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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 132-144

Neuromonitoring protocol for spinal cord stimulator cases with case descriptions

Department of Neurosurgery, St. Luke's University Health Network, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA

Correspondence Address:
Steven Falowski
Department of Neurosurgery, St. Luke's University Health Network, 801 Ostrum Street, Suite 302, Bethlehem, PA 18015
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2455-5568.196863

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Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) relies on the ability to create an overlap of paresthesia on the painful regions. Electrode implantation has historically been performed with awake intraoperative testing to allow the patient to report on the device-induced paresthesia. More recently, the use of neuromonitoring has come into favor and can be used for SCS placement, while the patient remains fully anesthetized throughout the surgery. This is a critical evaluation of the neuromonitoring technique and protocol with an in-depth description of neuromonitoring for SCS placement using electro-myography (EMG) responses in both cervical and thoracic electrode placement. There is an explanation for the interpretation of the EMG responses, as well as case reports of two patients. Neuromonitoring is used to determine myotomal coverage, as a marker that corresponds with dermatomal coverage. This article demonstrates some of the critical steps for both the surgeon and neuromonitoring group to implement this technique, as well as the clinical results of paresthesia coverage in patients. This protocol can be utilized in implementing neuromonitoring into a practice for those implanting SCS systems. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, system-based practice, interpersonal and communication skills. This article addresses the gap in knowledge base to implement an approach to improve patient care and outcome.

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