Patients can be treated by using implantable devices for pain control. These include dorsal column stimulators and implantable devices such as intrathecal pumps.
A radiofrequency neuroablation uses heat to cauterize nerves and reduce pain coming from the facets joints of the neck or spine.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
This procedure places two electrodes into the epidural space to electrically stimulate the spinal cord to block the transmission of pain. This technique is effective for persistent extremity pain (arm, leg), nerve-related pain, certain types of low back pain, specific cases of abdominal pain and other resistant cases of pain of multifactorial etiology.
Intrathecal Drug Delivery
Initially developed to deliver medications directly into the spincal canal of cancer patients, intrathecal catheters provide a system to deliver narcotics and other agents at much lower doses than required orally or intravenously. Before implantation of a permanent system, a trial procedure determines the effectiveness of this delivery method.
Intravenous delivery of local anesthetics (Ketamine, Lidocaine) and other medications can be helpful in treating neuropathic pain. Recent studies have clarified the role of these medications, particularly for patients who have not had success with other treatment modalities. This therapy typically is performed over the course of several days under a monitored setting.