Spinal cord stimulation in the treatment of neuropathic pain: Current perspectives of indications, cost-effectiveness, complications and results
Introduction: The spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been described as a valuable neuromodulating procedure in the management of chronic and medically untreated neuropathic pain. Although, many studies have discussed the use of this technique, a question still remains regarding its efficacy in different medical conditions with different etiology in the long term. The aim of this paper is to discuss the risks, complications, cost-effectiveness and results of SCS in patients affected by chronic neuropathic pain based on the comprehensive literature review.
Methods: Bibliographic search of references from 1950 to 2016 using the databases MEDLINE, LILACS, SciELO, PubMed, and applied language as selection criteria, choosing preferably recent articles written in Portuguese, Spanish or English.
Results: Based on literature review, SCS is a safe, reversible, adjustable and nondestructive surgical procedure demonstrating a significant effect in the reduction of pain intensity and improvement in quality of life in these patients. Furthermore, in spite of the initial high cost to its application, SCS has been associated with lower rates of complications and high rates of cost-effectiveness when compared to standard therapies.
Conclusion: Although used in medical conditions with different etiology, the procedure is still an effective and a cost-effective approach to neuropathic pain, mainly in patients affected by failed back pain syndrome (FBSS) and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).