Clinical Science| Volume 26, ISSUE 3, P658-665, April 2023

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Spinal Cord Stimulation With Additional Peripheral Nerve/Field Stimulation Versus Spinal Cord Stimulation Alone on Back Pain and Quality of Life in Patients With Persistent Spinal Pain Syndrome

Published:January 26, 2022DOI:



      Persistent spinal pain syndrome (PSPS) or failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) refers to new or persistent pain following spinal surgery for back or leg pain in a subset of patients. Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a neuromodulation technique that can be considered in patients with predominant leg pain refractory to conservative treatment. Patients with predominant low back pain benefit less from SCS. Another neuromodulation technique for treatment of chronic low back pain is subcutaneous stimulation or peripheral nerve field stimulation (PNFS). We investigated the effect of SCS with additional PNFS on pain and quality of life of patients with PSPS compared with that of SCS alone after 12 months.

      Materials and Methods

      This is a comparative study of patients with PSPS who responded to treatment with either SCS + PNFS or SCS only following a multicenter randomized clinical trial protocol. In total, 75 patients completed the 12-month follow-up: 21 in the SCS-only group and 54 in the SCS + PNFS group. Outcome measures were pain (visual analog scale), quality of life (36-Item Short Form Survey [SF-36]), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]), overall health (EuroQol Five-Dimension [EQ-5D]), disability (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI]), and pain assessed by the McGill questionnaire.


      There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the two groups. Both groups showed a significant reduction in back and leg pain at 12 months compared with baseline measurements. No significant differences were found between the groups in effect on both primary (pain) and secondary parameters (SF-36, HADS, EQ-5D, ODI, and McGill pain).


      In a subgroup of patients with chronic back and leg pain, SCS alone provided similar long-term pain relief and quality-of-life improvement as PNFS in addition to SCS. In patients with refractory low back pain not responding to SCS alone, adding PNFS should be recommended.

      Clinical Trial Registration

      The registration number for the study is NCT01776749.


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