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Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator/RSD

Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator/RSD

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Posted by Dave on August 17, 2000 at 11:11:53:

In Reply to: Re: Spinal Cord Stimulator/RSD posted by Amy on August 14, 2000 at 11:43:19:

: Hello, I am suffering with RSD in my Right Arm. I too have tried PT (physical therapy) stellate ganglion blocks as well as many meds, now my Dr. wants me to have a SCS I am so terrified. I am scared of the procedure and the recovery time, could anyone out there please tell me whats done, how painful the procedure is ( I dont want to go through any more pain) My arm hurts enough! and I also have little kids (4) ages 3, 4, 7, 9. I need to know how long it takes to recover from this, Help please. Thanks Amy

Amy,

I have 2 stimulators among other implanted apparatus. It works like this...

Please keep in mind that this is for the premanent implantation not the test.

The most critical part of the surgery is the placement of the lead/electrodes in your back. This, for me, is no more painful than the epidural blocks and is insignificant compared to RSD pain. Positioning of this portion is critical as positioning will dictate where you will feel the "stimulation". It was very important for me to have only local anesthetics as I required "perfect" placement as I have RSD bilaterally. General meds will impair your judgement and therefore could limit the relief the SCS will provide. You end up with a 2 or 3 inch incision where the lead goes into and is attached your spine.

The next part is implanting the computer. No big deal again as far as pain goes. They make a 3-4 inch incision, place and secure the device inside a dacron "bag" and secure same in place. Were it would be best to place the computer is for you and your Dr. to decide. Mine are both in the buttocks, however I have seen them placed just below the collar bone and also in the abdomen. I like mine just where they have been for the last 8 years. Think padding. Why? Because it helps to hide it and when it is bumped, and it will be, it really hurts. The more tissue, the less pain.

The last part is to "tunnel" the catheter from the computer to the the lead. It hurts a bit when recovering. Feels like a bad bruise thoughout its length. They connect and test, then close you up.

As for the last two parts and the closing, I slept though them. I stayed in the hospital for a few hours and was released with my new toy. Back at work in 1 week both times. Nobody can see them.

Remember, this procedure is reversable. Try not to let fear and anxiety get in your way of progress. If I can help you with my experience in any way, just ask. Good Luck. Dave




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