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FAQ: Peripheral Nerve Stimulation with the Stimwave Freedom Device


Patients suffering from chronic pain have found relief via peripheral nerve stimulation. This involves implanting a device that sends electrical stimulation to block pain signals from reaching the brain.

The Stimwave Freedom SCS System, offered by the Orthopedic Performance Institute, provides long-lasting pain relief. But unlike “central” nerve stimulation devices, Stimwave is powered wirelessly–without a battery, cable and generator implants. “For patients with chronic pain who have had many other options, who can’t or won’t have surgery, this is an excellent treatment option“ says Dr. Alexandra Matthews, Sports Medicine Specialist.

Here are some frequently asked questions:

How large is the Stimwave Freedom device?

It is a compact micro-stimulator with a flexible circuit board measuring only 0.069 inches. It fits through a standard gauge needle, which allows for placement with minimally invasive surgery, typically as an outpatient procedure. General anesthesia is usually not necessary.

How will I know if a Freedom Stimulator can help my pain?

Before a permanent Freedom Stimulator is implanted, you are able to test out your pain relief through a trial procedure. A trial stimulator is temporarily inserted for a therapy evaluation. We’ll review the results with you at the end of the trial period to determine if the results were satisfactory.

How does it work?

The implanted device has small metal electrodes near the tip. An electrical field of energy is created when power is applied to the electrodes, which aids in blocking the pain signals. The implant receives energy from an external Wearable Antenna Assembly that includes the transmitter and antenna.

How often do I have to charge the Wearable Antenna Assembly?

It will need to be charged daily but it may last up to 24 hours on a single charge depending on your therapy settings. It only takes about four hours, even when the battery is completely drained.

Can the Wearable Antenna Assembly get wet?

No. It is not waterproof. Keep it dry to avoid damage. Do not use the transmitter or antenna when engaging in activities that might cause them to come into contact with water.

How long do I need to use it per day?

Some patients use it every other day. Others use it up to 24 hours per day.

How soon after the implant can I resume physical activities?

Most physical activities are considered safe after the procedure, but we will advise you.

Does insurance cover the implantation cost?

Payer policies vary and should be verified prior to treatment for limitations on diagnosis, coding or site of service requirements. Check with your provider to see if the procedure is covered.

Will it eliminate all my pain?

Peripheral nerve stimulation has been clinically proven to reduce chronic pain. Although it may not remove the pain entirely, some patients have reported complete pain relief.

Contact Orthopedic Performance Institute in San Antonio, Boerne, or Bulverde for an appointment at 210.545.7171 to find out if Stimwave Peripheral Nerve Stimulation is right for you.


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