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 Spinal cord stimulation (SCS)

Yes. SCS therapy has been proven safe and effective. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have been treated with SCS. Boston Scientific SCS Systems are FDA approved.

Talk with your doctor to learn more about the safety and effectiveness of SCS systems.

People differ in the amount of pain relief they receive with SCS therapy. Before being implanted, you will have the chance to “test drive” the therapy with a temporary trial system. This will help you to see the amount of relief you can expect to receive. SCS is generally considered effective if your pain is reduced by at least 50%.

Every person differs in how effective SCS therapy is for them. For some patients, SCS therapy may work well enough that pain medications are no longer needed. For others, success with the therapy can mean using less pain medication.

SCS is covered by most health insurance plans, including Medicare, commercial payers, and most workers’ compensation programs. Your clinic or doctor will need to get approval first. Insurance providers generally require preauthorization for SCS. After determining that you are a candidate for SCS, your doctor and their office staff will provide your insurance company with the necessary documentation needed to complete the preauthorization.

Your doctor’s office and your health insurance provider/program are the best resources for coverage questions and can provide you with specific details regarding your coverage benefits and out-of-pocket cost for SCS.

See more insurance coverage details

SCS patients have many imaging options. Commonly used methods such as X-ray, CT scan, PET scan, and ultrasound can image many different parts of the body, including soft tissue. In addition, the Precision Montage™ MRI SCS System provides access to full-body MRI scans, under specified conditions, for patients who meet the eligibility requirements. SCS systems have varying limitations and conditions related to MRI scans. Talk to your doctor to find out which option is right for you.

Learn about imaging options

Our SCS Systems are designed to cover multiple pain areas at the same time, if needed. You can use your wireless remote control to adjust the amount of stimulation for each pain area.

It’s up to you and your doctor when to use SCS therapy and how much to use. Our SCS Systems and the rechargeable battery technology are designed so that you can keep it on 24 hours a day. However, you should always consult your doctor first.

Unless you tell someone you have it, they’d never know. Our SCS stimulators feature contoured oval shapes. Your doctor can position it in the most comfortable and convenient location for you. Some patients report that they can feel the unit by pressing on their skin. In many cases, it is not visible to others.

It’s about the diameter of a silver dollar.

Yes. Our SCS System has a wireless remote control that lets you turn stimulation on and off, increase and decrease the level of stimulation, and target different pain areas using settings or programs customized by your doctor specifically for you.

Our SCS System uses powerful rechargeable battery technology that carries a five-year warranty, but they may last even longer.

You decide on a recharging schedule that best fits your needs. Most people choose to charge based on a routine that fits their lifestyle, like during their favorite weekly TV show. Your wireless remote control will also tell you when your implant battery is low and needs recharging.

Recharging the implant battery is designed to be very simple. The charger is lightweight, wireless, and portable, so you can charge on the go. Either an adhesive patch or soft cloth belt (included with the charger) can be used to help place the charger over the device.

No. You could think of the device as being similar to a pacemaker. You will NOT set off store security detectors. Also, your location cannot be tracked by using this device.

No. Unlike other rechargeable batteries, the Boston Scientific SCS System stimulator batteries are designed to prevent damage and resume normal function once charged.

For several weeks after the implant procedure, you will be asked to restrict your physical activity. Once that period is over, Boston Scientific SCS Systems are designed to help you lead a healthy and active lifestyle. However, you should always consult your doctor before resuming activity after surgery or before engaging in physical activity.

Yes. Even though your leads and stimulator are surgically implanted, they can be disengaged or removed by your doctor, if ever needed.

Pain management specialists are doctors who specialize in treating all kinds of pain. These doctors receive years of advanced specialized training in pain management and focus on treating patients with severe pain.

Find a pain doctor

Please reach out to our Patient Care Specialists:

Available 5 am - 5 pm PT, Monday - Friday

Call 866.360.4747

About the SCS trial

Yes. In fact, the first step in getting an SCS system is to test drive SCS therapy with a temporary trial system. This allows you to try out SCS first and decide if it is right for you.

If your doctor recommends SCS for your pain condition, you can try it out first with a temporary system. The trial lasts on average three to seven days (may be shorter or longer). In this testing time, and at its conclusion, you and your doctor can decide if SCS therapy helps manage your pain. If it does, you can move forward with the implanted system. If it doesn’t, you simply have the trial system removed. Remember that the beauty of the trial is you’ll know firsthand if SCS is right for you before making any commitment.

The trial starts with an outpatient procedure conducted at the doctor’s office or surgery center and usually takes one to two hours. Then, over the next three to seven days (may be shorter or longer), you are able to see if the SCS system works for you in helping manage your pain.

Yes. Unlike the long-term implant, the temporary system has external components. Because of the external components, there are some precautions you’ll need to take. Your doctor will go over all of these with you, but some general things to know are this:

  • You will need to keep the SCS dry — so bathing or showering cannot be done during the SCS trial. Prepare for this by showering the morning of the procedure
  • Avoid activities and positions that could pull your leads out of place—so no bending, lifting, or twisting
  • Consider keeping a journal over the next week to evaluate the therapy. Note any new things you're able to do and also how you're sleeping. Go about your daily activities and take notice of how you're feeling and the things you may be able to do that you weren't able to do without the SCS system. A great tool to help you with this is the mySCS app. Learn more about the mySCS app

Vertiflex™ Procedure

No. The Vertiflex Procedure is done in an outpatient setting, which means you can go home the same day of the procedure. We recommend having someone accompany you after the procedure.

Anesthesia can differ from patient to patient depending on patient needs, but general anesthesia is not required for the Vertiflex Procedure.

Most incision sites will have a few stitches or staples that should be kept clean and dry until the first follow-up visit, usually seven to 14 days after having the procedure.

For six weeks following your procedure, limit bending and strenuous activity, including lifting anything over ten pounds.

The surgical site may be sore for some days following the procedure. If you are experiencing any changes such as redness, bleeding, or swelling, report to your treating doctor during your follow-up visit, usually scheduled seven to 14 days after having the procedure.

The Vertiflex Procedure is covered by Medicare in all 50 states. Some regions administer their Medicare benefits through “Medicare replacement” plans or “Medicare Advantage” plans. For these plans, you will want to verify coverage. For instances in which the procedure is not covered in these managed care plans, or in other commercial insurance plans, a prior authorization request may allow you to access the procedure.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

Yes. Radiofrequency ablation is a well-established drug-free treatment that has been clinically proven to provide safe, effective, lasting relief from your chronic pain.

Some insurance plans will cover radiofrequency ablation. Speak with your doctor and insurance carrier to verify.

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Most patients are allowed to return home with few restrictions as soon as the effects of the local anesthesia dissipate.

Studies show that more than 70% of RFA patients experience relief lasting anywhere from six to 12 months, and in some cases, years.

Your pain could return if the treated nerves regenerate. If this happens, the procedure can be repeated.

If your pain returns due to nerve regeneration and you choose not to undergo RFA again, you should be able to try another pain management method. Be sure to discuss this decision with your doctor first.

Chronic pain

Acute pain is usually sharp, short-lived pain typically caused by trauma or illness. Chronic pain is characterized by pain that lasts six months or longer.

Learn more

There are a number of factors that can contribute to chronic pain. They can be as apparent as injury or trauma. Or they can occur even when there is no past injury or body damage.

You don’t need one. However, your primary care physician will most likely recommend a pain specialist if your condition demands one. If you would like to search for a pain specialist on your own, try our pain doctor finder.

Find a pain doctor

You should never start or stop prescription pharmaceuticals without your doctor’s knowledge and recommendation. If you choose a drug-free pain management alternative, you should discuss how it will affect your current pain management program before you make any changes to it.

While we’d like to help every person searching for relief from debilitating pain, our solutions have not been designed to help relieve all pain. Your pain specialist will help you find the right solution for your particular pain.

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If you have a question or want to talk to a Patient Care Specialist, reach out to us directly.