A new approach to spinal cord stimulation is presented, by which several serious problems of conventional methods can be solved. A transverse tripolar electrode with a dual-channel voltage stimulator is evaluated theoretically by means of a volume conductor model, combined with nerve fibre models. The simulations predict that a high degree of freedom in the control of activation of dorsal spinal pathways may be obtained with the described system. This implies an easier control of paraesthesia coverage of skin areas and the possibility to correct undesired paraesthesia patterns, caused by lead migration, tissue growth, or anatomical asymmetries, for example, without surgical intervention. It will also be possible to preferentially activate either dorsal column or dorsal root fibres, which has some important clinical advantages. Compared to conventional stimulation systems, the new system has a relatively high current drain.
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