Editor-in-Chief: Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD, PhD
BACKGROUND: Spinal cord stimulation is a safe and efficacious treatment for chronic pain. While there are limited reports in the literature, contact allergy related to these synthetic devices can occur, with nickel being the most common offending agent.
CASE REPORT: We present a 66-year-old woman with chronic lower back pain, failing conservative and surgical treatment measures, who underwent successful permanent spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implantation. Following placement, she developed a rash overlying the implantation site, diagnosed by dermatology as allergic dermatitis. She attempted topical steroid treatments, which aided symptoms; however, she ultimately opted for device removal, despite the SCS providing significant improvement in pain symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: Allergic dermatitis is a potential complication of SCS placement. This should be discussed during the informed consent process and the skin monitored closely following device placement. Allergic symptoms can be significant, even pushing patients towards device explantation despite significant improvement in pain symptomatology.
KEY WORDS: Allergy, contact dermatitis, irritant, nickel, rash, spinal cord stimulator