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Infection Rate of Spinal Cord Stimulators After a Screening Trial Period. A 53-Month Third Party Follow-up
Article first published online: 4 NOV 2010
© 2010 International Neuromodulation Society
Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 136–141, March/April 2011
How to Cite
Rudiger, J. and Thomson, S. (2011), Infection Rate of Spinal Cord Stimulators After a Screening Trial Period. A 53-Month Third Party Follow-up. Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, 14: 136–141. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1403.2010.00317.x
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Conflict of Interest: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.
- Issue published online: 1 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 4 NOV 2010
- Received: March 27, 2010 First revision: June 8, 2010 Accepted: August 3, 2010
- Infection rate;
- screening trial period;
- spinal cord stimulation
Objectives: Spinal cord stimulator (SCS) infections are common (2.5–13%) and may cause harm. It is unclear if a screening trial with definitive leads presents an increased infection risk.
Methods: Eighty-four patients with SCS implantations were reviewed from 2004 to May 2008 with a trial period lasting 1–3 weeks.
Results: During the trial one infection (1.2%) occurred with removal of the SCS leads. Three infections (3.6%) occurred after the second stage and were successfully treated with antibiotics. No full implant was explanted due to infection. The more skilled/experienced operator had a lower infection rate (1.8%) than the less skilled/experienced (13%).
Conclusions: Our infection rate (4.8%) compared favorably with our previous survey (7.5%). The reduced number of SCS infections is likely to be due to: strict asepsis, double layer hydrocolloid dressing during the trial, prophylactic antibiotics, operator experience, and patient education. Two-stage procedures with extended trials do not seem to increase the incidence of SCS infections.