The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, is looking for individuals to participate in clinical studies. Participating in clinical trials allows you to play an active role in research on the nature and causes of many disorders of the brain and nervous system, and to possibly help physician-scientists develop future treatments. The information below is designed to help you quickly learn about actively recruiting research studies for which you or someone you know may be eligible.


During the study, FDA-cleared spinal cord stimulator leads will be placed in the lumbar epidural space of lower limb amputees and steered laterally towards the dorsal spinal roots under fluoroscopic guidance. This approach is essentially identical to the FDA-cleared procedure in which these devices are placed in the lumbar epidural space for treatment of intractable low back and leg pain. In that procedure, it is common clinical practice to place 2-3 leads temporarily in the epidural space through a percutaneous approach and perform a multiday trial to determine if the patient experiences any pain reduction from spinal cord stimulation. Following the trial, the percutaneous leads are typically removed by gently pulling on them, and the patient is referred to a neurosurgeon for permanent surgical implantation. Similarly, in this study, the device will be tunneled percutaneously through the skin and secured in place with tape or suture. Using the stylet included with the spinal cord stimulator leads, the devices will be steered laterally under fluoroscopic guidance to target the dorsal spinal nerves. During lab experiments, the leads will be connected to an external stimulator. In this study, the devices will remain in the epidural space for less than 30 days and will be removed by gently pulling on the external portion. Throughout the study, the investigators will perform a series of psychophysical evaluations to characterize the sensory percepts evoked by epidural stimulation, along with functional evaluations of the effects of stimulation on the ability to control a prosthetic limb. In addition, the investigators will perform surveys to characterize changes in phantom limb sensation and pain that occur during stimulation.

Eligibility Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria: - have an amputation of at least one lower limb, at a level between the ankle and hip joints - be at least 6 months post-amputation at time of lead placement Exclusion Criteria: - women who are pregnant or breast-feeding - has any serious diseases or disorders that affect ability to participate - currently receiving medications that may affect blood coagulation - allergic to contrast medium, or has kidney failure that could be exacerbated by contrast agent - implanted metallic devices that are not cleared for MRI

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