Worrying about bladder mishaps in your daily life can certainly keep you from doing the things you love most. Luckily, a bladder stimulator is a great option for those suffering from a number of different bladder conditions. Continue reading to learn more about bladder stimulators which may be right for you.
Common symptoms of bladder control problems may include:
While symptoms may vary there are four common types of bladder conditions:
Fecal Incontinence: Also known as accidental bowel leakage, is a condition where people get sudden urges to pass stool and experience leakage of stool before they make it to the restroom.
A bladder stimulator is a small device implanted in your back at the base of your spine and above the buttocks during a procedure known as sacral nerve stimulation (SNS). The sacral nerves carry the signals between your bladder, spinal cord, and brain that tell you when you need to urinate. This is done after exhausting conventional treatment options such as pelvic floor physical therapy and medications.
At GSMC, we use a long-term relief technology called Axonics Therapy. Before committing to long-term therapy, our team first does a trial with the patient to see if the treatment works for each and every patient. A thin thin wire is carefully placed close to the third sacral nerve through a needle. The wire connects to a battery-powered device (similar to a pacemaker) called a pulse generator that you wear outside your body during a three day trial period. If the symptoms get significantly better the device is put in permanently and can last up to 15 years.
The actual electrical stimulation that is used to treat urinary incontinence sends a mild electric current to nerves in the lower back/pelvic muscles which are involved in urination. The patient does not feel this electrical stimulation but the nerves do leading to symptoms improvement.
It’s no question that a fracture or break in one of your spine’s vertebrae can be painful and impact your daily life tremendously when unable to move freely. Luckily, kyphoplasty is a procedure designed to stop the pain, stabilize the bone, and restore lost vertebral height caused by the injury. Continue reading to learn about what the procedure entails, who would be a candidate, and the recovery process.
Kyphoplasty is used to treat spinal compression fractures, which occur in the spinal vertebrae when weakened by osteoporosis or due to trauma such as falling or a car accident. Compression fractures typically occur in the thoracic region of the spine, which includes the T1 through T12 vertebrae, but may also occur in the lumbar spine, or L1 through L5.
The GSMC team recommends performing a kyphoplasty within 8 weeks of the fracture taking place for the best results when it comes to restoring the spine’s original height.
Patients are given moderate sedation (similar to a colonoscopy) during the 20-minute procedure. After instilling local anesthesia, a small stab incision is made in the patient’s back through which a narrow tube is carefully placed into the broken vertebral body using x-ray guidance. Once properly placed, a cavity is created to allow proper placement of a cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) as well as to restore the natural height and shape of the vertebral body. This medical cement hardens very quickly to internally cast and stabilize the bone within minutes.
Kyphoplasty is an outpatient procedure and when completed, the patient is monitored in the post-anesthesia care unit for approximately 20-30 minutes. Once a patient is awake enough to get dressed, eat, and drink they are discharged home. Many patients start to feel improvement as they are leaving the recovery room; the overwhelming majority of patients will feel significant relief within 24 hours of the procedure.
While normal activities, with exception to driving, can be resumed immediately, our team recommends avoiding strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks.
As with any medical procedure, there are always risks and complications to consider. For the most part, complications are rare due to our highly skilled and experienced doctors who perform this procedure on a weekly basis.
Specifically for kyphoplasty, complications may include:
As the spinal cord is part of the central nervous system, its proper function is critical to an individual’s quality of life. The central nervous system controls the body’s sensory information (pressure, touch, temperature, pain) which travels in established pathways into the spinal cord and onto the brain where the signals are interpreted into the different experiences. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can lead to a variety of symptoms including: loss of movement, difficulty breathing, loss of bowel/bladder control, and many others. Continue reading to learn when a spinal cord stimulator may be necessary to correct a patient’s condition and allow them to live pain-free.
A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a small surgically implanted device which transmits electrical pulses that disrupt the transmission of pain signals reducing or eliminating pain from almost any part of the body. It is believed that electric pulses prevent pain signals from being received from the brain. The device itself consists of thin wires (the electrodes) and a small, pacemaker-like battery(the generator). Once implanted, the individual can control the electrical signals from an external wireless programmer to adjust the stimulation, switch between programs, and turn it on/off to alleviate the pain.
Spinal cord stimulators can be an option for patients with a myriad of conditions, including but not limited to:
If you’re a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator, it’s important to understand that there are 2 separate procedures you must undergo; the trial and the implantation.
Both procedures are done under light sedation and patient’s are able to return home the same day.
When it comes to types of spinal cord stimulators, the GSMC team recommends conventional and rechargeable generators to their patients. The main difference being that with a rechargeable stimulator, you can recharge it without another surgery versus a conventional stimulator requiring another surgery. Rechargeable systems tend to last longer, but must be charged 1-2 times a week (noninvasive) while conventional stimulators have no ongoing upkeep, but its battery needs to be replaced sooner.
There are a number of different manufacturers of the device, each having proprietary software to deliver the energy in unique ways. Some stimulators give patients a tingling feeling while others feel nothing other than pain relief. The majority of the systems that our team uses are also MRI compatible as well.
Once the implantation is complete, patients are discharged the same day, typically within an hour after their procedure has finished. In the days following, it is common to feel pain around the incision sites, with the full healing taking between 2-4 weeks. During that time, we recommend taking it easy and avoiding any activities that may aggravate the areas. However, often 1 week after the surgery patients are able to return to work and go about their normal activities.
From headaches to foot pain, it’s only human to experience pain from time to time. However, chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts 3-6 months or longer in some cases. Pain experienced on a day to day basis is often deep-rooted in more serious conditions which require medical attention and the earlier they’re treated, the better. Check out six common signs that it’s time to ditch the over-the-counter medication and finally see a pain management doctor.
Your day to day can be stressful enough, so pain brought on by doing simple tasks such as reaching in a high cabinet or opening a door shouldn’t add to it. While it’s not uncommon for an injury or pain to flare up and cause these struggles, if they’re lasting for an extended period of time it is certainly something to take note of.
Once the pain you’re experiencing begins to radiate throughout a limb or part of your body, it’s definitely a sign to see a pain management specialist. In addition to the radiating pain feeling, look out for numbness, tingling, and other similar sensations. These feelings are often associated with pinched nerves, the slipping of discs, and other serious conditions that need medical attention.
If your pain is keeping you up through the night, it’s definitely time to see a pain management doctor. Your body needs that time to rest, and if pain is getting in the way, it will begin to affect even more aspects of your health.
While pain relievers are okay in small quantities, they won’t solve the cause of your pain and therefore you’re only delaying your recovery process. Also, even over the counter medications can cause serious health conditions if taken for prolonged periods. Our team’s procedures and expertise work to reduce patients’ need for painkillers to allow them to live pain-free faster.
Whether it’s bending over or walking up the stairs, our board-certified pain management doctors will perform a full-body examination in order to pinpoint the root of your pain. From there, we’ll be able to utilize interventional pain management techniques to provide well-deserved relief.
We all have hobbies and activities that make us who we are. Whether it is golf or gardening, these activities have both mental and physical benefits. When we stop activities we love, we lose a lot more than a pastime. Activity avoidance can lead to changes in your mood making the toll of chronic pain substantially worse. If you are struggling to get back in the game, our pain experts can help diagnose the problem and get you moving again!
Ready to get back to a pain-free life? From the ability to sleep through the night to getting back to exercising, no matter what your health goals are, Garden State Medical Center’s pain management doctors are here to help you reach them.
Call to set up your consultation and begin the recovery process today: 1-888-376-2661