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This article is the author's final published version in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Volume 40, February 2024, Pg. 229 - 239.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2024 The authors.


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the 24-month durability of pain relief, function, quality of life, and safety outcomes for patients with nonsurgical refractory back pain (NSRBP) treated with high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) within a large, national, multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT).

METHODS: Following the completion of an RCT comparing high-frequency SCS plus CMM with CMM alone for the treatment of NSRBP, patients gave additional consent for a follow-up extension to 24 months. Presented is the cohort analysis of all patients treated with high-frequency SCS following the optional crossover at 6 months. The outcomes assessed to 24 months included responder rate of ≥ 50% pain relief measured according to the visual analog scale [VAS]), disability (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI]), quality of life (EQ-5D 5-level [EQ-5D-5L]), opioid reduction.

RESULTS: Of the 125 patients who received a permanent implant, 121 completed the 12-month follow-up, 101 gave additional consent for extended follow-up, and 98 completed the 24-month follow-up. At 24 months after implantation, the mean back pain VAS score was reduced by 73% and the responder rate was 82%. ODI and EQ-5D-5L both improved by at least double the minimal clinically important difference for each measure. No unexpected adverse events were observed, and the rates of serious adverse events (3.4%) and device explantations (4.8%) were low.

CONCLUSIONS: The addition of high-frequency SCS to CMM in patients with NSRBP offers profound improvements at 24 months in pain, function, quality of life, and reduced opioid use. This study provides much-needed evidence to inform current clinical practice for managing patients with NSRBP.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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