Patient perspectives on the efficacy and ergonomics of rechargeable spinal cord stimulators

Carson K. Lam, Joshua M. Rosenow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objectives: Rechargeable spinal cord stimulation (RSCS) systems have been advocated as a way to reduce replacement surgeries, overall costs, and the morbidity of therapy. However, little data exist as to patients' experiences with these devices, which require more care and maintenance than prior primary cell systems. We analyzed patient experiences with RSCS. Methods: Thirty-five patients with implanted RSCS systems completed a survey regarding their use of the system, their experiences with recharging, and their perspectives on the device. Results: Patients reported recharging an average of 5.2 times per month for 2.3 hours each time. Overall, 23.3% of recharging attempts were problematic. There was great variability in the length, frequency, and ease of recharging RSCS systems. These factors determined the patients' level of satisfaction. Conclusions: RSCS systems benefit most patients. However, in some patients, the lifestyle costs of recharging may not make RSCS an appropriate means of pain management. Several areas of improvement exist for the design of future devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-223
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Chronic pain
  • rechargeable pulse generator
  • spinal cord stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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