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A little help needed...Medtronic Vs. Boston Scientific???

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Unread 01-16-2011, 10:08 PM   #1
Treca
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Question A little help needed...Medtronic Vs. Boston Scientific???

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone is having a good evening and not in too much pain. I am new to the site and have been reading and researching like crazy. I will be having my cervical SCS trail on Jan 25th and I have a quick question. I do not know if this has been answered and I've searched through the site and have not found what I was looking for.

So, my question is this....

Which company in your experience for people who have the Cervical SCS Implant is better for the Cervical vs. the lumbar? Medtronic or Boston? Is one better for one area vs. the other? For instants is Medtronic better for lumbar SCS and not cervical or is Boston better for Cervical and not lumbar?

Am I making any sense? LOL

By the way if the trial goes well I will be having paddles and not "regular" leads placed. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.

If there is a link or thread already out there about this topic please point me in the right direction because I just could not find it

I have to say that I am so happy to have found this site. It is very informative and all of you guys are so encouraging and supportive. It's really nice to know that you guys are here when people are in need of support and information.

So thank you guys in advance for your help and comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

Hugs,
Treca
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Unread 01-16-2011, 10:36 PM   #2
Rrae
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Laugh Welcome Treca!

It's GREAT to have you!
I'm so glad you started this thread! You will get alot of feedback I'm sure.
I distinctly remember how 'nervous' and apprehensive I was when getting the trial (Lumbar)....and it meant the world to me to have people encourage me along the way. I come from a rather small community and NObody really 'comprehended' the SCS (not even ME )

I was 'glad' to read that you are getting the paddles. They will probably prove to be more secure in the longrun. I have the less-invasive percutaneous leads and one of them has migrated, so I am getting it fixed on Jan 26th (the day after your trial!)

Both of the manufacturers you asked about are very reputable. There are quite a few folks here who have units from each of these companies.
I think part of it depends on our location. My doctor uses Medtronics as his vendor...and they are 3 hours drive from my neck of the woods....but they are real good about making regular visits here to accomodate the patients.

It's so good to have you aboard!
Ask anything! We are constantly learning from one another....I think that's what makes this such a sweet little forum.

Rae
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Unread 01-17-2011, 12:27 AM   #3
Mark56
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Smile Hi Treca!

I am a T8/T9 implantee of Boston Sci paddles for leg symptoms. My implant was done June 30 and since then I have fully withdrawn from opiods and use only the stim to control pain, inclusive of flares I have experienced. I think Tchr012 is the only person I am aware of who has experienced both company products [and she has just received her new implant so has no lengthy experience by which to compare]. Read her threads, and you may get a feel for the answers you seek.

Nonetheless, my prayers are with you for a good trial on 25 Jan.!
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Unread 01-17-2011, 02:53 AM   #4
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I had one company (Medtronic) for the trial and another (Boston Scientific) for the permanent implant. I don't have a lot of experience with Medtronic since my trial was only 3 days. I do prefer the 'equipment' with Boston Scientific though. I don't need to charge as often as the rep from Medtronic said that I would need to and the technology is supposedly better.

I think overall it doesn't matter too much on company because they all generally work the same. I just prefer Boston Scientific with the experiences I have had.

Good luck as you go through this journey!
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♥ "Hope is more than a word; it's a state of being. It's a firm belief God will come through. Life brings rain... hope turns every drop into the power to bloom like never before." -Holley Gerth ♥

My name is Sarah and I am 25 years old. I have a lot of chronic health problems. Peripheral neuropathy and POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) keep me bedridden the majority of the time. I also struggle with degenerative disc disease, disc desiccation, spondylolisthesis, arthritis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with insulin resistance, allergies, sound sensitivities, and other health problems.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 10:59 AM   #5
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Default Thank you guys!

Mark~ I will go and check out her threads today and see what info I can get from them. Yeah, I'm just trying to get a feel for what would be a better fit for me. I've read up on both but of course both companies are biased about their own product..lol I've read your thread and you inspire me Mark you really do. I pray that my outcome is as good as yours. My one true dream/wish is to get off opiods FOREVER I LOATH them! However, they are a evil necessity in my life at the moment.

smea~ The recharging is a issue for me as well. The less I have to do it the better. I am so forgetful about even charging my cell phone and thank goodness that sucker holds a charge for a long time I will be having Medtronic for the trial as well and I will be seeing my rep this Weds. to ask questions and actually see the unit and feel it for myself before my acutal trial on the 25th of this month.

Rrea~ Thank you for the warm welcome! I have to agree that after having lengthy talks with my doctor that the paddles would be best for me. I really really want to be able to dance again like I did for the majority of my life until pain hit when I was 20. I really want my active life back, BUT I know that this may not work so I'm being equal parts optimistic and pessimistic. I come from a small town too and I also do not talk to people about my condition except with my mother,father, brother, and of course my husband. I am a very private person and this(my condition) is just too private. However, I have no problem talking about it with people that UNDERSTAND and are walking the same road I am. That honestly makes all the difference in the world.

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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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Default I agree Treca!

My first thought (when I realized how important dancing is to you) is that the paddles would certainly be more secure. Make sure your doctor knows how important this is to you. Get specifics on post op restrictions.

I think part of my 'mis-hap' is because of lack of communication with my Dr. I am more 'active' than he realized.......I have horses (I don't ride, but I love taking care of them.....but tossing bales of hay probably wasn't a good choice to make during my post op )

I have faith that you WILL get your life back. Stay determined and hopeful.

I see that your husband is in the army.
Hat's off I thank him for his service to our country!

Let us know how your appointment goes!

God Bless
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Unread 01-17-2011, 01:25 PM   #7
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Rrae~ Oh, believe me I have loads of questions for my rep on Weds and I will make sure I get a list of restrictions. I know that plays a big part in a good recovery

Thank you for the support and thanks for my husband serving. He was actually overseas for the 3rd time until he got called back so I could have my SCS trial. We do not have family in our area and our son is Autistic and I do not trust anyone to take care of him or me besides my husband. Sometimes it is hard for the FRG to understand this but I am EXTREMELY grateful to the powers that be allowed my husband to come home and STAY home with me for my recovery and to take care of our son. He will not be going back overseas for the rest of deployment because my recovery is too long so they are keeping him back in the states. Which is a HUGE BLESSING!! I KNOW how lucky I am and I never take it for granted.

I do have another question now that I have thought about it....I swear this forum makes you think of all kinds of things...which is a great thing because I never would have thought to ask these questions before. So thank you guys so much!!!

What do you guys that have gone through the trial and permanent implant recommend I get before hand? Should I get a cane, ice packs, heating pad,...etc??? Anything you guys would recommend to make life a little easier after surgery and during recovery?

ALSO, how did you guys deal with the rolling over thing in bed during trial/recovery from permamant implant placement? I'm a stomach/side sleeper and I know they don't want you to sleep on your back so how do you go about turning over?? I know this is a silly question but even silly question are important ones!

Treca
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Unread 01-17-2011, 03:22 PM   #8
Rrae
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Tongue Get a 'Reacher/Grabber' !!

Your Q's are not silly at ALL!

I never knew how important one of those reacher/grabber things could be!!
Do you know what I'm talking about? It has a handle and it picks things up so you don't have to bend and it reaches up high so you don't have to stretch.
If my HOUSE was on fire I'd make sure I ran back in to get my Bible and my REACHER/GRABBER!!..............well, I'd probably go back and grab my husband I guess.....

I'll try to dig thru some older posts and bump them up to the top....there have been some wonderful suggestions......and then the posts slowly sink down to the bottom. So, it's good to be 'refreshed' on these topics.....
And Mark recently had a VERY good description of the 'log roll' in bed....
You gently bring your knees up to your chest and then roll toward the edge of the bed and then put your feet on the floor. Maybe he'll come on and describe it better. He has a wonderful way with words.

Actually, I need a refresher course on these tips for the cervical implant.
Others will chime in.
Someone was recently asking about washing hair.
There is a 'search' button at the top of the page. I haven't used it in a while, but maybe try typing in some key words and it'll bring up posts from past discussions. Try typing 'tips before surgery'......It's fun to play around with.
You're gonna love this place
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Unread 01-17-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
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Yes! I know exactly what your talking about. That's a good one! I'll put that on my list of things to get.

Yep, I've been searching all day today and reading all I can on the topic of SCS Trial and permanent implant. fioanb's threads have been very helpful and Mark56's as well.

I really appreciate all your help! Gonna go lay down for awhile and rest up. I think I pushed it a little to much by staying at my laptop reading for to long..lol... I just want to make sure I read as much as I can on the subject ya know?

Hugs
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Unread 01-17-2011, 11:06 PM   #10
Mark56
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Smile Army bein good to you!

That is cool, Treca! Our youngest son is just a few months back from deployment, is Army, out of Ft Bragg. He and his wife are now expecting our first grandchild. Everyone is excited for sure. It is great the Army brought your hubby home for the surgery. Help is important as you recover, because you are quite limited in what you can do. Gee, we have a friend who is CPO in Seals and they brought him home early when his wife miscarried. The service cares, and when they can, they try to help their people. So our thanks to you and your husband as well.

Now to log rolling in order to get up. Since you are having paddles installed, and if you have not had heavy back surgery before, this will be a new experience. For one, they are likely to do a laminectomy, removing part of the lamina which lie along the spine so as to expose a route to guide the paddles into the space for securing. Now as I recall you are looking at cervical implant, whereas mine was lumbar. My laminectomy was mid-back, around T8-T9 and, well, when folks take bone out, it makes for a bit of pain.

Depending on where they implant your control unit, since cervical, they could go for a chest, low armpit, or route your connecting wires to a pocket on your hip or tummy, all of this should be fully discussed with your surgeon. All questions answered, taking into account the clothing which you wear where and how, like the waistline area being sensitive, just as an armpit location could be troublesome with underwear. A friend had it implanted for face pain, and the wires were routed to a pocket in her chest, and she accomodated by saying she would just watch the neckline of clothes she wore thereafter.

My control unit is implanted just below my waist in my right hip area to the rear a bit, so with the paddles in the middle of my back, I had an upper incision, a lower incision, then the route they made under the skin to lay in the wires connecting up all of the works.

I have previously had fusion surgery work twice, and it hurt like heck recovering. The mere act of arising from bed was torture because it seemed as though I was pulling my body in half [of course I wasn't, it was just the disturbed muscles complaining], so I was taught the log roll technique of getting up. I tend to sleep on my left side facing the wall on the left side of our bed, so rolling that way as a log with my legs straight was not a terrible issue. Once oriented facing the wall, the trick was going to be levering myself into a sitting position with my legs dangling appropriately over the bed. So, laying on my left side I drew my legs up toward my chest so I approximated a seated position although laying on my side, then my legs were very close to the edge of the bed. Using my arms, I levered myself up as my legs dropped over the side, and VOILA', I was sitting.

Then you use leg and gut to work your way into a standing position. I doubt this will be the problem for you that it was for me with your surgery higher on the trunk of the body. Anyway that is the technique. They should teach it to you in recovery so you can get out of bed still hooked to the IV, if you have one at that time, and you can hold the IV pole to steady yourself as you start to talk walking steps slowly, steadily and surely. Everything is slow at first, everything. Pain will be an issue. Easy steps make for less pain. Once you begin walking more steadily, then you will be proving your ability to move on through recovery either to discharge and home or your room, if you are going to be kept over for observation. I was sent home at the early evening after having arrived for surgery around 6am that morning.

Once you have either the trial or the permanent implant, at first taking movements slowly is key. I was told at trial to be VERY careful with movement because the leads were just sutured at the skin and very well taped to keep them in place. They did not want the trial/temporary leads to wander or be pulled out, so I was told to take movement during the trial carefully.

Rae's suggesting a reacher is good. Having a body pillow against which to lie in bed is a good thing. Doing walking was for me a good thing during the trial. Using the control, which, by the way was EXACTLY the same style remote control I now use with the permanent Boston Sci implant, was important to experiment with the programs I was provided. So much to think about, to test, try. Mostly I was told DO NOT REACH above my head so as not to cause migration or pulling of the trial leads, then after permanent implant the paddles.

Your doc is going to give you LOTS of information regarding Trial and Recovery. After Trial, the removal of the trial leads will be a very easy tug on the wires which protrude through your skin after the sutures have been clipped, then it will be, as it was for me immediate return to the pain which had been blissfullly controlled during trial by the trial implant. How I hated that moment. Pain was resumed, the very pain which had made me a candidate for the procedure.

ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS are VALID. You are in a safe place here. Ask away, knowing we will support you and your husband through this process, oh, and by the way, I hope to be able to resume dancing with my wife, as we danced for years after FINALLY consented to lessons to satisfy my wife's desire for dancing. It became such a shared fun for us that we went to dnaces and balls all over the place. My wreck took away the thrill of the dance floor for me and I look forward to resuming it [even though courtesy of nerve damage, I feel nothing below my knees].

I offer you my prayers Treca. This will be a blessing for you in my hopes,
Mark56
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