Back and spine injury and chronic pain – treatment by Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal Cord Stimulation (“SCS”) has been shown to be an effective treatment modality for some people who have unremitting, chronic back pain as the result of a car crash, scaffold fall and other trauma to the spine. SCS is a covered benefit under Medicare and other governmental health care programs, and most Workers’ Compensation programs in the U.S. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided national coverage for SCS after determining that the therapy met the agency’s stringent requirements for medical necessity. The US Military Health System also covers SCS for active and retired military personnel and their families.

Pain management physicians and relevant national medical societies agree that SCS is an appropriate treatment for chronic neuropathic pain patients meeting the following criteria:

• Other treatment modalities have failed or are unsuitable or contraindicated;
• The patient has undergone careful screening, evaluation, and diagnosis by a
multidisciplinary team; and
• The patient demonstrates adequate pain relief in a clinically appropriate screening

According to the Position Statement of the American Academy of Pain Medicine: SCS is a safe, effective, and widely accepted therapy covered by a wide range of public and private payers. It is critical that patients with chronic, intractable pain have access to SCS because, for appropriate candidates, no other treatment options exist, and their condition is often partially or completely disabling. SCS provides a means to relieve pain, restore function, and improve the quality of life for these patients.

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