Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

When pain becomes chronic and long-lasting, and is not easily treated by standard medical care such as medications and therapy, our neurosurgeons at the Center for Neuromodulation can provide alternative therapy in the form of peripheral nerve stimulation.

How does Peripheral Nerve Stimulation work?

Peripheral nerve simulators work in a manner similar to spinal cord simulators except that the mild electrical currents used to subvert the pain response are directed to nerves outside of the spinal cord. Peripheral nerves are nerves that run from your spinal cord to the limbs or organs in body.

As with spinal cord stimulation, a trial run is done to test a patient’s response to temporary electrodes placed along the length of the offending peripheral nerve. If the patient does not gain significant pain relief, the electrodes are removed. If however, pain relief is gained, then permanent electrodes are placed at the nerve site and an internal battery-operated stimulator is placed under the skin. These batteries last for several years and can easily be replaced.

The procedure is usually done under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) is an extremely safe procedure and has been used since the 1960s to treat chronic pain.

Treatment for Chronic Pain Conditions

Many pain conditions have been successfully treated with PNS. Some of the more common conditions treated with PNS are:

  • Trigeminal neuropathic pain
  • Nerve injuries
  • Occipital neuralgia/ transformed migraine and other headache syndromes
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Post amputation pain syndrome

Before patients can undergo PNS they must receive a neuropsychological examination. Once the stimulator is in place, patients can work with their neurologist to customize the optimal settings for electrical pulse generation that gives them the highest level of pain relief.


Contact Us

Center for Neuromodulation
Tel: 212-241-0050

1468 Madison Avenue
Annenberg Building
8th Floor Room 40
New York, NY 10029