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 What We Do

​Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a procedure designed to reduce pain in patients with specific types of conditions. A small device, called an electrical stimulator, is connected by wires to your spinal cord. This device sends electrical impulses (signals that move along nerve pathways inside the spinal cord) to certain areas in your brain, which alter your perception of pain. The goal of SCS is to provide a 50 percent reduction in pain and improve quality of life in select individuals. Another name for this procedure is neuromodulation.

There are two different options for SCS, a surgical procedure or a percutaneous procedure. The team will help decide which option is best for you. Please click on each of the links below to learn more:

Conditions We Treat

At Krembil Brain Institute​ the basic criteria that indicate someone might be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation include:

  • Leg-dominant failed-back surgery syndrome
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Treatment refractory angina
  • Chronic inoperable limb ischemia
  • Painful diabetic neuropathy

Note: Isolated or dominant back or neck pain is currently NOT treated by SCS at our clinic.

Assessment Process

This is a multidisciplinary program in which a number of physicians are involved in the patient selection process prior to a decision about an individual's candidacy can be made. The following individuals will be involved in your assessments:

  1. A pain specialist will review your condition confirming the diagnosis and reviewing previous medical and non-medical treatment. While you may have attended many pain consultations before, the purpose of this assessment is specifically to determine your suitability for SCS.
  2. ​A neurosurgeon may assess you to ensure your pain is not a result of a condition that could require further surgery. The neurosurgeon will also determine suitiability for SCS and surgical candidacy in general.
  3. All patients are required to undergo a psychological assessment. This will determine if there are any untreated mood issues (e.g., anxiety, depression) related to your pain that should be managed prior to considering SCS. If so, some patients will be instructed to receive further mental health treatment prior to being re-assessed.​

How to Prepare

Your first appointment may take approximately 2 hours. Follow-up appointments usually take between 30 - 60 minutes.

Learn more about what you can expect when you have a clinic appointment.

 Materials and Resources to Help You

Visit our health information section.​​​​​​​​​​

 Meet Our Team

Physicians

Nurse Practitioner

  • Victoria Bains
  • Alina Mednikov
  • Darcia Paul