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Evidence to Improve Care

10-kHz High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation for Adults With Chronic Noncancer Pain

Draft Recommendation

  • Health Quality Ontario, under the guidance of the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends publicly funding spinal cord stimulation at frequencies up to and including 10 kHz in adults with chronic noncancer pain that is refractory to medical management

Read the draft recommendation report

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There are a number of treatment options for people with chronic pain not caused by cancer. But when standard treatments like physiotherapy and medication don’t work, high-frequency (10-kHz) spinal cord stimulation may be an option.

This treatment requires a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Electrodes and a device called a spinal cord stimulator are implanted under a person’s skin, outside the membrane that protects their spinal cord. It delivers an electrical current that blocks pain signals from the nerves to the brain, helping to relieve their chronic pain.

This health technology assessment looked at how safe and effective 10-kHz high-frequency spinal cord stimulation is for adults with chronic noncancer pain that does not respond to medical management. It also looked at the budget impact of publicly funding the treatment in adults who have not found relief with medication or other types of spinal cord stimulation. Finally, it looked at the experiences, preferences, and values of people with chronic noncancer pain.

Read the full health technology assessment report for more information.

10-kHz High-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation for Adults With Chronic Noncancer Pain: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
June 2019

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About Health Quality Ontario

Health Quality Ontario is the provincial lead on the quality of health care. We help nurses, doctors and other health care professionals working hard on the frontlines be more effective in what they do—by providing objective advice and data, and by supporting them and government in improving health care for the people of Ontario.

We focus on making health care more effective, efficient and affordable through a legislative mandate of:

  • Reporting to the public, organizations, government and health care providers on how the health system is performing,

  • Finding the best evidence of what works, and

  • Translating this evidence into clinical standards; recommendations to health care professionals and funders; and tools that health care providers can easily put into practice to make improvements.

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