Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) is a commonly used approach to treat chronic pain. Patients who are good candidates for PNS are those who have localized nerve pain secondary to trauma, prior surgery, amputation, or even diabetes. This therapy has also been used in patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
PNS placement involves a minor procedure that places a small electrical device (a wire-like electrode) next to one of the peripheral nerves (these are the nerves that are located beyond the brain or spinal cord). The electrode delivers rapid electrical pulses that are felt like mild tingles (so-called paresthesias). Pain is essentially replaced by these paresthesias. PNS patients have a controller or app on their phone that allows them to control the intensity of the stimulus and the sensations they feel. PNS is an emerging therapy that can be an alternative to more invasive procedures like spinal cord stimulation or surgery.
UC Davis offers both temporary and permanent PNS options. You doctor will decide which system is appropriate for your case.