Spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain


2001; Vol 1: No.5

Richard A. Stocks and Cameron T. Williams

North Middlesex Hospital, London


Chronic back pain and non-ischaemic leg pain: We found insufficient evidence that spinal cord stimulation improves functionaldisability, work status, or healthcare and medication use compared with other treatments or placebo in people with failed back surgery syndrome, other chronic back pain, or chronic non-ischaemic leg pain.

Ischaemic limb pain: Two RCTs have found no evidence that adding spinal cord stimulation to conventional analgesia improves limb survival or pain compared with analgesia alone, although the trials may have been underpowered to detect a clinically important difference. We found no evidence of effects on quality of life, functional status or healthcare use.

Intractable angina: We found weak evidence froma single RCT that spinal cord stimulation may reduce intensity and frequency of anginal symptoms and medication use in people with intractable angina pectoris. The study found that quality of life was improved,although it is unclear whether the tools assessing quality of life were valid. Further controlled trials with greater power and validated outcome measures are needed.

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