- 2016;19;E487-E493Spinal Cord Stimulation for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: A Case Study of a Pregnant Female
Shaik Ahmed, MD, Jeanine M. Lindsay, RN, BSN, and Dawn I Snyder, RN-Bc, MSN, CCNS.
BACKGROUND: Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a form of neuromodulation, used to treat chronic neuropathic pain refractory to conventional medical management. Spinal cord stimulators are treatment options when intractable chronic pain has not responded to more conventional treatment modalities. Currently, the use of SCS is contraindicated in pregnancy. Nevertheless, many SCS/neuromodulation recipients are women of child bearing age who may become pregnant. There are no published reports that focus on the possible side effects of SCS or neuromodulation therapy on human fertility, fetal development, pregnancy, delivery, or lactation.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this current report is to present a case study on the use of SCS/neuromodulation during pregnancy.
STUDY DESIGN: Presentation of the case of a 24 year old female who became pregnant after receiving an SCS implantation for pain control secondary to complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The SCS was in use at the time of conception but deactivated when patient became aware of her pregnancy and intermittently reactivated for five minute intervals throughout the entire pregnancy.
RESULTS: Currently very little documented evidence is available regarding the safety of using a SCS/neuromodulator during pregnancy; therefore its use during pregnancy is contraindicated. Available literature suggests that, women who have chosen to keep the SCS/neuromodulator activated during pregnancy have delivered healthy babies without any life threatening complications.
LIMITATIONS: Case presentations do not provide conclusive evidence of treatment effectiveness. This data is only preliminary and future studies should be used to assess outcomes and measures to provide quantification of the SCS implantation during pregnancy.
CONCLUSIONS: Women of child bearing age who are recipients of SCS/neuromodulation implantation should be informed of the limited knowledge available regarding the impact of SCS/neuromodulation use during pregnancy. For current recipients, decisions about ongoing use during pregnancy should be an individual decision based on the potential risks and benefits.