Medical Rounds with Dr. Ricardo Taboada

Chronic pain can be unbearable, especially when you’ve tried everything with no luck. Now, there is a newer treatment option available at the Hartford Hospital Pain Treatment Center called the “spinal cord stimulator”. Dr. Ricardo Taboada is an anesthesiologist specializing in pain management.



Q. What type of chronic pain are we talking about?
A. Chronic leg (sciatica) or arm pain: ongoing, persistent pain caused by degenerative conditions like arthritis or spinal stenosis, or from nerve damage. Failed back surgery syndrome: failure of one or more surgeries to control persistent leg pain (sciatica), but not technical failure of the original procedure. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS): a progressive disease of the nervous system in which patients feel constant chronic burning pain, typically in the foot or the hand. Formerly called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). Arachnoiditis: painful inflammation and scarring of the meninges (protective layers) of the spinal nerves. Other: stump pain, angina, peripheral vascular disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury.

Q. How does spinal cord stimulation work to minimize pain?
A. Spinal cord stimulation is a type of therapy that we use once a patient has failed all types of conservative therapy treatments. What we do is we install leads (little cables) near the spinal cord and we use a bit of electrical current to stimulate the spinal cord. What this does is block the nerve impulses from reaching the brain. It actually replaces the sensation of pain with a more comfortable sensation, and most recently with the newer technologies you get no sensation at all.

Q. Who is a good candidate for this type of therapy?
A. You may be a candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation if:
      • Conservative therapies have failed
      • Your source of pain has been verified
      • You would not benefit from additional surgery
      • You are not seriously dependent on pain medication or other drugs
      • You do not have depression or other psychiatric conditions that contribute to your pain
      • You have no medical conditions that would keep you from undergoing implantation
      • You have had a successful trial stimulation


For more information

Attend a free seminar, "Pain Relief with Spinal Cord Stimulation", Feb. 2, 2017. Learn More/Register.

Visit the Pain Treatment Center website.


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