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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions About Spinal Cord Stimulation and Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation

  • What is Spinal Cord Stimulation or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation and how does it work?

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  • How will I know if a Spinal Cord Stimulator or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulator will work for me?

    You will need to discuss your condition with your doctor to determine the kinds of pain treatments that may work for you. The treatment that your doctor will choose depends on the type of pain, its severity, and your response to pain treatments provided up to this point. If your doctor thinks you are might be a good candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation, you can complete a screening test also called a “Trial” to see if it will provide adequate pain relief.

  • What does Spinal Cord Stimulation or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation feel like?

    You may feel a tingling or buzzing sensation (Paresthesias) from spinal cord stimulation or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) stimulation, depending on your stimulation level. Your stimulation level can be adjusted to deliver your preferred sensation and pain relief.

    Some Spinal Cord Stimulators or Neurostimulators such as Nevro HF10 and St. Jude Medical Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation provide stimulation that effectively manages chronic pain without perceived paresthesias.

  • Will spinal cord stimulation therapy completely eliminate my chronic pain?

    Typically, people who find the treatment helpful experience significant and sustained reduction in chronic pain.  However, spinal cord stimulation does not eliminate the source of pain, so the amount of pain reduction varies from person to person. Neurostimulation therapy is not a cure for chronic pain, but rather a therapy to help you manage your pain.

  • Will a Spinal Cord Stimulator or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulator reduce other types of pain?

    Your spinal cord stimulation system will not provide relief from other types of pain such as headaches, stomachaches, fractures, etc.

  • Is Spinal Cord Stimulation a new type of treatment?

    No. Spinal cord stimulation was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1984, however the U.S. Food and Drug Administration only recently approved Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation for use to treat CRPS I and CRPS II.

    St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device company and an international leader in the development of therapies for the treatment of chronic pain,  announced FDA approval of the St. Jude Medical Axium™ Neurostimulator System for dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation.  The approval of DRG stimulation in the U.S. will ensure access to a superior therapeutic approach for treating moderate to severe chronic intractable pain of the lower limbs in adult patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS I and II).  The chronic pain disorder known as CRPS often affects the extremities.  St. Jude Medical expects that DRG stimulation will be available to physicians and patients in the coming weeks.

  • Will my insurance company cover the cost of the trial and permanent implantation of a Spinal Cord Stimulator or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulator?

    Most insurance companies will pay for the trial and permanent implantation of a spinal cord stimulator or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulator.  However, as with many costly treatment options, your physician will have to get precertification from your insurance company before you can receive trial or permanent implant. Your out-of-pocket (copay and/or deductible) costs will vary according to your insurance plan. Consult your physician or insurance carrier for more detailed information about out of pocket expenses associated with the trial and permanent implantation of a spinal cord stimulator or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulator.

  • Will Medicare pay for the trial and permanent implantation of a spinal cord stimulator or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulator?

    Medicare will pay 80% of the cost as long as the procedure is determined to be medically necessary and most insurance companies will pay for the remaining 20% of the cost of the trial and permanent implantation of a spinal cord stimulator or Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulator. Talk to your Physician about the Medicare Conditions of Coverage for further clarification.

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