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Old 02-23-2009, 11:50 AM   #1
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ArabellaB HB User
SCS electrodes - yes or no?

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Hi everyone

New to this forum & have been searching for information on SCS electrodes. Having had three major surgeries, and multiple other procedures (facet joint blocks, nerve root blocks, epidural blocks & denervation) all the consultants I have seen are certain that my pain is coming from somewhere between L4 & S1, but none have been able to pin down the exact cause & give me some form of permanent pain relief. I'm on pain medication everyday: minimum of 100mg tramadol x2, 50mg lyrica x2 and 50mg ametryptaline at night, topped up with 50mg tramadol as & when needed.

My current consultant has now suggested an SCS electrode impanted in the epidural space with a wire running under the skin to a battery at the front of the waist, switched on & off with a 'remote control'. He told me that if I'd been living in America I would have had this procedure done years ago as it is the pain management method of choice in a very large proportion of chronic pain cases.

There is no information on this forum about this procedure, so, if any of you have had it done, what are your thoughts now? Did it work & if so how effective was it/is it at managing your pain? Have you been able to resume activities which previously caused pain? How long before the battery needed changing? Any info gratefully received.

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__________________
Bella
Oct 2002 – L5/S1 Pro-Disc (Anterior approach)
Jul 2007 – Removal of Pro-Disc & L5/S1 ALIF
Aug 2007 – L5/S1 PLIF (with titanium cage)
Ongoing chronic pain patient

 
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:34 AM   #2
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robochick HB User
Re: SCS electrodes - yes or no?

Hello there, i live in England as well and it does sound like the pain management is much better everywhere but in England.
I had the trial spinal cord stimulator implant fitted in oct 08 and am waiting for the re-fitting of it because they put the last electrode in the wrong place & i had some kind of allergic reaction to the external trial wire.
Here is the website that i've been on when i was researching the scs: [url]www.medtronic.com[/url] this is the company that actully make the scs device.
The batterys life span depends on which device they use for your implant, how often you use it, how high you have the settings, and how many electrodes you have working, but after doing lots of research the dr's think that the non-rechargeable device would need the battery replacing between every 3-5 years.
When you have the trial stimulator fitted it only takes about 1 hour, they give you a local to numb the area that they are working on and can usually go home the next day.
A few tips that i found out after getting home after having my trial fitted, get a bum bag (not very trendy, i know) but there is quite a lot of temporary wire/battery pack to carry around and if you where to drop it, it would hurt because the temporary wires are stiched to your muscles, so its handy to have a little bum bag under your cloths with your temporary trial wires & battery pack in, also get a rubber ring, because you wont be able to lean or lie down on your stiches in your back so i got a rubber ring to lean on so the stiches where in the hole of the ring so nothing was touching them, and it worked a treat.
The sensation that you get from the scs is amazing, i had it in for 2 weeks before they took it back out and its a fantastic feeling, if only the sensation that i had was in my back which is where i need it, and not in my leg and boob!
Have you ever tried using a TENS machine? its very simular to the sensation that a TENS machine gives you, only 1 million times as good & lots more effective, its a bit of pain having to carry around the trial wires/battery pack but its so worth it in the end, the trial only lasts for about 2 weeks. (depending on which hospital you have it done as)
If you type neurostimulation or spinal cord stimulation on the internet it comes up with quite a few sites with information on about the scs. I hope this information helps and hope it helps you make a decision

 
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:22 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Cambridge. England
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ArabellaB HB User
Re: SCS electrodes - yes or no?

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Hi Robochick,

Many thanks for your reply & for your helpful tips, much appreciated.

May I ask if you are receiving this treatment under the NHS, & if so which health authority you fall under? My consultant is uncertain if the Herts authority will cover this procedure, because it is so new in this country.

Right now, I'm waiting to go in hospital at the end of March when he is going to try & 'stun' the sciatic nerve in one leg: a nerve root block provided only very short term relief (about 2 weeks) & apparently the nerve is too large to be 'killed' so he is going to zap it into not working! Then he'll be waiting to see how I respond to that before moving on to treating the pain in my lower back.

There are days when I think this pain will never end!

Good luck with your next procedure - I hope it works better for you this time. Would you mind letting me know how it goes? I'd be very interested.

Thanks!
[/FONT]
__________________
Bella
Oct 2002 – L5/S1 Pro-Disc (Anterior approach)
Jul 2007 – Removal of Pro-Disc & L5/S1 ALIF
Aug 2007 – L5/S1 PLIF (with titanium cage)
Ongoing chronic pain patient

 
Old 02-27-2009, 02:57 PM   #4
Member
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: england
Posts: 85
robochick HB User
Re: SCS electrodes - yes or no?

Hi again, i go to the manchester & salford pain centre at hope hospital in manchester, and I do get treated by the NHS, it took 6 months to get the funding through and actually get a date for my first scs trial, i've been waiting since november for my second scs trial and hopefully they will keep my date at the beginning of april! i hope your operation works for you and provides you with some pain releif, hope you keep in touch and let me know how it goes, take care x

 
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