All You Should Know About Epidural Stimulation For Spinal Cord Injury

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Also known as epidural electrical stimulation (EES) and epi-stim, Epidural stimulation for spinal cord injury (SCI), has gradually gained popularity in recent years. The procedure involves the use of electrical currents on the lower spinal cord in order to stimulate the nerves directly by bypassing the traditional brain-to-spinal-cord pathways. It can also be defined as a form of functional electrical stimulation (FES) though FES is an above-the-skin approach that uses electrodes on top of the skin to aim voltage at the muscles below it. It is important to know that Epidural stimulation is not a medical cure as it does not have the ability to restore sensory neurons although some motor control returns in some of the patients.

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is one of the most commonly used method of treatment. However, there are many pain management treatments available to treat the chronic pain but SCS is beneficial to individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) to help them in their recovery. According to a research the procedure involves risk and in some cases, the situation may even get worse but generally, it has high success rates and is considered one of the best treatment option.

Spinal cord stimulator implant consists of a generator implant, extension wires, leaders, and a controller remote. The generator is adjusted into the lower back of the patient via spinal cord stimulator surgery and through the wires the lead, low-level electrical currents are applied strategically to the spinal cord. Here, the patient has control over the application of electrical currents through the controller.

Advantages of using a spinal cord stimulator implant

4 amazing benefits of spinal cord stimulator implant that you should know;

  • Motor Return

According to the patients' experience who have opted for the treatment has reported a return in their ability to move their legs. However, no cure has been found yet for restoring the motor skills like a proper movement of legs but yet regular application of the therapy or procedure can be very effective and can yield amazing results.

  • Restoring bladder & bowel function

It is often observed that when the stimulator is implanted in the spinal cord and then combined with activity-based training generally the patient are able to hold more urine in their bladders and experience less frequent voiding. The procedure also helped in controlling the bowel movement.

  • Improving mental state

It is very much obvious that when you are able to move properly or can perform various motions smoothly if not smoothly but partially like walking, sitting, jumping then the feeling will be different and you will feel motivated and enthusiastic. This will make you feel happy and thus, improve your mental state.

  • Return of sexual desire

So, applying epidural simulator along with its activity-based training for some weeks, the patients experience an increase in his/her sexual desire.

So, reading about the advantages of the Epidural stimulation procedure if you are planning to opt for it then can always get a basic idea about the procedure through epidural stimulation video available on the medical platforms that will make you aware about your treatment.

As every treatment has its own risk, this procedure also involves some potential risks but at the same time, it is considered to very effective for the patients suffering from spinal cord injuries.

6 potential risks that you should be aware of;

  1. Damage of spinal cord nerve
  2. Paraplegia
  3. Causing infection
  4. Malfunctioning of your device
  5. Causing shocks or burns
  6. Weakening of muscles

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