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spinal cord stimulator questions

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Old 05-05-2010, 10:04 AM   #31
CL in Austin
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 12
CL in Austin HB User
Re: spinal cord stimulator questions


I might be incorrect but if surgery is an option I believe then an SCS is not an option at the same time. The SCS is done in cases where surgery, or further surgery, is not an option. Once you do a SCS I don't know that a physician would later want to do surgery such as a MISS as the SCS is a permanent implant.[/QUOTE]

I believe that the SCS is semi-permanent in that it is implanted, but if you, for any reason, wanted it removed, it can be taken out. right?

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Old 02-10-2011, 12:12 AM   #32
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Plainfield, Illinois, United States
Posts: 2
laughhammer HB User
Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

[B]I have read the many comments and I would like to add a little input. First the psychological exam is [COLOR="Red"]not required [/COLOR]by the manufacturer of the SCS units. If is required by the INSURANCE COMPANY! The reason why is because first of all, it is a risky surgery. There are risks post surgery in the first 6 - 8 weeks after it is implanted. They want the leads to have scar tissue develope to hold them in place. Moving the wrong way can cause the leads to move and render them ineffective, and if they move it could do permanent damage to your spine. Also once those leads are in you can no longer take a MRI, ultrasound, or have defibulators used on you. You have to carry a card that warns people that you have these implanted leads and battery in you. The psychological exam has no short questionaire that can be issued by your pain doctor, or personal family physician. You have to go to a board certified pyschiatrist and the questionaire is 601 questions long! They want to make sure that you truly need the unit because of the risk involved and the major precautions that go along with having one installed. Once the leads are in and get calcified with scar tissue those areas where the leads attach will never come out without a risk so great doctors won't even attempt to remove them. I've had my trial period and in 3 weeks the permanent unit is installed. I have watched the videos, read message boards, consulted with my PMS and programmer, and even went so far to ask my PMS and programmer; "What happens if one or both of you ever leave my area, or I end up moving to another state? Who takes care of this?" I ended up having to take new insurance through my wife's company, and the doctor who did my fusion was not on their list of providers. When I had follow up problems I couldn't find a doctor who would remove the plates and screws from my fusion which loosened, and I had to pay out of my pocket what my insurnace wouldn't cover for using a non provider. I had the plate loosen and one of the screws was hitting a nerve to the point that not only was it painful, it was damaged. So there are lots of questions that need to be answered when you do the SCS as a form of treatment.


Old 02-12-2011, 05:45 AM   #33
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brody4305 HB User
Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Hi i can help due to i had a med-tronics scs implant on sept 23 2009 they do perform a laminectomy so they can slide the unit up into the spinal canal my surgery took approx 2 1/2 hrs i went in on a monday 8am and left on wed around noon it did hurt once i awoke in my room but they were ready with pain meds once i got up to go to the bathroom it hurt but things got better it was expected once home it was slow going very sore for about a week you have to be careful so it can heal and adhear to your body i had 3 hurniated disks bulging disks severe nerve damage my left leg was dead toes numb frozen burning etc... And it did help with some of my back pain and leg pain but only when i was home basically doing nothing as soon as i would move around or become active boom the pain would become unreal...this leading to a 3 level laminectomy and disketomy on sept 20 2010 my pain started to go into my right leg now after this surgery the right leg pain has pretty much gone away but my right leg is bad and i am still not good this leading to yet another surgery i am being scheduled to have a s2 s1 l5 l4 fusion in march i can only prey that fusing these areas and stopping the movement that causes the nerves to explode helps....and yes the wires can be felt the almost come to the surface in my back it feels weird then you can follow them down through my skin to my upper butt where the scs is and that feels like a small cell phone in your *** it is a weird feeling but i got use to it it hurts if i lay on it or on the scs so you have to be careful but i really cannot lay on my back unless on the couch and that does not bother it. As for the battery they said it lasts approx 8-10 years now i have a med tronics i did have to go back to my pm dr 2 times thats where your rep will meet you to adjust your scs now i have 3 programs and use it everyh day for approx 18 hrs and sometimes i sleep with it on 50/50 i charge the unit approx every 2-3 weeks it lasts that long it is a pain you have to strap this belt around your waist placed over the scs and sit pretty still for approx 3 hrs and make sure you have a good connection it is easy you get use to sounds bad or hard but actually its not bad i am use to it does help me but like i said only when i am basically doing nothing but then again my back is prett bad if this fusion helps i will wait approx a year then have the scs removed...yeah i pray every day it helps now as for the 3 level new pain level after surgery i can take alot of pain so after my roommate who screamed and cried for 2 days about his pain showed me his surgery i laughed he had a 1/2 incision from a laser surgery with 2 when he saw my insicion he felt like an *** was painful when i woke in my room twice as bad as the scs it took me 2 1/2 days to get out of that frikkin hospital bed but once i did i left on the 3rd day...took a couple weeks at home to feel good but it was ok ...not looking forward to the fusion espesially the pelvis graft where they will take bone just another scar but i am getting use to all the pain its a wonder how one can take so much pain...good luck to you and try to take as little pain killers as you can there not good...and i did have to have a phsyc exam it was not bad 30 mins and not 600 questions...good luck to you

Old 03-14-2011, 12:56 AM   #34
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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ivorylassie HB User
Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

Hello deviphish
I've been dealing with pain 24/7 between 8-10 for almost 30 years now. Had left laminectomy and partial facetectomy L3-L5 in June 2010. Surgery took some of the pressure off of the nerves, but they were already permanently damaged, so no pain relief. Since I can't really function on the amount of meds needed to relieve the pain the SCS was suggested. I've done the SCS trial - was supposed to have it for 5 days and was glad they extended it for 8 - even though the leads moved some resulting in less coverage, I still got almost 70% decrease in pain in lumbar and leg and only took meds at night. Did not get as much coverage in the buttock as needed but that will be adjusted with the permanent one. I used mine 24/7, just adjusted the level needed at night. I will be getting the permanent one the end of March - sooo excited. The trial surgery was done in my PM Dr. office's procedure room; they used conscious sedation for putting in the leads (I didn't feel anything) and then I was awake in order to let them know where I felt the stimulation. The permanent surgery will take about3 hours, considered major surgery, will be done in the surgery center as outpatient surgery, so once Iím out and recovered, I go home. It will be the same as the trial except after they wake me up to let them know where I feel the stimulation, then they'll sedate me again in order to implant the battery. The recovery time after will be 6-8 weeks of the same restrictions after back surgery. Also, my dr. says I MUST take antibiotics for the first week or two of the permanent one and the ENTIRE time the trial one is in. The psych exam I took was several questions to determine why I wanted the SCS, if I got pain relief would it result in more functionality, how much of a support network I have, etc. As far as your question about another laminectomy, I was told that is only if the paddle leads are used and there is not enough space in the epidural space where they are placed (usually the cervical area). Battery life varies depending on the type of battery, amount of usage, level of usage, how low it gets before itís recharged, etc. Iíve been told that whether or not youíll feel the battery or leads depends on where they are placed, your size and the size of the battery you choose. Also, the size of the incision will vary depending on the size of the battery. My SCS is from St. Jude Medical < edited > and they have patient ambassadors thatíve had the SCS for 5+ years Ė I donít know if you have to have/or be getting your SCS from them to contact one, but you could check Ė just another source of someone living with it. Whatever your decision, I wish you the best.

Last edited by hb-mod; 03-14-2011 at 01:48 AM. Reason: Please don't post unapproved website links, per Posting Policy. Thanks.

Old 03-17-2011, 05:23 PM   #35
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 9
paintednails1 HB User
Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

I am interested in your experiences with the SCS. I had one implanted 6 weeks ago. I just developed a sunburn-like rash across my back starting at the implant site. Did you have that with your infection? Have you had the 2nd SCS implanted yet?

Last edited by moderator2; 03-17-2011 at 05:53 PM.

Old 03-17-2011, 11:19 PM   #36
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
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TcRadioDJ HB User
Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

[QUOTE=paintednails1;4709048]I am interested in your experiences with the SCS. I had one implanted 6 weeks ago. I just developed a sunburn-like rash across my back starting at the implant site. Did you have that with your infection? Have you had the 2nd SCS implanted yet?

Yea mine did get that sunburn like rash and inflamed, Mine ended up with staph and I ended up having emergency surgery to have it removed and 3 days in the hospital on antibiotics. But, get it checked right away and make sure. Sometimes they can give you meds to reverse it before your body completely rejects the implant. I am going to get it all reimplanted next month. I've waited a year and going to try again. To me, the risk is worth it. it was certainly helpful to me.


Old 06-28-2011, 08:47 PM   #37
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
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TcRadioDJ HB User
Re: spinal cord stimulator questions

[QUOTE=paintednails1;4709048]I am interested in your experiences with the SCS. I had one implanted 6 weeks ago. I just developed a sunburn-like rash across my back starting at the implant site. Did you have that with your infection? Have you had the 2nd SCS implanted yet?

Hello! Yes I have had the second implant done about 8 weeks ago now and I am doing well. No infection this time. Of course we did some major infection control. The unit is working very well and is very helpful. I have not taken one narcotic since the install. So for me, this time around, I am doing very well with the pain management. The depression however, I cannot seem to get that in check as of yet. But I am working on that

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