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lfoster21 06-14-2008 10:52 PM

spinal stimulator info.
Hi all-I just thought I would pass on some info. to those who are considering a stimulator. I have been seeing these comercials about Med Tronics recalling their internal heart defibulators and stimulators, as well as there being a class action against their stimulators. It was in the news last week, that several people who have the heart difibulators implanted, have had problems with their unit's leads and they have been being elec. shocked. The news report stated that 5 ppl. died due to these shocks to their hearts.

I am mentioning the info. about the heart defibulator, because the problem and the recall were for the leads...which are also used in the stimulators. I knew their stimulators had already had litigations on them, but had hoped that they had fixed the problems. Then about a mo. ago, I saw the recall info. and the class action info. on a commercial (of course for a law firm:) ). Then just a couple of weeks ago, I saw the news that talked about the same co's. heart products. I thought it would be good to get this news out there, just so those who are looking to do the stimulator...that you research the various companies, esspecially since there are more than just the 1 co.

BTW..I have no connection to any of the companies and I have nothing personal to be against Med Tronics...I just saw the commercial and then a story on the news, and thought I should say somethig.


BlueAtlas 06-15-2008 04:31 AM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
Now that's scary! It's not like you can just whip out those leads and stop using them, go stand in line at customer service and get a refund! Can you imagine? You'd have to have a surgery to replace them! What a recall!!!

I'm not looking into this, but I know there are often people here who are, so I'm glad you posted this info! Very important to be aware of!

Take care,

ms_west 06-15-2008 02:30 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
Thank you so much for posting this information. As you know I am considering this and right now I am off to research this more. I pray they have stopped implanting them - scary!!

lfoster21 06-15-2008 08:27 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
I know, how crazy is a recall for something that is inside you. The 5 people who died because of the leads of the heart defibulator, were not able to sue the company, because they signed something knowing the risks. That is even more die because of a recalled item and your family can't sue?

Anyway, I am glad that it was on the news...or I would never have known this.


deb53 06-16-2008 08:07 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
I thank you for this info also. I too am considering the spinal cord stim. I am scared to make the decision to have one implanted and now this!!! Everything has a risk it seems.


lfoster21 06-16-2008 08:59 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
You are right, that everything has its risks...but it sure is good to have any info. about a procedure, before you have it done. Also remember, that there are other companies that make the stimulators...and they both use newer technology. I have the Advanced Bionics brand, and it is nice because at the end of the leads, there is a small bandage size of material, so the Drs. have something to sew into your spine. That way, you have a much smaller risk of the lead floating away from your spine and into your body or spinal canal.

I will say, that I am glad that I did it. Even if it only helped with half of my problem areas, it would be so much worse if I had my sciatica pain on top of my back pain and my muscle atrophy.


Terrencey 06-17-2008 02:53 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
Count me in as another contender for a spinal cord stimulator. (I love that this is referred to as "salvage therapy". I envision the whole lot of us limping around the "boneyard". Auto salvage vs. human salvage.) Like many others, I have become very skeptical of doctors. The fact of the matter is, I probably always have been and I really don't think my doctors did the wrong thing or made the wrong decision. I truly believe they had my best interest at heart but, here I am, researching "salvage therapy". Advanced Bionics was sold to Boston Scientific (if anyone is having trouble finding information on the product). I should say, the spinal cord stimulator business was sold to Boston Scientific. I called Boston Scientific and told them I was looking for a doctor who used their product and they gave me a couple of names of doctors they thought were really good. My surgeon has been giving me my pain meds and said he won't give up thinking that I'm going to be okay until the 2 year mark but then he gave me a brochure about the Medtronic stimulator and the names of two PM docs. I said that I would want to have this thing implanted by a surgeon not a PM doc (my surgeon doesn't implant these things) and my surgeon told me via one of his staff that if I were to go to another surgeon neuro or ortho, he would be through with me. Go figure. So Thursday, I'm seeing a neurosurgeon who's nurse thinks I may have problems at L4 (my lami and fusion were L5 S1) but now my feet hurt unbelievably. Twice before the surgery I had experienced pain in parts of my foot--once in my big toe and once on the outside of my ankle bone---both times this was on my left foot. Now, a year and a half after surgery, both of my feet are burning, searing, hurting like crazy. What's going on? And thanks to Lorie for the info on the Medtronic stimulator. I read of a study where 24 out of 100 people had to have a second surgery to repair their Medtronic stimulator. Please forgive the rambling. My comments are about 1. weird surgeons; 2.foot pain; and 3.neurostimulators. Lastly, I'm grateful for this board.

shawley 06-17-2008 08:04 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
I didn't read or see anything about the spinal stimulator implant recall ??? Just the heart fibulator. People I wouldn't panic over this .. I have the Medtronic stim implant and "believe me" I will look into this .

As far as best implants.. I have been told by a few doctors that Advanced Bionics is the best .. With all implants , you must build up scar tissue around the lead for it to be secure . Even tho they attach the leads to soft tissue or bone they can still move if you bend or twist.. Give it a couple months and its hard to move them .

Shawley :)

shawley 06-17-2008 08:22 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
Hi Lorie , I did some research and can't find any recalls on the spinalcord stim by Medtronic. Only the heart difibulator recall . Gee you really had me worried for a minute . ;) I have the Medtronic and if they are having problems with them I would want to know about them ..

Pepper if you have any evidence on this please share with me . I don't need any more worries .. lol have enough here .


lfoster21 06-17-2008 08:57 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
Hi Shawley, I must say that I did have to think about whether or not I wanted to post I knew that there were some that are using medtronic and I did not want to put worry where there needn't be...but then I also weighed it against those who are looking into it and thought I probably should mention it and then people could do their own research.

What I saw was a commercial for a law firm, stating that there was a class action against the stimulators. They were mentioning that if you had a Med tronic stimulator and were having problems, to contact them to be a part of the litigation. So, that is what I was posting. I mentioned the heart defibulator because it is the same company and both things have issues with the leads. So, I just wanted to give people the heads up, so they can do their own research on it.

I am very happy that yours is working for you and I surely did not mean to worry you;).


lfoster21 06-17-2008 09:17 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
I just did a search on "medtronic stimulator litigations" and there were several of them said this:

"A Texas man had a Medtronic dorsal column stimulator (a device that provides pain relief with electrode stimulation) surgically implanted. However, the device began to malfunction – leaving him in severe pain.

His doctor surgically removed the device in early 2006 and it was sent to Medtronic for analysis. Rather than provide the patient with information on what went wrong, the company destroyed the device – which left the patient with no evidence in case he decided to sue the company for providing him with a defective device. Well, he sued anyway…

According to the lawsuit, he sued Medtronic alleging that the product was "defectively designed, manufactured and/or marketed by the company". The suit also accuses the company of fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligence, gross negligence, malicious behavior and breaches of both express and implied warranties. "

I don't know if this was the one the comercial was about or if it was anoter one, but it was one that came up in a search.


shawley 06-18-2008 05:37 AM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
Yeah I found an artical similiar to that .. But it was about a broken lead .. But the report said they blamed it on the Dr. or doctors who implanted , said the doctor mishandled the product and all charges were dropped . But this was in the early 2000's . They have brand new leads now that are supposed to be the best .. I'm sure if you search all brands of stims you will find lawsuits , and defections .. You have the advanced Bionics right ? I heard these are the best for pain releif . Like any devices , some are going to have a deffections happen .. I just hope mine isn't going to go down that route .

I'm going to do a search on all brands and see if I can find any problems in other brands ..

Take care

Vicky67 06-18-2008 06:39 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
First I greatly appreciate you Lorie for bringing this to the board. I can imagine what you went through with debating on what to do with this info. I'm considering a stim so I will be doing my research now that it is approved. I don't know which they will be offering me but it's not about what they want at this point. I will be getting busy searching for info. Once again thanx Lorie. ;)

lfoster21 06-18-2008 08:52 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
Hey shawley, I am sure you are fine, or you would have felt something different. I don't know if the artical that you read is the same one as I saw, I just know that there is a commercial specifying Medtronic stimulators are in litigation. I am sure the problems are just with certain units and not all of them and I am definately not saying that they should not be used, just that I know there is at least one class action litigations going on right now.

Yes, I do have the Advanced Bionics unit. When I had it done, I did not know about the different brands and I did not do enough research to know there was a choice. I just went with the brand that my Dr. used. Had he used Medtronics...I am sure I would have still had it done. It wasn't until after I had mine done, that I started reading about the different brands and the problems that Med tronics had...then I was kind of glad that I had the AB.

I am very happy that you are not having problems with yours and that you are getting relief from it. How long have you had yours in? I can't remember from the past posts, but I know you have had yours longer than I have had mine. Have you ever had to have it updated or re-programmed? I am having the rep. meet me and add a new program to mine, next week. It may give me even more relief.


lfoster21 06-18-2008 09:02 PM

Re: spinal stimulator info.
Hey Vicky, you are right in that it did take me a week of debating whether or not to say anything...but in the end, I realized that I just did what my Dr. said and used what he had available. I know now that I should have done more researching and if he had used Medtronics and I was now watching the TV and saw the commercials that I saw and read some of the stories that I have now read...I would have been kicking myself for not do my own research. So, I felt like I needed to say something. I definately did not want to offend anyone.

I wish you all the best with your scs.


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