Objectives. The probability of success with spinal cord stimulation (SCS) depends largely on appropriate patient selection. Here, we have assessed the predictive value of pain etiology as it relates to pain relief with SCS as part of a prospective multicenter clinical trial. Methods. Sixty-five subjects with chronic and intractable pain tested an epidural SCS system. Subjects reported pain ratings (visual analog scale) with stimulation off and stimulation on at scheduled follow-up visits for up to 18 months after activation of the system. Visual analog scale scores were averaged and stratified by dominant pain etiologies, comprising failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, and a subgroup of subjects with miscellaneous other pain etiologies. Results. More than 70% of subjects in each subgroup had successful outcomes during the temporary trial period and similar percentages of subjects from each etiology subgroup subsequently went on to permanent implantation. After permanent implantation, all subgroups reported more than 50% pain relief, on average, at each follow-up time point. No predictive value of pain etiology was observed. Conclusions. Spinal cord stimulation is an effective therapy for neuropathic pain arising from a variety of causes. Failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, and pain of other etiologies responded equally well to SCS.
View details for PubMedID 22151093