HealthDay News — High-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is better than conventional lower-frequency treatment for the relief of chronic back and leg pain, according to a study published in Anesthesiology.

Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD, from Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues randomized participants with both back and leg pain to receive SCS (either 10 kHz [HF10] or traditional low-frequency). SCS systems were implanted in 171 of the 198 initially randomized. Responders were defined as having ≥50% back pain reduction with no stimulation-related neurological deficit.

The researchers found that at three months, 84.5% of implanted HF10 therapy subjects were responders for back pain and 83.1% were responders for leg pain, compared to 43.8 and 55.5%, respectively, for traditional SCS subjects (P < 0.001 for both back and leg pain comparisons). Over 12 months, the superiority of HF10 therapy over traditional SCS for leg and back pain was sustained (P < 0.001). There were no reports of paresthesias with HF10 therapy.

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“HF10 therapy promises to substantially impact the management of back and leg pain with broad applicability to patients, physicians, and payers,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to medical device companies, including Nevro Corp., which funded the study.


  1. Kapural L et al. Anesthesiology. 2015; doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000000774.