Spinal cord stimulators have been used to manage pain problems for over 20 years. There are multiple mechanisms believed to be involved in the pain relief provided by a spinal cord stimulator.
A spinal cord stimulator is placed in two stages: first, temporary spinal cord stimulator leads are placed and tried for a few days. This stage lets you and your doctor know whether or not spinal cord stimulation might relieve your pain. During the second stage, which probably occurs a few weeks later, a spinal cord stimulator is placed permanently. This is an outpatient surgical procedure.