Neuromodulation: Spinal Cord Stimulation

neuromodulation centreThe Neuromodulation Centre at the RNOH is a pioneering unit in the UK offering suitable patients implants such as Spinal Cord Stimulators (SCS), Peripheral Nerve Stimulators (PNS) and a combination of both where appropriate.

The Centre collaborates closely with spinal surgeons, neurosurgeons and radiologists in the assessment and treatment of these complex patient groups in a closely knit multidisciplinary environment.

Our patients have the opportunity to engage with our team which also includes psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, gait and motion lab, one-on-one graded physiotherapy sessions and access to in-patient pain management programmes if required.

What is Neuromodulation?

Neuromodulation involves implanting electrical devices in the body (following a trial for one to two weeks) to treat chronic pain. Electrodes are implanted next to nerves or the spinal cord (Epidural space) modulating specific pathways in the spinal cord and blocking transmission of pain signals to the brain by complex mechanisms. These treatments are well established for certain types of severe chronic pain, such as Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), both of which have approval by the NICE guidelines (TA159).

Spinal Cord Stimulator service

The Spinal Cord Stimulator service at the RNOH has rapidly grown to be appreciated and recognised by GPs and patients across the UK as a valuable, high quality service. The unit offers complex chronic pain patients a true multidisciplinary approach to manage their pain.

SCS and PNS are offered following comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment in our outpatient department at Bolsover Street, followed by further assessments by our multidisciplinary neuromodulation team.

Following implantation of SCS, we provide comprehensive post-op care including access for reprogramming at short notice, telephone follow up service and access to members of the Neuromodulation service.

Clinical research programme

Our clinical research programme led by Dr Tacson Fernandez, in collaboration with Ms Iva Hauptmannova, Head of Research and Innovation Centre at RNOH, has ongoing research projects, company sponsored trials, service evaluation projects and is focused on:

  • providing a quality service with the aim to improve the quality of life for patients with complex chronic pain based on evidence
  • clinical trials to establish evidence in specific complex chronic patient groups
  • evaluation of innovative neuromodulation options and promoting advancement of the science.

Ms Janice Macduff, Clinical Research Nurse, Research and Innovation Centre

Neuromodulation Consultants

CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) team

  • Michelle Carson, Chronic Pain Clinical Nurse Specialist (Neuromodulation & Chronic Pain) Tel: 020 8909 5669
  • Julia Sach, Chronic Pain Clinical Nurse Specialist (Chronic Pain & Neuromodulation) Tel: 020 8909 5669
  • Tara O'Connell, Associate Clinical Nurse Specialist (Chronic Pain & Neuromodulation) Tel: 020 8909 5669
  • Mel Higham, Associate Clinical Nurse Specialist (Chronic Pain & Neuromodulation) Tel: 020 8909 5669

Patient's FAQs

A Patient's Guide to FAQs - Spinal Cord Stimulators and Peripheral Nerve Stimulators

Further information

Spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain of neuropathic or ischaemic origin: NICE guidelines

British Pain Society publications

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