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Operating Room Lead Connector

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030332D
Publication Date: 2004-Aug-06
Document File: 9 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention describes a connector system used in conjunction with a dual electrode SCS system which can easily connect to a trial stimulator. The process of connecting the proximal end of a dual electrode to a stylet handle, and then locking the stylet handle within a slot of the connector, allows the medical professional the advantage of minimizing the required steps in connecting the trial stimulator to the SCS system. The trial stimulator can then be used to optimize the position of the electrode along the dura of the spinal cord.

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Operating Room Lead Connector

Background

            The present invention relates to medical lead systems and, more particularly, to a connector system used with medical stimulating leads and trial stimulators.

            The term “lead,” as used herein, will refer to an elongate conductor covered by insulation and which conductor is connected to an electrode contact.  An “electrode contact” is a conductive material that is exposed to the tissue to be stimulated.  An “electrode”, on the other hand, generally refers to that part of the lead that includes the electrode contact as well as a portion of insulation or other lead structure near the electrode contact.  The term “electrode” may be used, herein, interchangeably with a stimulating lead.  A stimulation lead may be made from one or more strands of wound conductor coil.  This winding may be accomplished in a manner to provide an axial lumen running through the lead.  At the distal end of the lead, the conductor coil can be connected to one or more electrode contacts and, at the proximal end of the lead, the conductor coil can be connected to an electrical connector, which connector can be connected to a lead extension, which lead extension can be connected to a pulse generator.  In the instance where a trial stimulator is required during the surgery procedure, the lead extension can be connected to another type of connector, which connector can be connected to an operating room (O.R.) cable, which cable can be connected to a trial stimulator, or similar medical equipment.  The electrode contacts on the distal end of the lead interface with tissue and can deliver a current to cause the tissue to be stimulated.

            A clinical method that is well accepted in the medical field for reducing pain in certain populations of patients is known as Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS).  An SCS system typically includes an implanted pulse generator and leads, which leads are comprised of lead wires, and electrodes that are connected thereto.  The pulse generator generates electrical pulses that are delivered to the dorsal column nerves within the spinal cord through the electrodes which are implanted along the dura of the spinal cord.  In a typical situation, the attached leads exit the spinal cord and are tunneled around the torso of the patient to a subcutaneous pocket where the pulse generator is implanted.  Representative spinal cord stimulation systems, leads, and connectors are disclosed in the following patents:  U.S. Patent Nos. 3,646,940; 3,724,467; 3,822,708; and 5,354,326.

            During the course of an SCS surgery, there is a need to connect the electrode array to a trial stimulator to optimize the position of the electrode along the dura of the spinal cord.  During this intra-operative procedure, the electrode array needs to easily connect to an intermediate O.R. cable and then to the trial stimulator.  Pres...