Multiple program spinal cord stimulation in the treatment of chronic pain: Follow-up of multiple program SCS

Kenneth Alo, Marc J. Yland, Jeffrey H. Charnov, Vladimir Redko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective. Follow-up of 80 patients using multiple program spinal cord stimulation (SCS). Methods. For 30 months, we followed 80 chronic pain patients who had undergone SCS implantations at our center. Thirty-six patients had Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS). Patients were evaluated in patient-controlled stimulation mode (patients can select one of several specific programs in response to their activities and pain level). We collected visual analog pain scores, patient satisfaction scores, pain maps, and paresthesia maps. Results. We previously reported our preliminary findings (Neuromodulation 1998;1:30-45). At 24 months all patients were using more than one program. At 30 months, 62 patients (76%) were using more than two programs as their preferred stimulation mode and three patients (4%) were satisfied with only one stimulation program. At 30 months all patients chose patient-controlled stimulation as their preferred mode of stimulation. A total of 18 patients (23%) were explanted. Mean pain scores declined from 8.2 at baseline to 4.8 (p < 0.05, n = 79). Paresthesia overlap was 91% (n = 79). Of the patients with FBSS, 81% reported that they were using their SCS daily. Conclusions. In spinal cord stimulation the use of multiple electrodes and multiple stimulation programs, together with advanced programmability, increases paresthesia overlap, reduces pain scores, and may improve patient satisfaction with SCS therapy. This study indicates a significant patient preference for multiple program SCS, if patients are given the option to choose between a single program SCS system or a multiple program SCS system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Chronic pain
  • Electrode
  • Failed back syndrome
  • Spinal cord stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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