The peripheral nervous system is composed of 43 motor and sensory nerves that connect the body to the spinal cord and brain. They control the functions of movement, motor coordination, and sensation. If these nerves become damaged or stop functioning properly, they can cause pain, tingling, or numbness called peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by a variety of conditions including:
If your pain does not resolve with conservative care, peripheral nerve stimulation could be an option.
If your doctor recognizes you as a potential candidate for this, he will first perform a diagnostic peripheral nerve block to confirm the location. Conditions that can be treated with peripheral nerve stimulation include:
If you are considered a good candidate, you will first undergo a trial run of the stimulator in the clinic. Your doctor will place a thin lead alongside the affected nerve. A company representative will be present to program the lead. The trial period typically lasts up to seven days and is performed to assess the effectiveness of the treatment prior to the surgical placement of the lead. If pain is improved during the trial, a permanent lead will be placed. This is done as an outpatient procedure in a surgery center.
The side effects are similar to that of all procedures and include: bleeding, infection, scar tissue and nerve damage. After the procedure, monitor for signs of infection at the site including drainage, redness, swelling, or fever.