Over the years we have published a number of articles on spinal cord stimulation and the varying degrees of pain relief experienced by our many clients who have undergone the procedure.
One concern that is raised regularly by clients contemplating whether to undergo the fitting of a spinal cord stimulator (SCS), is that it will preclude them in future from undergoing an MRI scan. There are a number of reasons for this, including:
● The radiofrequency-induced electrical currents from the MRI scan can cause the leads of the SCS to heat up, damaging the surrounding tissues;
● Damage to the SCS device itself;
● The magnetic pull on the SCS caused by the magnetic field generated by the MRI scanner.
A current client who, in addition to her Complex Regional pain Syndrome (CRPS) has a severely degenerate spine, has been reluctant to consider the fitting of a SCS for this very reason. She has been told that she is highly likely to require one or more spinal MRI scans in the future.
Now, however, we have heard of a new MRI-friendly SCS, the Precision Montage™ from Boston Scientific. This device has a protective casing which shields it from the magnetic rays of the MRI scanner and the leads are coiled which results in them not becoming so hot during the scan.
Privately, the new device costs around £30,000 although we understand that the NHS is now offering the Precision Montage™ at a number of specialist pain centres, including The Walton Centre in Liverpool and Guys and St Thomas’s in London.