I had a spinal cord stimulator inserted a couple years ago and it never seems to work in the right place even though I have had it programmed many times. Has anyone had this same problem?
Also I was told when looking to buy a Numbers mattress not to get one that gave massages because with the stimulator in my back this could cause serious problems. Does anyone know why? And if this is correct would the same apply to using a spa?
I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted 7 yrs ago and actually had to have it redone the following year. Apparently the battery went on the fritz and even though I had the wires put in with the clamps so they would be more secure....they must have migrated. I have had mine reprogrammed several times as well. Do you use it a lot or just some of the time? I use to use mine ALL the time 24/7. I realized that I was feeling like I wasn't get as much relief from it. So I turned it off for a while and then would turn it back on when I really needed it. I'd also change the sensation...from a sort of tap tap tap ...to a thump thump thump ...especially if it was a program that hit the right areas. That way I could use it longer without getting so used to the sensation. When was the last time you had it adjusted? Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to have it done again. Good luck and hope you get some relief.
Oh and as far as the mattress....I have no idea. Perhaps if you were fresh from your surgery, they wouldn't want you to use the massage aspect so that the leads didn't migrate due to the motion. Being a number of years out since surgery, I wouldn't think that would be a problem...it's not like they are so strong they shake you around. Plus you can control how intense the massage the mattress gives is.
Thank you KG5634 for your helpful advice. I appreciate it very much. I will check the programmer re programming it once more. As far as the mattress massage I will hold off for now. I wish you the best. Thanks again.
Funny that you had to have yours all redone as well. What was the reason for you? Like I said, mine never seemed to work correctly. I was using it so high constantly that I would have to recharge the battery every few days. They said I shouldnt have been able to run it as high as I was either. Then the battery went on the fritz (on and off by itself)). When I went in for the battery to be switched out is when they found out the leads weren't in the right spot any longer. So I had to go back in another time for a full revision.
I am going to ask this question here because you have the SCS
I have had trial 3 years ago it did not go good it had to be stopped 4 days wires almost came out even though I did all was told too . I have a failed fusion L5 S1
the only way to fix this is another fusion I wont do it I almost did not make it threw recovery on first one . So my Pain Management Doctor talked me into trying SCS trial again in 8/2012 well that was awful was in there hours he did not expect as much scar tissue as he ran into so had to keep going larger with what ever tube needle devise used to get trial wires in so It was so much pain from fighting to get it in the trial was not very helpful I want so much to get off some of the pain meds that I was willing to go threw it again. question after all that he thinks I should get it saying the surgery will be able to cut threw scar tissue and better result , is there enough relief from your SCS to go threw this surgery ? I am scared it will cause more pain first I have a fusion that is not right 4 screws and have had collectomy already so I know once Surgeon done cutting he is job over and send you back to pain management .Do you get real help from it, and was the recovery from putting it in real bad . I have done so much research on this but after 2 trials I wanted to ask someone who has it and has been threw it also was the trial veryy different from the real one and was told about the anchoring on both ends how deep in do the go ?
Thank you for any help.
The SCS has worked great for me. But some hate it so it varies. I hope to get off my extended release narcotics after 6 years! Maybe get a 2nd opinion? My procedure is a peripheral SCS which many docs don't know the procedure, btw! Hope you find some relief!
The Following User Says Thank You to deanh For This Useful Post: tazmomo (02-14-2013)
Tazmomo.... Sorry you had such difficulties with the trial. Mine was pretty easy and I too had a fusion of L5/S1 (twice...I didn't fuse the first time so a yr later had an anterior posterior fusion with the rods and screws at the same level. I don't blame you for wanting to go through a fusion again. I was younger at the time, 26 and then and then again at 27. It's been 18 yrs since my back was injured, 15 from the last fusion. My trial was pretty basic..couldn't do much during it because of those pesky wires hanging out of my back - of course they were covered though! So I decided to do the surgery. Apparently many people can not take the sensation you get from it. As you know, it basically is an internal tens unit. If you can't take the sensation, then it won't be for you. If it doesn't bother you then you may get some benefit. It does depend where your pain is how much coverage you'd get from the unit. Where the wires will be placed is what will decide where your coverage is. As far as I was told, there are two ways of anchoring the wires, one is tighter than the other. I had them more anchored in. For whatever reason, the first time I had it done, I was running the unit really high and they weren't sure why. The surgery itself...they totally knock you out and make the incision (which for me is a 6 inch one between my shoulder blades and I think they may have done some of putting the battery in, which is put in the upper buttock area, high enough that you don't sit on it and low enough that waist bands and such doesn't rub in any way. They actually wake you up so you can tell them where you are feeling the sensation...it's kinda strange, but they need to know if you feel it down your legs, your abdomen , sides, where ever. When they figure out exactly how they want the wires, they will knock you back out and finish the surgery. I was in the hospital two days and then went home. Recovery was 6 weeks of doing absolutely nothing. They want the leads to heal in the proper place. You can't put your hand over your head, don't reach, don't lift anything heavier than your dinner plate, no bending. My mother actually can and stayed with my husband and I for a few weeks to help out. I have two young children...at the time my children were only 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 yrs old and it was hard for me because I couldn't pick them up and help them with a lot of things . The area between the shoulder blades took a while for me to feel ok moving them around. About 9 months later, my battery would turn on and off by itself. They thought somehow the magnetic turn on and off part wasn't working right . Not only can you turn it on and off with the hand held unit that you can adjust the programs with, but they give you a supper size magnet so you can turn it on and off easily when needed, you just hold the magnet to the battery and it turns it off or on. So they disabled that, but it was still doing it. I went in the hospital to have the battery replaced. The guy that programs the stimulator was there and punching all the buttons ( they look like they are playing a hand held video game). Anyway, they realized the leads weren't working correctly so I went home so I could return another day to have the entire unit replaced. So the revision surgery they removed the unit and replaced it...adjusting the level of the electrodes so I could get better coverage in my low back and down my legs. I used to use it 24/7, literally. Oh by the way, it will always seem much stronger when lying down, especially during the healing process. I have cut back on the use of it because it got to the point where I couldn't tell the difference if it was on or off. So now it's more an as needed thing. If you think you got some relief and the stimulation sensation doesn't bother you, than perhaps it's a good choice for you. Once implanted you can not go through airport metal detectors, they will give you a card that states why and then you have to have the pat down instead. You also will not be able to go in an MRI machine. Hope the info helps some and good luck with everything.
I am going to ask this question here because you have the SCS
I have done so much research on this but after 2 trials I wanted to ask someone who has it and has been threw it also was the trial veryy different from the real one and was told about the anchoring on both ends how deep in do the go ?
Thank you for any help.
Hi tazmomo, I have not had SCS or a trial but SCS was offered to me by a spine pain mgt neurosurgeon & because i have so much scar tissue he explained the procedure in great detail for me & i thought his comments may help you. He told me that he would have to make a 3" incision for the battery pocket & another 3" incision through the skin & down to the level of my (thecal sac, meninges), dura & then make a 1" incision on the dura to put electrodes inside the sac that contains my spinal cord, spinal nerves & spinal fluid. Then inside he, the dr, would have to go through the scar tissue also to connect electrodes to the battery & the unit itself. It sounded like "real" back surgery to me but definitely not like a fusion, imho. He also said that i would still have to be in pain mgmt & that a 50% reduction in pain medicine would be optimal for me. I hope that you find the answer to find pain relief. I would be so happy too if i could lower the amount of narcotics also so im "with you" on that great idea! I am interested now in the peripheral SCS because the electrodes are put just under the skin instead of inside where spinal nerves are & have heard such great reports about it. Peripheral scs also is real surgery but to me, in my opinion only, it is not as invasive to the spinal cord area.Im sorry that you are hurting so much, i raised my children in pain everyday & understand how hard it is & my heart goes out to you tricia, truly.
Last edited by gmak; 03-02-2013 at 10:28 AM.
Reason: typos & wording