A dorsal column stimulator is an electronic device implanted near the spinal cord to manage chronic pain, according to Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists. It delivers a low-level electrical current that interrupts the nerve conduction of pain.
Dorsal column stimulation does not cure the cause of pain but aims to reduce the intensity, duration and frequency of pain, reports the University of Rochester Medical Center. Patients who undergo the procedure have a trial period of stimulation to assess their response to the treatment prior to the surgical implantation of the stimulator. Possible complications include displacement of electrode, subcutaneous hematomas, infection and cerebrospinal fluid leak.