Pain Neuromodulation

Our Pain Neuromodulation Program provides a comprehensive and technologically advanced approach to the treatment of pain. Our functional neurosurgeons work in a team with pain anesthesiologists, neurologists, and physiatrists. Treated conditions include, but are not limited to: back or leg pain, headache, complex regional pain syndrome, and peripheral nerve pain. Treatment options include oral medications, implanted pumps for intrathecal drug delivery, nerve stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, motor cortex stimulation, and deep brain stimulation.

These approaches may include a new and innovative medication regimen, an implanted pain pump, a spinal cord stimulator, a motor cortex stimulator, or a deep brain stimulator to safely and successfully treat pain.

Spinal cord stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation are two types of electrical nerve stimulation that can be used to treat chronic pain. Failed back surgery syndrome, cervical and lumbar radicular pain, neuropathy, and complex regional pain syndrome are some conditions that may be greatly helped by neuromodulation. Patients believed to be good candidates for neuromodulation therapies typically undergo a one-week trial of the therapy prior to permanent implantation of the device, allowing us to better predict long term outcomes without having to undergo a significant surgery.

Patients are referred to the program after failing to achieve adequate control of their pain with tolerable doses of oral pain medications. Members of our team work closely to ensure that optimal therapeutic interventions are provided to each patient. Patients under consideration for device-based therapies typically will undergo a trial of therapy prior to permanent implantation of a pain-modulating device. Patients evaluated in our program typically see both a functional neurosurgeon and a pain psychologist in a single visit. We look at all previous treatments, and incorporate physical finds, imaging correlates, as well as a detailed psychological profile of each patient, before arriving at a plan of treatment. We evaluate the possibility of anatomical correction, as well as possible neuromodulation options - such as electrical neurostimulation and pump infusion therapies.

Pain Neuromodulation procedures performed in our program for non-cancer pain include:

  • Spinal Drug Infusion Therapy
  • Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Motor Cortex Stimulation
  • Dorsal Root Entry Zone Lesioning (DREZ)

Today, functional neurosurgery can help restore quality of life for patients with pain that is not successfully treated with oral medications. We offer a wide range of treatments in the Pain Neuromodulation program for non-cancer pain conditions such as:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Arm pain
  • Leg and Sciatic pain
  • Shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain after shingles) 
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)/Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
  • Painful neuropathy

Our pain management experts provide consultations to patients and physicians in the entire tri-state region. Patients with uncontrolled pain due to nerve and nervous system injury, stroke, failed back surgery, limb amputation, and other causes may all be candidates for these advanced pain therapies.


Kevin Chen, M.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery
Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology
Parag Patil, M.D.

Parag G. Patil, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery
Associate Professor, Neurology
Associate Professor, Anesthesiology
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
Oren Sagher, M.D.

Oren Sagher, M.D.

William F. Chandler Professor of Neurosurgery
Professor, Anesthesiology
Residency Program Director
Taubman Center Floor 2 Reception G
1500 E Medical Center Dr SPC 5338
Ann Arbor, MI 48109