Spinal cord stimulators and MRI don't usually mix — Should they? 5 key notes

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

A new study published in Spine examines the MRI rate in patients with spinal cord stimulation.

The researchers analyzed data on back pain patients recorded in the Truven Health MarketScan Commercial Claims and Medicare Supplemental population databases. Here are five key notes from the report:


1. Broken down by year after SCS implantation, the patients who received MRI include:


• After one year: 52 percent
• After two years: 64 percent
• After three years: 72 percent
• After four years: 78 percent


2. There were around 61 percent of the patients who received MRI within 12 months before surgery, with an average of 1.84 MRI per patient and 76 percent of the MRI images were of the spine.


3. Eighty-two percent to 84 percent of SCS patients are expected to need at least one MRI within five years of implantation.


4. Around 59 percent to 74 percent of the patients require non-spine MRI within 10 years of implantation.


5. There is a need for MR-compatible devices to treat chronic pain conditions, concluded the study authors, based on the safety hazards of off-label MR images and the growing use of MRI among patients with chronic pain.


More articles on spine surgery:
How innovative spine surgeons stay on the cutting-edge—And where to focus in the future
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