Is an Implanted Spinal Cord Stimulator Compatible with an MRI?

Living with chronic pain can be a relentless journey, and for many, implantable Spinal Cord Stimulators (SCS) provide a ray of hope. But what happens when you need an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to diagnose or monitor another medical condition? Can you still undergo an MRI with an implanted SCS? I


Understanding the Components of an Implantable SCS

Implanted SCS systems consist of two main components: the generator (stimulator) and leads (wires with electrodes). The generator is typically placed under the skin in the upper buttock area, while the leads are threaded along the spinal canal to the desired location. These components work together to send electrical pulses to the spinal cord, reducing pain signals and providing relief.


MRI Compatibility: A Common Concern

One of the primary concerns for individuals with implanted SCS is whether they can safely undergo an MRI when needed for diagnosing or monitoring various medical conditions. Historically, MRIs were considered risky for SCS patients due to potential interactions between the MRI’s strong magnetic field and the implanted device.


Advancements in SCS Technology

The good news is that advancements in SCS technology have made it possible for many patients to undergo MRI scans safely. Modern SCS systems are designed to be MRI-compatible under certain conditions. These conditions include specific MRI machines and protocols, as well as programming adjustments by your pain management specialist.


Consultation with Your Pain Management Specialist

If you have an implanted SCS and require an MRI, it’s crucial to consult with a pain management specialist, such as Dr. George Macrinici at Advanced Pain and Spine Management in Arlington Heights, IL. Dr. Macrinici can assess your specific SCS system, discuss the MRI requirements, and determine the safest approach for your situation. In some cases, precautions may be taken, such as temporarily adjusting the SCS settings before and after the MRI to ensure safety and maintain pain relief.


Don’t Let an Implanted Spinal Cord Stimulator Keep You From Seeking Treatment

Having an implanted Spinal Cord Stimulator doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t undergo an MRI when necessary. Advances in SCS technology have made it possible for many patients to safely receive MRI scans with the appropriate precautions and oversight.


If you’re dealing with chronic pain and considering SCS therapy, or if you already have an implanted SCS and require medical imaging like an MRI, Dr. George Macrinici and the dedicated team at Advanced Pain and Spine Management are here to provide expert guidance and personalized pain management solutions. Don’t let pain control your life; reach out to Dr. Macrinici and take the first step toward a brighter, pain-free future.


Improving Patients’ Quality of Life Through Personalized Care

If you’re struggling with neck, back, or hip pain or any other spine related issues, schedule an appointment with us today to get back to living your life the way you’d like to.