Past Issue - November 2007 - Vol 10 Issue 6 Index | Previous | Next | 
2007;10;771-774. Squamous Cell Carcinoma Occurring Within Incision of Recently Implanted Spinal Cord Stimulator
Case Report
Joseph Atallah, MD, Justin Wainscott, MD, David Sloan, MD, Karabeth Moore, MD, and Brenda G. Fahy, MD

Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a treatment option for chronic pain patients. Spinal cord stimulation has been employed in the treatment of chronic pain for more than 30 years. The most common indication for SCS is the failed back syndrome with leg pain. Its indications have expanded beyond back and lower extremities pain to include axial low back pain, CRPS, mesenteric ischemia, peripheral neuropathy, limb ischemia, and refractory angina pectoris. The SCS has become a more versatile form of analgesia.

The number of wound complications will surely rise in conjunction with the increasing number of devices being implanted.  

 We describe a case of a well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma occurring within the incision site of a recently implanted spinal cord stimulator early in the postoperative period.  

The patient developed a rapidly growing mass within the leads incision. The mass was confirmed to be squamous cell carcinoma by biopsy. The mass was excised under local anesthesia with appropriate margins.  It was determined that the carcinoma did not extend below the dermis, and that there was no involvement of the underlying fascia. The device was tested for proper functioning, and the leads were thus left in place.  

While the development of skin malignancies in surgical wounds has been described in the literature, to our knowledge there have been no reports of a cutaneous neoplasm developing early in the postoperative period after spinal cord stimulator implantation.


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Pain Physcian
Joseph Atallah
Justin Wainscott
David Sloan
Karabeth Moore
Brenda G. Fahy

Spinal cord stimulator
CRPS type 1
squamous cell carcinoma