HealthDay News — Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) effectively reduces chronic pain symptoms in individuals with painful diabetic polyneuropathy (PDPN), according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Maarten van Beek, from Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues performed a prospective multicenter study to examine the long-term effect of SCS on pain ratings, treatment success and failure, and complications in 48 patients with PDPN.

The researchers found that after 5 years, 55% of patients had experienced treatment success and 80% of patients with a permanent implant still used their SCS device.

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The median duration of SCS treatment was 60 months. Higher Michigan Diabetic Neuropathy Score was associated with treatment failure during the 5-year follow-up (hazard ratio 3.9).

“SCS is successful in reducing chronic pain symptoms in the lower extremities of patients with PDPN up to 5 years after initiation of treatment,” the authors write.

The study was funded by Medtronic.

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van Beek M, Geurts JW, Slangen R, et al. Severity of neuropathy is associated with long-term spinal cord stimulation outcome in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: five-year follow-up of a prospective two-center clinical trial [published online November 6, 2017]. Diabetes Care. doi: 10.2337/dc17-0983