Clinical Science| Volume 26, ISSUE 3, P690-693, April 2023

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Incidence of Temporary Peripheral Nerve Stimulator Lead Tip Retention: A Retrospective Review of 80 Lead Placements

Published:February 25, 2022DOI:



      The primary objective of this study was to determine the current rate of lead fracture during temporary percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulator (PNS) lead removal at the Mayo Clinic Rochester Division of Pain Medicine.

      Materials and Methods

      A retrospective review of electronic medical records was performed for patients implanted with a temporary percutaneous PNS device between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2020. Patients were included if they underwent temporary percutaneous PNS system implant, with planned lead removal at 60 days. Data collection included date of implant, diagnosis, peripheral nerve target(s), number of leads, and lead tip status at the time of removal (intact vs fractured).


      Fifty patients underwent a total of 80 temporary percutaneous PNS leads placed during the time frame analyzed. Of the 80 temporary percutaneous PNS leads implanted, there were five lead fractures at the time of intentional lead removal.


      This retrospective review of 50 patients with 80 temporary percutaneous PNS leads implanted for chronic peripheral neuropathic pain resulted in a 6.25% rate of retained lead fragment at the time of lead removal by the provider at the end of 60-day treatment. This fracture and retention rate is consistent with previous published retrospective data on PNS, which has shown a 3% to 21% lead fracture rate during intentional lead removal.


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