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Old 05-24-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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spinal cord stimulator questions

Hello to all . I have some questions concerning a spinal cord stimulator , i've had 2 back surgeries in the last 5 years. 4 level laminectomie l2 to s1 and a 2 level fusion at the l4-5 , l5-s1 levels..

My back has been hurting pretty bad as of late , saw my doctor last week and he does not want to do any more surgery & suggested looking into a S C S.. I will be going to see my neurosurgeon , he and my PM doctor work hand in hand. My questions are as follows :
* DOES THE S C S WORK WITH LUMBAR BACK PAIN
* I NO YOU HAVE TO GO THREW A SERIES OF TEST TRIALS , DOES THE ACTUAL IMPLANT SURGERY (IF NEEDED) A MAJOR SURGERY
* MY DOCTOR SAID THAT THERE IS ANOTHER LAMINECTOMIE NEEDED FOR THIS PROCEDURE
* DO YOU FEEL THE DEVISE UNDER YOUR SKIN WHEN IT'S IMPLANTED
* HOW LONG IS THE SURGERY , HOW BIG IS THE INCSION
* HOW LONG IS HOSPITAL STAY , AND RECOVER TIME
* DO YOU USE THE DEVISE AS NEEDED , OR 24/7
* HOW LONG TO THE BATTERIES USUALLY LAST
* DO YOU STILL TAKE PAIN MEDS (ORALLY) AFTER THIS SURGERY
I appreciate all the advise that i can get on this topic , i have read some stories on here - off course some bad & some good.. I would love to no the pro's and con's about this procedure. I'm running out of options for my back pain , and my ortho surgent who i love and trust DOES not think surgery is the best route for me.. I am willing to try what ever will get me out of pain , and this sounds like a good idea to me SO FAR....

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR LOOKING AND HELPING ME OUT !!!
DEv

 
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:50 PM   #2
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Dev:

I wish I had the answers for you as I am beginning the same journey. Just figuring out if a SCS will work. From what my PM guy said the SCS can work for lumbar - they just don't know until they do the trial run.

All my research shows no actual laminectomy is done. The first test leads are put in during a minor surgery (often done under local with IV sedation). Then if the SCS works they implant more permanent leads and the battery pack. I've heard that's a bit more invovled but no where near the level of laminectomy type surgery.

Please keep me posted on what you find out!
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:12 AM   #3
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Hello Deviphish I had my implant since dec 08. it can tell you that it can help at times and then there are those times the pain is just to intense that u need meds. I have a fusion from L3-S1, Lami L4-S1. I currently suffer from fbs and have permenant nerve damage in my right leg. As far as your questions I will answer to the best of my ability.
1. It mostly covers my leg pain my doc tried to get lumbar coverage but I think the pain is just to much-I get a slight sensation in that region.
2. My trail period was only 4 days they just use leads and it's not a major surgery. same day surgery
3. I didn't need another lami, I would question why he needs to do it.
4. Yes I can
5. The surgery was about 2 to 4 hours that includes pre and post op.My scar is actually 3 inches.
6. Recovery time i was up at at it. I really didn't have a hard recovery it was like I had a cut that needed to heal and that was that.
7. I use mine I would say about 8-12 hours a day or until it get's annoying
8.I'm sure it depends on the make and model you have. My battery has a 5 yr life w/ a weekly recharge
9. Yes still on Pain Meds

I had to come to a conclusion that pain will always be living with me but that doesn't me that I live with pain. I don't think that anything will get rid of all back pain because the area is so sensitive. Dev I hope I help you with your decision oh and by the way my make ANS stimulator I love it becasue I put the stimulation where I want it. Take Care
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Vicky:

Thanks so much for answering Dev's questions (as they are my questions too). I may be headed for an SCS soon.

Did they implant your battery pack in your buttocks? My concern is I may face a knee replacement in the next 10 years and I didn't want the battery pack to be somewhere associated with a leg that may need surgery. I've also heard of it being implanted in the abdomen.

Thanks
Karin
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:35 PM   #5
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Hi Dev,
Spinal Cord stimulators are implanted to help cover nerve pain, not lumbar back pain. Some, and I do mean some get some minor pain relief in their low backs, but that spinal cord stimulators function is to cover the pain signals sent through the spinal cord and it's nerves. If you do decide to go through the testing and the implant, don't expect coverage or easing in your low back pain. If you do happen to get some, it is not normal and your doctor or the representative from the implant company should not promise it to you. If they do, find another doctor.
Do you have a lot of nerve pain, pain down your legs , feet, heels, etc? That is the pain that the stimulator is supposed to help relieve. A positive outcome is a reduction of 50% or more of your nerve pain. Anything less than a 50% reduction is supposed to be considered a negative outcome and implanting the permanent unit is not supposed to happen.
The paddle leads are sometimes used in people who need to have the leads permanently placed, and it helps to make sure that they don't move once they are implanted. The leads used during the testing phase are usually wires with electrodes in them. Those are placed next to the spinal cord and are held there when scar tissue grows around them. They sometimes do migrate and need to be replaced to the original location. Paddle leads can be used in areas where more coverage is needed and those are anchored to the vertebrae by doing a hemi- laminectomy. I have read that some surgeons will use the paddle leads during the testing, if they are pretty sure that the permanent leads and stimulator will work.
As far as pain medications after a scs implant goes, most people continue to use pain medications simply because the scs is not /does not cover mechanical ( low back pain).. I would ask your Pain management doctor if he continues to prescribe pain medications after a spinal cord stimulator implant, because there are some who do not. You want to make sure of that before you go ahead with the trial or permanent implant.
The trials are usually same day surgeries, unless they are doing the paddle leads and in that case, some doctors will keep the patient in overnight to make sure that things are okay post op.
The incision for the wire leads is done with a needle, and the leads are fed through that to the spinal cord. If they do paddle leads, it is usually about two inches or a bit more, depending on the area they are putting the paddles.
The permanent unit is usually implanted below your belt line in the buttocks, although some people prefer it in the stomach area instead. That incision is usually a bit box shaped , depending on the size of the permanent unit.
In both the trial and the permanent implant, you are not supposed to raise your arms above your head, after the permanent implant, it is about 6 weeks, so that scar tissue has a chance to form around the leads. And of course, the no bending, lifting or twisting for a few weeks as well, for the same reason.
I have read the good and the bad in implanting these units, but do your research and if you can, talk to people who have had them, who decided not to, and find out why. It is just as important to know the cons, if not more important, as the pros of any procedure in back surgery and treatment.
Just remember if you are not getting at least a 50% reduction in your pain, then implanting the device , at this point, may not be your best option.
Best of luck to you,
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:06 PM   #6
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Thanks, Vicky and Back-My PM doc has brought up the SCS as well, and although I am somewhat apprehensive about it, the both of you have offered me some great information. Thanks again--janiee

 
Old 06-08-2009, 01:17 PM   #7
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mikerossi57 HB User
Wink Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

[QUOTE=deviphish;3993285]Hello to all . I have some questions concerning a spinal cord stimulator , i've had 2 back surgeries in the last 5 years. 4 level laminectomie l2 to s1 and a 2 level fusion at the l4-5 , l5-s1 levels..

My back has been hurting pretty bad as of late , saw my doctor last week and he does not want to do any more surgery & suggested looking into a S C S.. I will be going to see my neurosurgeon , he and my PM doctor work hand in hand. My questions are as follows :
* DOES THE S C S WORK WITH LUMBAR BACK PAIN
* I NO YOU HAVE TO GO THREW A SERIES OF TEST TRIALS , DOES THE ACTUAL IMPLANT SURGERY (IF NEEDED) A MAJOR SURGERY
* MY DOCTOR SAID THAT THERE IS ANOTHER LAMINECTOMIE NEEDED FOR THIS PROCEDURE
* DO YOU FEEL THE DEVISE UNDER YOUR SKIN WHEN IT'S IMPLANTED
* HOW LONG IS THE SURGERY , HOW BIG IS THE INCSION
* HOW LONG IS HOSPITAL STAY , AND RECOVER TIME
* DO YOU USE THE DEVISE AS NEEDED , OR 24/7
* HOW LONG TO THE BATTERIES USUALLY LAST
* DO YOU STILL TAKE PAIN MEDS (ORALLY) AFTER THIS SURGERY
I appreciate all the advise that i can get on this topic , i have read some stories on here - off course some bad & some good.. I would love to no the pro's and con's about this procedure. I'm running out of options for my back pain , and my ortho surgent who i love and trust DOES not think surgery is the best route for me.. I am willing to try what ever will get me out of pain , and this sounds like a good idea to me SO FAR....

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR LOOKING AND HELPING ME OUT !!!
DEv [/QUOTE]

 
Old 08-28-2009, 10:53 AM   #8
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

If any one can tell me,
1) what kind of doctor can do " spinal cord stimulator"? Orthopedics, neurosurgeon, Pain Management or interventional Radiology?
I have lumber spine disc herniation causes leg pain for 15 months and going to try this trial.
but I already saw several surgeons and no one mentions about SCS to me , so I don't think surgeon can or likes to do that.
2) It is said doing this procedure should take some questions to test if you have any mental problem. I don't have it and don't know why should do it but just want to know where I can do it, in doctor office or other place?

thanks!

Last edited by efang; 08-28-2009 at 11:08 AM.

 
Old 08-28-2009, 11:08 AM   #9
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Pain Management doctors can do spinal cord stimulators. There are some orthopdic spine sureons and neurosurgeons who do it as well. In my case they referred me to my PM doctor for evaluation and consideration for SCS. Right now I am not moving forward with this as it appears I may need further surgery first.
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Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 08-28-2009, 11:26 AM   #10
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Thanks ! SpineAZ ,
I don't expect that you reply to me so soon. now I only have
two procedures can be tried before surgery. SCS and VAX-D.
I hope your further surgery will be successful.

 
Old 08-28-2009, 11:29 AM   #11
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Keep in mind that the SCS is implanted. My orthopedic spine surgeon said they don't like to implant it and later remove it for surgery - thus they want me to try all surgical options first. When they implant the SCS they want scar tissue to form around it to hold it in and removing it later for surgery isn't ideal from what my OSS and PM doc said.
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 08-28-2009, 11:32 AM   #12
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

There are two parts to have a spinal cord stimulator implanted. The first is a temporary one to see if you will get any pain relief. A pain management doctor usually implants the temporary one. This is a day surgery procedure....meaning, you do not stay over night at the hospital. You go home and try out the SCS for about 3 days. Then the pain doctor will take the stimultor out right in his office. If you get good relief, then you will be referred to a Neurosurgeon or Orthopedic Surgeon. They will implant the permanent one in your spine. This is a larger surgery and although some Pain Management doctors will do the permanent placement, it is HIGHLY recommended you have it placed by a SURGEON. My pain management doctor will NOT do the permanent placement (just the temporary). This is a much larger surgery.

HOWEVER....most doctors will not recommend a spinal cord stimulator for a herniated disc. Stimulators are usually used on people who have nerve damage and there is no structural reason for pain....meaning, no disc herniations. If you have a herniated disc, that means part of your disc is touching your nerves which is causing your pain. Either the disc will heal by itself over time, or your doctor will suggest surgery to remove the disc off of your nerves. People who get stimulators usually don't have a surgical option...and it seems that you may?? Only your doctor knows for sure, but I have a feeling that is why they have not suggested a Spinal Cord Stimulator for you.

Oh, also...in order to be approved for a Spinal Cord Stimulator, you must have a psychological evaluation.

I hope this helps!
Jdsun

Last edited by Administrator; 09-14-2011 at 06:37 PM.

 
Old 08-28-2009, 11:50 AM   #13
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

[QUOTE
HOWEVER....most doctors will not recommend a spinal cord stimulator for a herniated disc. Stimulators are usually used on people who have nerve damage and there is no structural reason for pain....meaning, no disc herniations. If you have a herniated disc, that means part of your disc is touching your nerves which is causing your pain. Either the disc will heal by itself over time, or your doctor will suggest surgery to remove the disc off of your nerves. People who get stimulators usually don't have a surgical option...and it seems that you may?? Only your doctor knows for sure, but I have a feeling that is why they have not suggested a Spinal Cord Stimulator for you.
[/QUOTE]
Jusun ,
You are right , I think that is why no surgeon recommoded me to do that.I am just afraid of doing surgery, but I forgot the permanent placement is a surgery also.I may ask my PM when I see him. But maybe SCS can't help me.
Thanks!

Last edited by efang; 08-28-2009 at 11:59 AM.

 
Old 09-02-2009, 10:02 AM   #14
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Hi I am having my SCS surgery on Sept-23-2009 Lower Lumbar, I fell at work from a scaffold and have 2 hurniated discs and a bulging disc the back pain and leg pain has been so bad for 18 months and I have nerve damage whuch is causing my left foot to be cold-hot numb tingly and always there is pain in my toes and foot ,There also removing a piece of the Foramina there calling it a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant & Lamenitomy is this common or is that an exrta proceedure. Also will I spend the night in the Hospital ?? and how was the pain after can you walk or get around once you get home or are you pretty much bed ridden for about a week. They did say they want me to start walking about a week later twice a day 200-300 yards then increasing up to a mile or 2 which I cant wait to start waliking Also is it true you have to wait 8-10 weeks before you can start Physical Therapy this is what I am hearing also you I should not bend lift raise your arms pretty much be very careful for this 8-10 week period ??.

Thank you, Bob

 
Old 09-03-2009, 08:19 AM   #15
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Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

brody,
If you can tell me what kind of your doctor recommended you to do SCS ( Orthopedic or Neuro surgeon?) . The reason why I ask this question is if your SCSís scale looks like as same as a traditional micro spine surgery . Did your doctor also recommend a microdiscectomy or other surgery but prefer to do SCS?

Thanks!

 
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