Published: 27 July, 2021 | Volume 6 - Issue 1 | Pages: 009-014
For the millions of patients experiencing chronic pain despite pharmacotherapy, deep brain stimulation (DBS) provides a beacon of hope. Over the past decade the field has shifted away from DBS towards other forms of neuromodulation, particularly spinal cord stimulation (SCS). DBS for pain is still performed, albeit off-label in US and UK, and experiences variable success rates.
SCS is an extremely useful tool for the modulation of pain but is limited in its application to specific pain aetiologies. We advocate use of DBS for pain, for patients for whom pharmacology has failed and for whom spinal cord stimulation is inadequate. DBS for chronic pain is at risk of premature neglect. Here we outline how this has come to pass, and in the process argue for the untapped potential for this procedure.