Treating spinal cord injury with implanted spinal cord stimulators

Yongping Zheng, Md. Monzurul Alam, Hengze YOU

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Spinal cord injury (SCI), as a devastating spinal cord disorder, remains a critical problem affecting millions of people all over the world. Although the mortality of SCI has decreased owing to medical advancement, it still implicates sensory, motor, and autonomic function disabilities often accompanied by chronic pain, severely affecting patients’ self-independence and reducing their life quality. While conventional interventions fail to achieve satisfactory recovery, epidural spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been demonstrated with exciting breakthroughs and promising applications to both improve motor functions and relieve chronic pains following SCI. SCS’s relief on chronic pain based on gate control theory has become relatively mature, with various kinds of spinal cord stimulators (SCSrs) already available on the market. Meanwhile, some recent studies have verified that SCS has evident efficacy in improving motor functions following SCI, enabling clinically complete SCI patients to regain abilities such as standing, stepping over the ground, or leg extension. So, SCSr is regarded as an emerging tool to treat SCI and its complications. This chapter presents the applications of SCS on SCI rehabilitation, introduces typical SCSrs on the market, illustrates the surgical procedure of SCSrs implantation, and discusses the strengths and limitations of current stimulators on treating SCI, and offers future implications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiagnosis and Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury
Place of PublicationAcademic Press
Pages 245-258
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2022


  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • NeurostimulatorSensorimotor
  • Epidural electrical stimulation


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