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Spinal Cord Stimulation Specialist

J. Rafe Sales, MD -  - Spine Surgeon

J. Rafe Sales, MD

Spine Surgeon located in Portland, Newberg & Lake Oswego, OR

If you have chronic back pain that hasn’t responded to other treatments, you might benefit from spinal cord stimulation. At his practice at St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, J. Rafe Sales, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, surgically implants spinal cord stimulators to help patients like you finally get relief from back pain. Call Dr. Sales or schedule a consultation online today to find out how spinal cord stimulation can alleviate your pain.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q & A

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is an innovative, pharmaceutical-free treatment for chronic back pain. It’s an implantable device that sends a mild electrical current into your spine, which prevents pain signals from traveling to your brain. 

Dr. Sales uses state-of-the-art spinal cord stimulation devices. He was the first orthopedic spine surgeon in the state of Oregon to use the Abbott Penta™ lead. 

What conditions can spinal cord stimulation treat?

Dr. Sales uses spinal cord stimulation to treat chronic neurological back pain. Pain is a critical human experience — it lets you know when something is wrong. However, in some cases, your pain outlasts the condition that caused it, or your pain is disproportionate to the injury. 

Dr. Sales considers each case individually and might recommend spinal cord stimulation for:

  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neuropathy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

If you have spine pain or symptoms of nerve compression or damage in your limbs, contact Dr. Sales to find out how spinal cord stimulation can relieve your pain.

Am I a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is often effective when other medications and treatments haven’t relieved your pain. Dr. Sales provides comprehensive consultations to determine if spinal cord stimulation is right for you. During your appointment, he reviews your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history, including any other treatments you’ve had to try to reduce your pain. 

Dr. Sales often orders diagnostic imaging studies like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to gather more information about your spine and other internal structures. He also uses electromyography and nerve conduction studies to locate and evaluate the source of your nerve pain. 

How are spinal cord stimulators implanted?

Dr. Sales is a leader in spinal cord stimulation treatments. He installs the devices in two phases. The first phase is a two-week-long trial to make sure that spinal cord stimulation relieves your pain. 

During this stage, he implants the lead into your spine, near the malfunctioning nerve. He connects the lead to the generator but doesn’t implant the device at this stage. Instead, you wear the generator in a pouch on your belt or taped to your skin.

If the treatment alleviates your pain, Dr. Sales begins the second phase of implantation. In phase two, he not only places the electrical lead in your spine but also surgically implants your generator under the skin of your lower back and creates a tunnel for a wire to connect the lead to the power source.

Dr. Sales uses spinal cord stimulators from several manufacturers and selects the device that will best address your needs. The implantation process takes less than 45 minutes and is usually an outpatient procedure. 

If you have chronic back pain, call Dr. Sales or schedule an appointment online today to find out if spinal cord stimulation is right for you.