Stimulator Has Serious Complication Dangers Even if It Works Properly
Spinal cord stimulators are designed to give back injury sufferers relief from their chronic pain. They work by sending mild electrical impulses to the spine which distract the brain from feeling pain. The stimulators are implanted in the lower back in a surgical procedure and are controlled by a small external remote that signals the pulse generator to send low levels of electricity through extension wires into the leads that are tunneled in the spine. The patient experiences a tingling sensation, which masks the pain signals traveling to the brain.
The three main manufacturers of these stimulators are St. Jude Spinal Stimulators, Medtronic Spinal Stimulators, and Boston Scientific Spinal Stimulators. Even if the spinal cord stimulators work properly, there are serious risks of complications. Unfortunately, some of the stimulators could be defective and cause additional problems for back pain sufferers.
Complications Associated With Spinal Cord Stimulators
One of the main risks of spinal cord stimulators is that they only relieve pain for approximately 50 to 60 percent of people and only result in about a 50 percent reduction of pain. It does nothing to eliminate the pain or the source of the pain. Like any procedure, there are risks of complications even if the surgical procedure is successful, including:
- Allergic reaction to the implanted materials
- Pain at the incision site
- Weakness or numbness
- Partial paralysis
- Fluid leak from the spinal cord causing the person to experience headaches
- Changes to the stimulation caused when scar tissue forms around the leads in the spinal cord or movement of the lead positions
Problems Associated With Defective Spinal Cord Stimulators
Unfortunately, many patients have experienced problems with their spinal cord stimulator not working, working intermittently, or providing too much stimulation or stimulation to the wrong area of the body. St. Jude is the only manufacturer who issued a recall for some of their stimulators. However, patients are still experiencing problems with defective spinal stimulators, including:
- Severe burning and irritation at the battery site
- Inability to control the stimulator, which can cause unwanted jolts, pain, and even temporary paralysis
- Severe burning when changing the battery
- Early battery depletion
- Bladder problems
- Increased numbness
- Problems with internal parts associated with the stimulator
- Partial paralysis
If the spinal stimulator is defective, a person would need surgery to remove it, which has its own set of serious complications. However, a person who suffers injuries as a result of a defective stimulator could be entitled to compensation from its manufacturer.
Were you or a family member injured by a defective spinal stimulator or other defective product? At Morton Law Offices, our experienced legal team is here to help you get the compensation you could be entitled to. Call us at 888.716.8021 for a FREE consultation to learn about your legal options.