View Full Version : Spinal Cord Stimulator
12-05-2007, 02:14 PM
Hi, Can anyone tell me if they had any luck with the Spinal cord stimulator. I am having the trial done 12/12/07 and am scared to death. I have been suffering for 6 yrs with chronic lower back pain. I have tried several injections, chiropractic, nothing helps. Thank you for your response. Lisa
Janet in Kansas
12-09-2007, 03:17 PM
I had a SCS implanted on September 5 after a very successful 4-day trial. I have suffered from sciatica pain from my spine to the end of my toe for nearly 10 years and have tried EVERYTHING including surgery on L4-L5. Several of the discs between my lumbar vertebrae are smooshed flat so the vertebrae pinch the nerve. The pain affects EVERY facet of my life.
At the moment, the impulses don't reach the pain in my buttock, but it does help with the leg and feet pain while the SCS is running. The goodthing is that if I run it one day, I get a residual effect and if I don't do anything silly like lifting or twisting, sitting too long, walking too fast, standing too long, etc., I am nearly pain free for 1 or 2 days. Of course, that's also with 40 mgs of oxycodone daily in the a.m. and p.m. and 1800 mgs/day of neurontin. I've been able to decrease the neurontin since the implant. Also 1 Aleve/day.
I feel it's an overall improvement. I intend to have a different Medtronic rep try to get the stims higher to cover the butt pain while I'm using the SCS. I rarely have to use it during the night, and if I do, its set at a lower rate. I had a good neurosurgeon implant the device and a good anesthesiologist insert the lead and do the trial. I was one of the first patients for the procedure at the hospital, but both docs had done them before in other cities. I left the hospital by 5:00 pm after the procedure that was done at 8 am that day.
There was some pain mostly from the stitches in the 2 small incisions, but within a week to 10 days, I was feeling pretty good. In fact my father died 11 days after my surgery, and I got thro the ER visit while with him as he died, the funeral home visit 60 miles away, the visitation 45 miles away, and the funeral the next day again 45 miles from my home all with little problem and using the SCS. Once the stitches were removed (can't remember how many days--maybe 2 weeks), I had very litte pain from the procedure.
If you'd like to e-mail me with specfic questions, you may. Ive never used this site before and only found your question becuz of a Google "alert" I have set for SCS. If you want to use this site or if others want to respond via this thread, e-mail me, and I'll check it daily.
Compared to the 24/7 pain I had before, the trial and surgery were a piece of cake!
Janet in Kansas
12-12-2007, 02:10 PM
Rats! I'm angry at your doc for not telling you that it probably wouldn't affect your back pain. They told me that right off--it'd help the leg, arms, neck, whatever that is in pain, but not the actual back pain. My back pain only bothers me when I REALLY overdo, so that isn't my problem.
I know what you mean about having to turn it up so high that it's way too strong in your legs. Can you adjust it so it's more the gentler "needles and pins" feeling rather than the big "thumps"? Maybe you'll be like me that if you run it--even low enug to be tolerable in your legs--it will have a residual effect for the nerves in your back that it's not reaching.
Removing the lead was a REAL piece of cake. They just pull it out. No deadening or anything. In fact, I was standing up, the doc removed all the tape they had over my back to keep germs out, and he'd removed it and I wouldn't even known it except that the SCS was running--which he didn't think about--and when he pulled it out, the stims ran all down my spine, hitting every nerve, and that was BAD! Thought it was going to lift me right off the ground. It was only a few seconds, but WOW! He apologized profusely. The hospital just hasn't done enuf of them to get a routine going. But I think he learned his lesson! Just make sure yours is turned off when they go to remove it.
The worst thing about my trial was the tape all over my back which made my clothing tight around the waist. Also it was summer so it was very hot and humid, as Kansas is in July, and since I couldn't shower, I stayed inside the entire 4 days so I didn't get all hot and sweaty. Other than that, I didn't have any misery. What's making you miserable--besides trying to run it too high?
Let me know. I'll give you all the answers and support that I can.
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