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Old 11-15-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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trial stimulator

Yesterday I had the trial implant of a multi-program nerve stimulator to help with my sciatica down both legs. While my back was extremely painfull after the procedure and I didn't get much sleep last night, today my back pain is better. The stimulation feels fairly good and is felt mostly on the inside and down the front of my legs, unfortunately my sciatic pain runs from my cheeks down the back of my legs. The St. Jude rep tells me it may be to soon to tell, and I kinda agree because my back pain may be overriding much of the sensations from the stimulator. There are 5 settings which can be adjusted up and down and also has the ability to adjust the stimulation for each leg seperatly, ranging from mild at 6 bars of power (similar to a cat purring in my lap) to a *****ly pulsing at 8 bars with more bars to go, to much power and the sensation goes into my stomach and is almost nausiating.

Is this what others experience and will this stimulation help with the backside of my legs where most of my pain is?

 
Old 11-15-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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Re: trial stimulator

I had a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted back in 2006, but my stimulator was by Medtronic. I think the only way I can describe the sensation is that to me it felt like electrical current.

Mine was implanted in the left hip area and the leads were in the thoracic region at about T 8 or so cant remember the exact level. I went thru the trial and then the permanent implant.

I remember the remote that I used I was able to turn the device on & off as needed and various settings for how powerful I wanted it to be. I don't recall if there was any settings with numbers for me to know what the setting was.

But unfortunately in my case I had the stimulator removed in 2011. It probably should have been removed a lot sooner too. It just wasnt working for me.

I've known people that have had the implant and are pleased with it. A friend of mine also had it done but in her case it was removed.So its tough to say who it will work for and who not. The only way of finding out is by trying it out.

Did you have to go thru the psych exam? As far as I know it is for some reason required by the insurance companies?

Also, unless things have changed & I dont think they have you CANNOT have an MRI done with a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted. CT scans are fine though.

I am now in the process of waiting for the authorization to have a Intrathecal Pain Pump implanted which is basically a Morphine pump and the medication is delivered directly to the spine. As with the stimulator a trial implant is done first.

Hope the stimulator works for you. Let us know how you make out...

 
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:41 PM   #3
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Re: trial stimulator

I have a peripheral STS. Everyone has different opinions. It is a last resort and one of the biggest benefits is cutting down on drugs (I am far over 70 percent). I have a defective battery and being replaced 12/6. It is such a blessing.

You cannot have a MRI at anytime. Lmk if you have any other questions.

There are hundreds of adjustments if the power is too high. Just ask your rep.

 
Old 11-16-2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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Re: trial stimulator

Thanks for the info, I am going in today to the pm doc, he wants to try more adjustments on my stim machine. The day I received the stimulator he kept adjusting it and I kept telling him that I only felt the sensation in the front of my legs and not in the back of them where the pain is. Shouldn't it cover the pain area?
I was not given a psych exam.
I almost get the feeling that they are more concerned with selling the stimulator than it's effectiveness.

 
Old 11-16-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
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Re: trial stimulator

I am surprised that you did not have to get a psych exam. When I had the stimulator put in it was required by the insurance company and same thing for the pain pump.

I know someone else that had the stimulator put in and had to go thru psych exam as well. we are both on medicare and not sure if that makes any difference.

 
Old 11-17-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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Re: trial stimulator

Neuro,
Yes, by all means, you should be feeling the stimulation patterns in the back of your legs if that is the targeted area for the scs unit programs. I'm surprised that they didn't fix that for you during the insertion of the leads and temporary powering up of the unit during the placement. That is what is supposed to happen- to make sure that you are feeling the stimulation where you need it to be, and that the patterns are not too strong or the pulse widths too low..then other settings should be set into the temporary unit both lowered powered and higher powered to give you a set of patterns to use during the trial period.
Adjustments may need to be made but I wouldn't go ahead with a permanent implant until you know for sure that they can provide the stimulation where you need it...if they can't get it during the trial, how can they be sure they can once the leads are permanently scarred in and the scar tissue impedes the signal??
And I am a bit confused since the majority of insurance companies will not allow the trial to go forward without a psychological evaluation regarding your expectations of the scs trial and how you feel about having a foreign body implanted permanently since it is a costly therapy...they want to make sure that you aren't going to change you mind after they pay out upwards of 50-75 thousand dollars between the cost of the unit, the trial and the permanent implant...
I hope that you can get this straighted out but I would want assurances in writing that they can guarantee that they can get the right patterns to treat your pain properly before going forward with this .
It won't help you later if they can't get it right now...

 
Old 11-17-2012, 01:07 PM   #7
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Re: trial stimulator

I am having the trial put in on Monday November 26th, I too went throught the psych evaluation. I've spoken with people on other forums and have never heard of someone not going through the psych evaluation. I have heard both good and bad things regarding the scs and am nervous myself but must try to get my life back.

 
Old 11-17-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
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Re: trial stimulator

I had the SCS implanted years ago and due to many complications and surgeries to try to correct the problems I had with it I had it removed.

The only time I did get any good coverage was during the trial and that was briefly I was led to believe that I would do really well with the implant since I did get good relief briefly during the trial ...That once the leads were in place the coverage would be better even.

The implant was done due to lumbar pain and S1 nerve damage I also have throacic problems and was told that they would be able to help with that pain also the way they set the leads up.

I would never go through all that again I had such hope for it as I was told it was my last option.

I never had a psych evaluation done either though Iwas told I would have to have one before the permenant implant.

I hope that this goes well for you ad that you are able to get the relief you need.

Linda

 
Old 11-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #9
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Re: trial stimulator

I hope that you can get this straighted out but I would want assurances in writing that they can guarantee that they can get the right patterns to treat your pain properly before going forward with this .


No doctor in their right mind is going to guarentee that something is going to work or not work. There are NO guarentees on anything in life especially with surgeries. Even the surgeries that are "routine procedures" carry risks. So please dont fool yourself into thinking that you can get a guarentee from a surgeon that something will be perfect and will work.

 
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