Successful application of burst spinal cord stimulation for refractory upper limb pain: a case series

Lee, K.S.; Jang, Y.K.; Park, G.H.; Jun, I.J.; Koh, J.C.

Journal of International Medical Research 49(3): 3000605211004035


ISSN/ISBN: 1473-2300
PMID: 33788644
DOI: 10.1177/03000605211004035
Accession: 072597982

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Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been used to treat sustained pain that is intractable despite various types of treatment. However, conventional tonic waveform SCS has not shown promising outcomes for spinal cord injury (SCI) or postamputation pain. The pain signal mechanisms of burst waveforms are different to those of conventional tonic waveforms, but few reports have presented the therapeutic potential of burst waveforms for the abovementioned indications. This current case report describes two patients with refractory upper limb pain after SCI and upper limb amputation that were treated with burst waveform SCS. While the patients could not obtain sufficient therapeutic effect with conventional tonic waveforms, the burst waveforms provided better pain reduction with less discomfort. However, further studies are necessary to better clarify the mechanisms and efficacy of burst waveform SCS in patients with intractable pain.