Hi all-Ok, something new has happened and I need your input again. I still have incision pain and muscle spasms around the incision, but I do believe this is still a normal thing for me to be feeling. However, yesterday I was laying on my side and when I went to push myself up to a sitting position, I got this excrutiating pain while I was moving upward and for about 10 seconds while I was sitting up. This has happened each and every time that I have laid down on my side. The pain is so bad, that I have cried everytime I sit up from a laying down position. I have tried to get up and just bare the pain (I let out a yell but tried to keep my upper body and shoulder area relaxed vs. tensing up. Still I get the same horrible pain.) This all started on day 12, post implant. Anyone esle have this problem. Being that it wasn't happening for a wk. and a half, I am thinking that something may have changed/moved etc. But then again, the pain does go away after 30 sec. or so.
Thanks for any insight. I do see the Dr. tomorrow, but just thought I would throw out this question to see if I can prepare myself for any possibility that the Dr. might suggest.
Just to update everyone, I saw my surgeon today and he said that I am having severe muscle spasms. He said that I will probably be having them for the next 4-6 weeks and he gave me some muscle relaxers to help. No going back to work for a few more weeks. I was hoping to go back sooner, but I will do what I need to do. I am glad to know that my pain is not because I did anything wrong to move my leads, or anything like that.
Thank you all for your replies. I was very happy to hear that it is just the muscles settleing in...so much better than something going wrong.
I have the Advance Bionic system and the lead that they use for the implantation is called a paddle. Some systmes have leads that are a wire-like piece with small dots on the end of it. The difference is the "paddle" at the end of the lead is a larger oval shaped peice (kind of like the size of a small bandage). This way, the Dr. actually has room to sew the paddle into the area that he wants it in, and it has less risk of moving or migrating into your spine.
Thanks again for posting. Its such a nice feeling to know others care about your good news as well as bad.
I am following your SCS story closely as I am a candidate for the procedure but I am so nervous about it. Did you have a TENS unit before? Did it help? Was that an indication that the SCS might work? What is the difference between the paddle and the leads? My injury and nerve damage is at L5-S1. I also have some lower back pain. Has the SCS helped all of the above? Sorry to ask so many questions....I appreciate your input.
I had the Tens Unit a couple of years ago, but that was in the beginning of my back problems, following my 1st fusion. That worked for a little while, but then stopped working when my 2nd level slipped. I have the L3-5 that both slipped. The TENs Unit is not an indication of whether or not the stimulator will work or not. They both work at relieving pain differently.
As for the paddle...imagine the lead that they thread through your back and place in the spine. It's thinner than a catheter/tubing and thicker than a peice of wire. At the end of some leads are small dots that are placed in the spine. Now the one I have is the same wire-like lead that is taken to the spine, but at the end of the lead, instead of small dots, there is an actual material that is shaped like a small oval bandage. Because there is this extra material, the Surgeon can actually sew the end of the lead into your spine. The reason this is important is it takes 4-6 mos. for scar tissue to form around the area of the spine, where the lead was placed. The scar tissue is what keeps it in place, so it does not move around or migrate into your spine or body. So, for a lead that is carefully placed in the spine vs. one that is sewn into it, it is easier for the lead to move around if it is not sewn in and there is no scar tissue to hold it in place.
So far, I have almost all of my lower back, butt, thigh & bursitis pain gone. I still have some of the SI joint pain and calf pins/needles. But that is fine with me. I still have an appt. to go to where they will tweek the stimulator to give me even more coverage, so this is just the beginning. I don't know if I will get more coverage or not, but as long as my bursitis is gone, that is a biggie for me. Now, I have not gone back to work and movement is what usually brings on my pain, so I won't know for sure that I have all the relief that I am having now. I am just enjoying the pain free days, while I have them and pray they continue to be pain free.
I hope I answered your questions. Let me know if I missed anything.
I have had a stimulator put in last year and had to have it fixed 6 week after the first one and now I had to have the 3 one 4 wks ago with a paddle leads and I do not think it is working still hurt real back just thinking that I have made a huge mistake. any idea on what I should do now.
Thank you so much.....I may need your support and advice if I decide to move forward with the SCS. You and Shawley are my heroes!!! How long do you have to stay out of work once the unit is placed? Thanks for your help!
I did not realize the legnth of time for recovery, but I just saw my surgeon and was telling him that even though the back pain is relieved, the area around the incission is in incredible pain. He remined me that it is muscle spasms that can last usually anywhere from 3-6 weeks.
I also learned that for 6 months, I can not bend, lifts +5 lbs., twist, lean or stretch my arms over my head. This is to make sure nothing moves until the scar tissue hardens around the leads.
Anyway, it would likely take 3-6 wks. of muscle spasms-which I may say are horrible. I cry several times every day and some movements just about floor me. (I have learned these movements and try not to make them, if I can help it.)
robin67-Is your pain anywhere near the incision? Esspecially around the incision where the lead went in side you. If so, then your pain is probably the same as what I am having. I do remember having the same thing when I did my trial and it did get better when they finally found the right muscle relaxer for me. I am hoping this is what is bothering you. If it is, I know it feels aweful and like something must be wrong with the system, but at least it is good to know that it is temporary. (all though four weeks of it seems like forever.) My Dr. perscribed me 800 MG. of Motran and Zanaflex 8MG. Ice has also been helping me and walking. I have found that sitting causes the spasms to worsen.
I hope both of you will keep us posted and of course I will answer any of your questions, to the best of my ability.