rispoli may recommend spinal cord stimulation to relieve chronic back or leg pain that develops due to:

  • Radicular pain (i.e. sciatica)
  • Herniated disc pain refractory to conservative and surgical interventions)
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Failed back surgery
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
  • Certain chronic pelvic pain

You may also benefit from spinal cord stimulation if you have pain related to peripheral neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease.

How is a spinal cord stimulator implanted?

Your spinal cord stimulator consists of three parts: A small pulse generator, flexible wires with multiple leads, and a remote controller. Dr. Rispoli implants the generator under the skin of your abdomen, upper chest, or upper buttocks, depending on which area is most comfortable for you.

Using fluoroscopy to see inside your spine and guide the wires to the right location, she gently threads the wires along your spine, placing the leads near the nerves responsible for transmitting the pain signals.

Finally, Dr. Rispoli uses the remote control to program the frequency and strength of the electrical impulses emitted by the generator.

How will I know whether a spinal cord stimulation can help me?

You’ll go through a trial to determine whether the spinal cord stimulator relieves your pain. Dr. Rispoli places the wires along your spine, but you’ll wear the pulse generator around your waist. After about a week, you can decide whether you want to have the pulse generator implanted or have the wires removed.

Am I a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation?

You may be a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have debilitating pain that has lasted at least three months
  • Conservative treatments have failed
  • Additional surgery isn’t recommended, or you don’t want surgery
  • You don’t have medical conditions that would interfere with the implantation surgery
  • You had a successful trial period

Dr. Rispoli evaluates these factors together with your overall health to determine whether you’re a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation.

If you suffer from chronic back or leg pain, call the office of Leia Rispoli, MD, or book an appointment online to discuss spinal cord stimulation today.