EVALUATIONS FOR SPINAL STIMULATION

In the treatment of some chronic pain issues, physicians may recommend use of a spinal cord stimulator, an implanted electronic device, similar in size to a pacemaker, which reduces pain by delivering a low level electrical current through wires that are placed in the area near a patient’s spinal cord. Studies have shown spinal cord stimulators to deliver a 50 percent or greater decrease in pain in most patients, allowing for greater activity and a reduction in the need for pain medications. Because of the serious nature of the procedure, a psychiatric evaluation before spinal stimulation is recommended by most operating physicians and is required by most insurance companies.

This evaluation, which we can provide at the Cairn Center, is simply a tool to help both doctors and patients ensure that the patient is mentally and emotionally prepared for the procedure, is proceeding with realistic expectations, and understands the effects of the procedure and is adequately prepared. Unlike many psychiatric practices that “may have an opening in two weeks,” at the Cairn Center know that pain issues are not something that can wait, and we make ourselves available for spinal stimulation psychiatric evaluations when they are needed, right away. We understand that health care is a collaborative process, and are happy to work with patients and their doctors on that common goal…the patient’s improved health.