Spinal cord stimulation (SCS), as a neuromodulation therapy, has rapidly evolved over the past few decades to become the treatment of choice for many chronic pain syndromes. However, many equipment-related limitations such as the bulk of the equipment, an implantable pulse generator (IPG), the limited therapeutic stimulation frequency utilized, and the potential adverse events have restricted SCS applications. Recently, advanced nanotechnology and minimally invasive surgical techniques have shown promising options to expand the indications due to reduced surgical trauma/hospital time/costs. We describe the basis for nanotechnology neuromodulation and the preliminary experience with wireless SCS in the treatment of chronic pain conditions. The equipment utilizes a miniature stimulator with microelectronics, percutaneously placed at the appropriate stimulation target, with wireless control to provide the desired stimulation, and then moderated by the clinician and the patient. The wireless device reduces the bulk of the SCS equipment to a single electrode (with embedded sensors), using the new improved neural-electric interface. This wireless neuromodulation (WNM) has been clinically used in several chronic pain conditions, including failed back surgery syndrome, facial pain, chronic regional pain syndrome, and postherpetic neuralgia, with encouraging outcome, without the complications of a traditional SCS resulting from the IPG or its accessories.
Part of the book: From Conventional to Innovative Approaches for Pain Treatment