The state of implantable pain therapies in the United States: A nationwide survey of academic teaching programs

Gilbert J. Fanciullo, Robert J. Rose, Peter G. Lunt, Patricia K. Whalen, Edgar Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The purpose of this questionnaire survey was to provide an overview of anesthesiology pain fellowship programs in the United States with regard to implantation of spinal cord stimulators (SCS) and opioid infusion devices. Of the 95 programs solicited, 80% responded to questions pertaining to the prevalence of use and technical considerations of implantation. Of the responding programs, 87% report implanting SCS, and 84% report implanting neuraxial infusion pumps. All programs perform a stimulation or infusion trial before implantation, although the duration varied from a trial in the operating room at the time of implantation to 25 days. Of the programs, 83% implant cylindrical leads, and 17% implant flat leads via laminectomy for their nonrevision SCS implants. Morphine, bupivacaine, hydromorphone, and baclofen are the most commonly used drugs and are used in implanted pumps by >50% of respondents. The question of industry-sponsored pain fellow education in implantable techniques is addressed. Implications: Of the pain teaching programs in the United States, 80% responded to a questionnaire eliciting information about the implantation of spinal cord-stimulating and opioid infusion devices. The range and diversity of responses imply a lack of agreement about implantation techniques, drugs, and protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1316
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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