Neuromodulation for Pain and Pelvic Floor Instability
Service contact information
The Walton Centre is a pioneering unit for neuromodulation in the UK and we have 45 years’ experience.
Neuromodulation involves implanting electrical devices within the body to treat pain. Electrodes can be implanted next to nerves, the spinal cord, dorsal root ganglion or within the brain, so pain pathways can be stimulated and modulated. The drug delivery system (pumps) delivers medicine directly into the spinal cord, improving the effectiveness of the drugs and reducing side effects. These treatments are well established for spasticity.
The Walton Centre is able to provide spinal and brain implants to treat pain. We also use implants to treat non-painful conditions such as spasticity, faecal incontinence and urinary frequency, urgency and incontinence within the relevant multidisciplinary team (MDT) settings.
The Neuromodulation Service is delivered by a multidisciplinary team of therapists including consultants, psychologists, physiotherapists, specialist nurses and an operating theatre team specialising in this field.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
We use spinal cord stimulation (SCS) mainly to treat localised nerve pains in the spine, trunk, arm or leg which have not improved with surgery or other treatments including pain killers and psychological and behavioural approaches. An electrode is placed near the spinal cord or another nerve target and connected to a tiny computer (and battery which powers the electric signals) which is implanted under the skin. A signal which largely cannot be felt (sometimes patients can feel a tingling) is produced in the painful area by the specialist neuromodulation team which often relieves the pain. SCS treatment can also be used for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), and nerve pain following surgery, trauma or peripheral neuropathy. In most cases we try to treat the pain in another way before using SCS. In conjunction with other specialists within an MDT setting, we also implant SCS for bowel, bladder control problems and mechanical lower back pain.
Intrathecal pumps deliver medicines directly in to the spinal fluid of the spinal cord to ease muscle spasm. This treatment can be useful for some patients for spasticity.
All of the implants mentioned above are offered only following a comprehensive assessment in our outpatient department, followed by further assessment by our multidisciplinary neuromodulation team. Following implantation we provide a comprehensive after care service and are able to trouble shoot and manage any problems arising from implantation.
The Walton Centre - Main Hospital Building
This building hosts many of our in-patient services, including wards and theatres, and some outpatients services.
Lower Lane, Liverpool, L9 7LJ
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Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) is a treatment option, initially developed for people suffering with bladder control problems (difficulty with bladder function for example not feeling the bladder filling or having very little warning to pass water).
Neuromodulation for Pain and Pelvic Floor Instability Consultants
Dr Manohar Sharma is a Consultant in Pain Medicine and Neuromodulation.
Dr Andreas Goebel is a Consultant in Pain Medicine at The Walton Centre since 2007.
Dr Bernhard Frank is a Consultant in pain medicine at The Walton Centre, also holding the roles of clinical lead for neuropathic pain and opioid management for chronic non-cancer pain. He is an honorary senior clinical lecturer in pain medicine at the University of Liverpool.
Page last updated: 23 June 2021