A New Spinal Cord Stimulation System Effectively Relieves Chronic, Intractable Pain: A Multicenter Prospective Clinical Study


  • Dr. Oakley died on April 18, 2006 and is greatly missed.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Allison M. Foster, PhD, Advanced Bionics/Boston Scientific, 25129 Rye Canyon Loop, Valencia, CA 91355, USA. Email: afoster@advancedbionics.com.


Objectives.  A prospective, open label, multicenter clinical trial confirmed the functionality of a new spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system for the treatment of chronic, intractable pain of the trunk and/or limbs.

Materials and Methods.  Sixty-five subjects tested a rechargeable 16-channel SCS system with individual current control of each contact on one or two percutaneous eight-contact epidural leads. After baseline measurements, subjects were tracked on pain ratings and complication rates for up to 18 months.

Results.  After a trial period, 75% of subjects underwent permanent implantation of the entire SCS system. More than one-half the implanted subjects experienced 50% or greater relief of pain after permanent implantation; some subjects reported relief of 90% or more of their pain. The most common complications after permanent implantation were lead migration, uncomfortable stimulation, and component failure; most resolved after reprogramming or device replacement.

Conclusions.  The new SCS system provided good pain relief to a majority of subjects, and the results confirm a favorable safety and efficacy profile for the SCS system.