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Old 01-26-2009, 07:59 PM   #1
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spinal cord stimulator

I would love to have a response from everyone that has had a spinal cord stimulator . I am considering a Medtronic one after two and a half years of leg and foot pain. All medicines do not control the nerve pain. I would love to hear your experiences, whether good or bad with this...I am so afraid to have anything else happen to me after a back surgery from hell. I need to make a decision soon. Any information would be appreciated.

 
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:08 PM   #2
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

I have a spinal cord stimulator and at first it really helped me but after three months, I feel and broke my foot and dislodged the lead. Due to the amount of back surgeries, I have a lot of scar tissue and the spinal cord stimulator will not give me any stimulation to my back but only to my legs and feet. The stimulator does work great for the legs and feet on me but my biggest problem is my back and I had then go with the pain pump to help control my back pain. In addition, my pain mostly bone pain due to non-fusion of my back after surgery and the SCS helps patients more with nerve pain.

I do not know if you have used a Tens unit and it is very similar to it except the TENS unit only affects the location of where the leads are placed. The SCS gives stimulation to all areas and can be programmed to give extra (or less) stimulation in areas where you need pain control.

I would definetly suggest going through the SCS trial to see if it helps you. I also recommend the SCS as a treatment option prior to deciding to going to the pain pump.

Take Care
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Spondylolisthesis - level 2 L5/S1
Pars Defect
End Plate Separation
2 Nerve Root Blocks (no effect)
L5/S1 Posterior Fusion with hardware (no BAK cages due to lack of disk space) - August 2002
Right side hardware removed due to loose screw and rod rubbing against facet joint - March 2003
Sciatica returned 8/03 - Tried Neurontin and Elavil - Eased sciatica but could not tolerate medicine.
11/03 MRI of cervical and thorasic spine

 
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:09 AM   #3
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

Hello, I cant tell you first hand but I did want to pass this on. I met a nice gentleman in my pain mangaments, I was waiting for ESIs & of course the doctor was behind. Anyway we got to talking & he was telling me how much he liked this PM doc & that he had the Spinal cord stimulator. He said for him it changed his life. He felt better then he has in years & how he felt it gave him some of his life back. He was there with his son in law who was receiving ESIs also. I remember my PM talking about the SCS & he did say it may not take all the pain away but can greatly reduce it. I hopes this help & good luck, Sammy

 
Old 02-27-2009, 03:26 PM   #4
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

Hi, i've read your thread about you having the scs then opting for the pain pump and found it very interesting. I had the scs trial in sept 08 but they placed the electrode on my spine in the wrong place so i could only feel the stimulation in my leg, but i have chronic pain in my back so it didn't work and they took it out and am schduled to have a re-trial of the scs at the beginning of april 09, am not very confident that they will get it right the second time and so i have been doing some research into the pain pump, i was wondering if you could give me some advice on the pain pump, is the surgury procedure simular to the scs surgury, and what kind of pain do you have to have to be a candidate for the pain pump! your advice would be of great help, hope your pain pump is doing the trick for you x

 
Old 08-12-2009, 03:18 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Re: spinal cord stimulator

you really need to think it over about having the pain pump,, for me i couldnt take the trial pain pump, medication was to strong for my stomach and make me sick as a dog, they removed it, then they try the scs, so far its doing great pain level is down 70%. they also have me on meprozine 50mg. I dont have to take the pain pills as often as i was. If you get the pain pump you have to go get it filled every 3months. The scs you only have to go when you need program higher stimulation. Everything has its up and downs you got to give it time. I have the 3 year battiers scs. means i have to go back in 3yrs. and have a new battiers put in.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:32 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Re: spinal cord stimulator

you really need to think it over about having the pain pump,, for me i couldnt take the trial pain pump, medication was to strong for my stomach and make me sick as a dog, they removed it, then they try the scs, so far its doing great pain level is down 70%. they also have me on meprozine 50mg. I dont have to take the pain pills as often as i was. If you get the pain pump you have to go get it filled every 3months. The scs you only have to go when you need program higher stimulation. Everything has its up and downs you got to give it time. I have the 3 year battiers scs. means i have to go back in 3yrs. and have a new battiers put in.
I tell everyone how much the scs has help me cut down on pain meds. and has help me with the pain,, but the down side of it is i dont feel my leg its numb mostly... depend on how high i have my stimuator set to... go with the scs first before you do the pain pump. good luck makin your decision.

 
Old 08-12-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

I have heard that Medtronic is about to release a model that would alllow a person with the SCS to have MRI's done. Keep in mind that currently there are 2 MAJOR PROBLEMS:

1. NO MRI'S EVER
2. NO DEFIBRILLATOR - meaning being shocked back to life. Of course I would rather have the chance of the batteries exploding in me than for a paramedic to not use the defibrillator, just my opinion

brian

 
Old 08-13-2009, 11:12 AM   #8
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianpain33 View Post
I have heard that Medtronic is about to release a model that would alllow a person with the SCS to have MRI's done. Keep in mind that currently there are 2 MAJOR PROBLEMS:

1. NO MRI'S EVER
2. NO DEFIBRILLATOR - meaning being shocked back to life. Of course I would rather have the chance of the batteries exploding in me than for a paramedic to not use the defibrillator, just my opinion

brian
Medtronics is about 6 months away from the MRI compatible one.

My orthopedic surgeon told me you can have a defibrillator even with the current ones. My pain doctor also told me the same. Brian, I am not sure why your doctor is telling you no? Both mine said you cannot get a deribrillator if you have a pace-maker in your heart. SCS are ok.

I have decided to wait for the new medtronics scs that is MRI compatible. To me, that was a feature worth waiting for.

Best of luck,
jdsun

 
Old 08-14-2009, 05:10 AM   #9
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

I have a SCS and was told by my Dr & Programer No MRI & NO Defib!! Its also in the booklet. Have found it a great relief for my arm pain but still getting used to battery, had to have it replaced as it was too painful were it was, better now but still uncomfortable, will live with it cos i get so much relief in my arm :-)

 
Old 08-14-2009, 08:49 AM   #10
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

Happy Friday!
I have a Vagal Nerve Stimulator implanted and so I can't have MRI's. I've found that doctors have been accommodating odering CAT scans or other tests. I've needed tests for TMJ, kidney stones and a look at my head. My doctors have gotten the information they need without MRI's.
It's just something to think about.
Peggy

 
Old 08-14-2009, 03:00 PM   #11
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

When I watched the video/DVD information from Medtronic it said that a person should wear a medical bracelet stating NO MRIS/NO DEFIBRILLATORs. They made a point during that presentation on both of these issues. It said the battery pack could leak or explode if a person was to have defibrillation done on them.

brian

 
Old 09-16-2009, 01:29 AM   #12
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by usps View Post
I would love to have a response from everyone that has had a spinal cord stimulator . I am considering a Medtronic one after two and a half years of leg and foot pain. All medicines do not control the nerve pain. I would love to hear your experiences, whether good or bad with this...I am so afraid to have anything else happen to me after a back surgery from hell. I need to make a decision soon. Any information would be appreciated.
Well as you may have seen in many other posts about the SCS which I will have in 2 days from now. I went through the trial with some success. Of course there is a pretty extensive psychological testing that is needed before they can install it. Ive been asked by many people why do you need psych testing? The answer mainly is this. It is not for the surgery, it is the fact that you have a foreign object in your body, and they also need to make sure that you can properly care for yourself and the unit. It also can cause post surgical depression which when I had my fusion surgery, I went through horrible depression for about 6 months and still continue to have some issues with it. An SCS is rather dangerous surgery depending on placement. If they place it in your low back (lumbar) It is much safer then neck (cervical). I will be getting the cervical install pushed up to the C2 level which is extremely close to the stem. There also is alot more "fishing" they need to do for cervical placement. I chose the SCS over the pump mainly because I do not care to live on morphine. I want to get away from the meds or at least cut back which I was able to do on the trial. Another thing to remember when you get a perm implant. Be careful with your meds!!!!! Do not just stop them just because you feel much better. Trust me, I made that mistake and ended up with a seizure and I have a medical backround. It was just stupid of me to do that and not even think of what could happen for that quick cut back on my meds. Slowly cut yourself back from your meds. Hopefully your doctors will advise you of that. There is nothing worse then adding to your problems.

Thank you all for your support!
Kelly

 
Old 12-21-2009, 08:52 AM   #13
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

Hello All
I am new here. I really need some answers. I have had RSD for 16 years now and my DR wants to put a SCS in.The RSD Is In my feet and legs also my arms and hands.Can any one help PLEASE. Judy

 
Old 02-18-2010, 10:28 AM   #14
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Re: spinal cord stimulator

I am happy that I have my Stims. I have one for my arm pain and one for my head pain. It has been a help with the pain but it does not come close to taking the pain away. I still use meds and heat and ice. But, all things working together, I have a good quality of life. I am able to work and that is what mattered the most to me. I use my "off" time to rest and recharge. If I had to do it again, I would.

 
Old 02-23-2010, 11:39 PM   #15
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Lightbulb Re: spinal cord stimulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by L5S1 View Post
I do not know if you have used a Tens unit and it is very similar to it except the TENS unit only affects the location of where the leads are placed. The SCS gives stimulation to all areas and can be programmed to give extra (or less) stimulation in areas where you need pain control.

I would definitely suggest going through the SCS trial to see if it helps you. I also recommend the SCS as a treatment option prior to deciding to going to the pain pump.

Take Care
I have discussed going this route with my brother... The theory with back pain is to target only the nerve branches leading to the back dermatomes (d. anatomy. An area of skin innervated by sensory fibers from a single spinal nerve.). Problem with this solution is the same problem that you get with Radio Frequency Ablations (RFAs). Most physicians will attempt to avoid C3 - C5 or C6 nerves, due to the risk of paralysis. Same reason they avoid lumbar punctures in that region. My latest 2 series of RFAs, my shoulders and neck over compensated since they only injected C6 to T4.

If you search the National Institutes of Health web page for "adult dermatomes" the first hit will be a link to a Medical Encyclopdia image that shows the skin region enervated by each spinal nerve.

On the other hand I've heard that they are working on a Subdural Electro Neural Stimulator. (SENS) Basically a webbing that works like a TENS without you having to worry about pad adhesion or self application of the TENS to your back. That is my two biggest problems with using my TENS...
  1. My Significant Other is out of state and my range of motions is already limited by my condition so placing the pads myself is nigh impossible.
  2. Using the TENS at night I relax.. fall asleep... roll about... pull my pads off at the smallest point... get lint on pad adhesion, which results in it falling away further, getting more lint until it falls off, then I roll over on the unattached TENS pad and get a shock as the electricity goes along some random electric path to the other pad instead of where I had originally placed it.

Which is why I try to only use it when I am fully alert early in the day. But asking someone other than my gf or my PT to place the pads is creepy and so I end up not using it daily anyways because I can't self place the pads.

It'll probably have the same MRI/DEFIB risk as an SCS. Probably more risk from the MRI than an SCS since its a web of wires. Hopefully less scarring since its placed in the myofacsia instead of the spine.

MP...

Last edited by Myofascial Pain; 02-23-2010 at 11:46 PM.

 
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