Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

When pain becomes chronic and long-lasting, and medicine and therapy are not helping, our neurosurgeons at the Center for Neuromodulation can provide peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) to ease your pain.

Peripheral nerve simulators work much like spinal cord simulators, except that we send the mild electrical currents directly to nerves outside of the spinal cord. Peripheral nerves run from your spinal cord to the limbs or organs in your body.

We start by conducting a neuropsychological examination. Then, as with spinal cord stimulation, we start with a trial run to test your response to temporary electrodes that we place along the length of the offending peripheral nerve. If your pain does not subside significantly, we remove the electrodes. If it works, then we place permanent electrodes at the nerve site and an internal battery-operated stimulator under the skin. These batteries last for several years and we can replace them easily. Once the stimulator is in place, we customize the electrical pulse settings to provide the highest level of pain relief.

We typically perform this procedure under local anesthesia, on an outpatient basis. PNS is an extremely safe procedure and has been used since the 1960s to treat chronic pain. Some of the conditions we treat 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