Motor Cortex Stimulation at NYU Winthrop Hospital
Advanced technology for difficult-to-manage, chronic pain
Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is an innovative procedure used in patients with difficult-to-manage chronic pain. Used particularly for face pain, the procedure is employed only after other treatments have failed.
How Is Motor Cortex Stimulation Performed?
The procedure uses a programmable device to send electric pulses to an electrode attached to the layer covering the brain. Brain imaging is used in order to map the brain and identify the motor cortex – the part of the brain associated with movement of the face, arms and legs. Then, an electrode is surgically placed on the tough protective layer covering the motor cortex area of the brain and attached to the programmable device. Once the patient is awake after surgery, electronic pulses from the device are adjusted to reduce pain.
After the motor cortex stimulation procedure has reduced pain by at least 50 percent, a second surgery is performed to connect the electrode more permanently and to insert the programmable battery device under the skin, often near the collarbone. A connecting wire from the device goes up the back of the neck and under the scalp to the electrode.