Peripheral Nerve Stimulation is an effective minimally invasive therapy to treat many different types of pain by stimulating small nerves.

What is Peripheral Nerve Stimulation?

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation is a minimally-invasive way to treat the pain you are experiencing by stimulating the nerves with tiny electrical pulses in order to interrupt the signals your brain receives when you experience pain.

SPRINT® Peripheral Nerve Stimulation is a popular new technology that we use here at OrthoNebraska, among other methods. The thin, flexible wire implant is placed for 60 days and then removed. It doesn’t require an incision. During the 60 days, a battery powered generator about the size of a phone is attached to the wire implant to send the electrical pulses. A separate remote controls the generator’s intensity.

Who Should Have Peripheral Nerve Stimulation?

The great thing about peripheral nerve stimulation is that it can be used for many types of pain throughout the body. It can be used for:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic head & neck pain
  • Non-operable joint pain
  • Damaged nerves causing pain

How Well Does Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Work?

Studies have shown that 70 percent of patients using the SPRINT® PNS system reported significant and sustained pain relief. Many of the other 30 percent experience at least some relief. However, a small percentage of patients will not experience relief. The great thing about peripheral nerve stimulation is you avoid the risks of surgery, so the cost-benefit equation is almost always favorable, depending on the individual patient.

Some patients experience relief within a few days of the procedure, while it takes weeks for others.

Because this is a newer technology, it is not yet well known how long the treatment might potentially last before repeating it. Some patients still experience significant relief at 24 months,  but mostly this treatment is looked at as a 14-month treatments (two months of treatment followed by 12 months of pain relief).

Side effects can include inflammation, mild blistering, redness, itching, infection or pain at the implant insertion site. Serious adverse effects are rare.

What Can I Expect When I Have Peripheral Nerve Stimulation?

This is considered a minor outpatient procedure. It will be done in a treatment room in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. You do not have to refrain from eating or use special soap, but please do bath thoroughly the day of the procedure, especially around your pain site.

To begin, the skin around the area will be cleaned and a local anesthetic will be used. Your physician will speak with you while they position the wire implant, using your feedback in addition to ultrasound guidance. When complete, a bandage will be placed over the site and the generator will be placed in close proximity using an adhesive gel patch.

Afterwards, we’ll show you how to operate your system using the remote control and how to change your bandage, which you’ll do regularly.

Outside of swimming and bathing, there are no activity modifications associated with this treatment. You’ll need to remove the pulse generator and mounting pad when you shower.

You can drive immediately after the procedure, but the device should not be on while you are driving.

After 60 days, you can expect a similar experience when the system is removed.