Lead and Pulse Generator Migration After Spinal Cord Stimulation Implantation: Insights From an Analysis of 7322 Patients

Rebecca Speltz Paiz, Alexander Kaizer, Sejal V. Jain, David P. Darrow, Hariharan Shankar, Vasudha Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Lead migration (LM) after spinal cord stimulation (SCS) implantation surgery is the most common device-related complication. Our study of lead and implantable pulse generator (IPG) migration using a large administrative claims data base aims to understand rates, risk factors, and outcomes after SCS implantation. Materials and Methods: This retrospective cohort study used the IBM® MarketScan® (Armonk, NY) Commercial and Medicare Supplemental Databases from 2016 to 2018. Adult patients who underwent SCS surgical procedures with at least 90 days of follow-up were identified using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes. Patients with LM and IPG migration after SCS surgery were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10 CM) codes. Patients who underwent revision surgery after SCS implantation were identified using the CPT codes and ICD-10 CM codes. In addition, patient characteristics associated with LM or IPG migration, the temporal relationship of migration diagnosis, and revision surgery were evaluated in the cohort. Continuous outcomes were compared between groups using the two-sample Student t-test. The Fisher exact test was used to compare categorical outcomes between groups. Results: A total of 7322 patients (64.4% percutaneous SCS) underwent SCS surgery during the study period. A total of 141 patients (1.9%) had LM or IPG migration. Of those, 116 patients (1.6%) had LM only; 18 patients (0.2%) had IPG migration; and seven patients (0.1%) had LM and IPG migration. The mean duration for migration diagnosis after initial SCS implantation was 168 (±163.1) days. The mean duration to revision surgery after the migration diagnosis was 12.3 (±35.2) days only. Most patients with migration (105, 74.5%) underwent revision surgery. Only younger age (p = 0.02) was associated with migration in this study. Conclusions: LM and pulse generator migration that required revision surgery occurred in a small proportion of patients who underwent SCS surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Administrative claims
  • complications
  • lead migration
  • outcomes
  • spinal cord stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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