Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test


cinhooccinhoo Posts: 27
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Pain Management


  • sorry, but the first day is quite painful, but after that they will wait a week or so to turn it on and get it programmed, but i was out of the hospital the same day as the surgery, and i was able to walk a little, but just sleep mostly the first day and hopefully it will work great for you, you will be limited in movement for a few days or so (but if your getting this you are probably already limited in movement) when you first wake up you will feel that there is something in you body thats not supposed to be there but don't be afraid it's not all that bad compared to what you've already been through to this point and if it gives you the relief it is supposed too it will be well worth the discomfort. GOOD LUCK, AND WE ARE ALL PRAYING FOR YOU...................
  • Very cool,

    Is your SCS cervical or lumbar?

    Mine is lumbar but I had extra stuff going on so my recovery is a little longer. Grabber stick is a great tool. I pulled out my high potty chair just to make it easier. I put things in reach before surgery and had easy food sources available. No BLT or hands over the head. When you are allowed to shower and wash your hair take care. I have a hair dryer stand so I don't have to hold the dryer up.

    NS didn't turn me on for 2 weeks, my surgery was more extensive though. When you get turned on will depend on your doctor and what kind of Leeds you will have.

    Take your time to heal, let your Leeds and Generator settle in good. Remember not to play with your pocket. LOL

    I'm so happy for you :)
  • That's fantastic news. The post op is quite different depending as Oriah said on the type and placement of the leads.

    Mine was turned on and programmed after I was moved out of recovery. I walked off some of the anesthesia and rested the rest of the day. I was up and about walking increasing distances from that point. By day four my post op pain was just a minor annoyance and I was able to go visit museums and watch movies and go to restaurants as long as I rested or took a day off in between.

    I felt so good by day 4 that I had to really start to focus on not violating the no BLT rules.

    All I used for post op pain control was Tylenol and Celebrex.

    You can do it!!!

  • I'm so excited for you to be getting the SCS trial!">image I personally did not get any extra things to help me out, but my husband was here a good deal of the time to help me out. The "easy food on hand" is a great idea, especially if you live alone or are the cook in the house. Be sure to be mindful of the cords that will be hanging out during your trial. They secure them very well with tape, usually, but my cords (wires) were still hanging loose and I somehow caught it on a door knob and didn't know it. Luckily, it didn't pull them out or move them. Also, after it is turned on, you may begin to feel better than you did before and may think you could do some light chores. My advice to you is to NOT do this and take it easy. Give the thing the best chance possible to give you a good result. The "pleasant, message-like tingling" they tell you that you will have, to me didn't feel like that. It was a strange new feeling that I didn't think I would be able to get used to, but trust me... YOU DO! It gets to a point that you get so used to it, you just don't really think about it. It's just there!
    I'm not sure why some have had to wait a period of time before the scs was turned on, but mine was turned on immediately and the only time I turned it off was when I gave myself a sponge bath! Same thing with the permanent implant. Once it was in there and turned on (while in the surgical suite) I didn't turn it off! It's working well and I haven't had any trouble with it. Yeah for me!!

    Good luck!!
  • Cindi,

    I am still waiting for my surgery. BCBS has approved the surgery however the doctor has decided to refer me to someone else to do the implant because he wanted a 80 to 100% reduction in pain.

    I know you have waited a long time for this day. Please keep us posted on your recovery.

  • While an 80-100% pain reduction would be great following this procedure, I think perhaps your doctor should feel pretty good about a 50-75% reduction even. Some pain relief is better than no pain relief and I feel like he's cheating you out of a chance at some pain relief! I don't have 80-100% relief, but I am so glad that I have my scs. It has allowed me to have a bit of a life again whereas before the implant, I was spending most of my time going back and forth between the couch and my bed. That is no life at all! I am now able to attend the football games to watch my daughter cheer, attend her volleyball games, and I have been able to rejoin my family on those very important family gatherings. I had come to a point where I couldn't even spend time with my extended family for holiday celebrations. I AM able to do this now! I am SO glad to have some of my life back.
    Don't give up! Fight to have that pain relief so that you can get back to some life!">image ">image ">image
    CINDI <:P <:P <:P <:P :O :O :O :O :O :O) :O) :))( :))( :))( :))( :))( :))( :))( :))( :))( :))(
  • I am so thankful you finally have a DATE! Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined having insurance approval and no surgeon. I pray each day for the ANS rep to call and tell me I have an appointment with a surgeon. I know it has taken many months for you to get surgery scheduled. It is ridiculous!!!! I live in the Dallas area. I don't understand why this takes so long.

    Please keep us posted.

    I know you are ready and waiting. Is your SCS going to be a cervical or lumbar? What type of leeds? Medtronics or Boston Scientific? Keep your spirits up and take your recovery slow to start with so your implant settles in good. Did you ask your doctor if they are going to turn you on right away or do you have to wait a while?

    kcroz - The waiting is the hardest part. I know you will get a good surgeon meant for you when the time comes. I am not famiiar with the ANS. I had a representative assigned to me at the trial stage by Boston Scientific. Do you have someone you are working directly with from ANS? I'll be sending you good vibes for a speedy answers.

    A lot of us here have the SCS and all different experiences. Both of you keep posting and hopefully we can help you through the process with any questions you may have.
  • O
  • I have the Boston Scientific but nowhere even close to 80-100% pain reduction. I think that is too optimistic and can possibly be setting you up for failure. I thought I would be 100% free after my fusion, and boy was I wrong. My surgeon told me after the fact I was sadly mistaken and 50% is a success.

    So, I had the SCS put in last summer. They turned it on right away. I had to be out of work for about 8-10 weeks, and it was a pretty good vacation because I wasn't in much pain at all after the first week or two. Minus the spinal fluid leak headached that I had. (this was a good way for them to charge me for another surgery.... :W

    Anyway, I am about 50% pain free, but am starting to have an increase in pain. Haglandc already commented on the possibility of needing a reprogramming or something, so I still need to work up the courage to call the Dr. I hate calling them, because i feel like a failure, but one of these days I will when I absolutely can't stand it anymore. I feel judged when I call them, I don't know why.

    Good luck though, and if you get 100% relief then that is AWESOME!!!!! :D I hope you do!!!
  • Maybe that is why it is popular in the Dallas area. The rep said it is not uncommon for a doctor to refer a patient to another doctor. She is suppose to be setting up an appointment with a surgeon who specializes in cervical SCS. I call every week for an update. She has not returned my call this week. All of us here know that 80 to 100% pain reduction with a trial is absurd. Blue Cross doesn't require it! If I got that kind of relief, I would never have let them remove it!

    Cindi - I can't find where you said if yours is cervical or lumbar. Is Haglandc the only one with a cervical SCS?

  • getfit - PLEASE do not feel like a failure! ?
    I have Boston Scientific and to be reprogrammed you go through the rep they assigned you or the 24 hour customer service line. You do not have to go through your NS. Sometimes they can even do it over the phone but better to do in person. I've only had the implant since 8/12/08. One of the first things they told me was about needing to get reprogrammed: not only while the IPG and Leeds are settling but over time as your body will get use to the frequencies, for a lack of a better word to use. If you need their 24 hour phone number feel free to PM me. I have very good results and hope you do not put this off.

    kcroz - haglandc "C", does have the cervical and I have the lumbar. Let me know if I can answer your questions. Is there a particular reason you chose ANS over Medtronics or Boston Scientific. Just curious, I am not familiar with ANS and the product cinhoo is talking about. "C" is very knowledgeable and I think she has done a lot more research on this.

    Take care
  • kcroz

    i having a lumbar scs, sorry i forgot to say that in my
    last post. i will post after the implant is in place.
    i hope everyone has a painless day.
  • it went well but i have a big headache when i sit up, doc
    says to lay flat and drink fluids, i wondering if i should

    go to the er, i'm in chico and the doc is in sacramento

  • If you're having nausea and vomiting, you may need to go to the ER for fluids and medicine for the nausea and pain from headache, otherwise I think you'll be OK to wait until tomorrow. I don't believe they would do anything to repair the leak but have you wait to see your doctor that did they procedure. Of course this is only a suggestion and if you feel like it is severe enough, have it checked...
  • the headaches are almost gone, i was not expecting this,
    i still very tired, i did not think it would take so much
    out of me, k know 51, i thought i would bounce back, but its
    only the forth day post op

  • That your headaches are almost gone! Rest up and when you feel up to it, tell us how everything went.

  • I was thinking of you today and hoping you are feeling better. Get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids!
  • I am a 33yo who has had four surgeries since 2005 which included L5S1 Lamenectomy, ankle, ankle and L5S1 Fusion all on left side. Each one came at time when I thought I was on road to recovery and losing gained weight from previous. Since fusion I have had nothing but trouble which has created all the shots, PT, Rhizotomy, etc. and after recent hospital stay due to pain I now am with a different surgeon who has me on the road to scs. My son was 11/2 when the first surgery happened so it has not how I thought raising a child would be. I have missed so much and continue to miss more. I am losing my job as a psychotherapist as of June 8 because I have missed so much time in the last year. Ironically I work in a Catholic based hospital but to them policy is policy. Next week I have psyche exam and trial already schedule for next week. I have so many questions going through my mind right now. I just want to move on down a path of a funtional life where I can walk off 90 lbs. gained since 05 and I want to play with my son. I have no idea if the scs is going to be successful and I have no idea what I am getting into becuase no one wants to answer questions but research seems to show some positive and some negative about procedure. can you all tell me about the recovery process. When will I be able to resume my life. Now that I don't have a job, unless miracles happen and I can work after 3 weeks post procedure, what should I expect? I have worn my family out and I start to feel like I am on an island. The grief loved ones feel from their loved ones physical issues creates a lot of issues, for another post. Please give me some feedback on what to expect from here. Asking healthcare professionals seems to only get rude responses. As someone in healthcare I have and will continue to remind myself that patients are human beings who just want support, not miracles. The fact that I am also a licensed substance abuse counselor also inferoirates me when those who need meds. get treated life those who abuse them. I just don't want to deal with all this anymore and be the guy I used to be, who was much more positive, and less fuzzy from meds.
  • Welcome, there is a TON of information here on SCS.
    Run a search from the search box at the top of the page, jus type in SCS and then go read!

    Seriously, we can really help walk you through our experiences also, it's best if you read some and ask specific questions so we don't beat the facts to death again. Though we do tend to do that to :D

    I have completed my trial and get my permanent cervical SCS on May 4th.

    Depending on your work requirements you may be able to return to work in 3 weeks. There is a lot to consider as to what lead type you get etc,

    I hope some of this helps,

  • what kind of leads are you getting? I have read about two kinds which have dramatically different consequences. the paddle or surgical leads sound good becuase it looks like they have less chance of moving around. However supposedly the recovery time is much, much longer and a lot more to it. do you know anything about the difference in leads
  • Depending on a person's condition, the area involved, the evaluation and determination by the doctor, a specific type of lead is chosen. There are two basic styles, percutaneous (threaded through a large epidural needle) and paddle (requires partial laminectomy). The different style leads provide a different pattern of stimulation as well. Typically a doc tries a percutaneous lead first, to see if the less invasive procedure will be adequate. If not then of course a paddle lead is used. Some cases the doc doesn't even try the percutanous, but that's all case driven.

    Recovery from the percutaneous is a lot faster since the surgery is far less invasive. Recovery time varies from person to person. I was able to out and about after 3 or 4 days.

    So if all goes well between your body and the implant, it's not bad at all.

    Welcome to Spine Health

  • Mine is cervical and I hope to follow "C" and be out and about in a few days. There are no promises to any of this so it is a wait and see how it goes.

    Even being out and about does not mean freedom though. My doctor requires a soft cervical collar for 6 weeks, no BLT, no lifting anything heavier than 5 lbs. No reaching overhead.
    With the precutaneous leads you want to do minimum movements of the spine for 6-8 weeks to allow the lead to "scar" in place so it does not move.

    I hope to be back at work in a week, but I have to get the exact restrictions list to my supervisor to see if he can allow me to work. I may have to go through Human Resources, that would likely have me off the entire 6 weeks as IIRC they will not allow anyone to work with a lifting restriction under 10lbs for any reason...

    We will just have to wait and see.
  • Thank you for the helpful information. I am hoping for the percutaneous since if I don't go back to work by 6/8 I am out of a job. Right now my psyche eval is this week and the doctor already scheduled the trial for 5/1. He had hoped to do the permanent on 5/15 so that would give me a little over 3 weeks. What about driving after getting the implant? I have to drive 30 minutes from door to work.
  • If you go "by the book", then you switch off the SCS if you are driving a vehicle. This is so the company and doc cannot be blamed if you cause an accident.

    With my condition I would not be able to drive if I switched mine off. Basically it's a balancing act of adjusting the stimulation high enough to handle most of the pain, without running the risk of uncontrolled body movement/jerks caused by the ramping up of the SCS signal. Certain positions cause the stimulation to increase and if you have the unit running as high as you can stand it, then you run the risk of involuntary movement.

    I went back to work 3 weeks after my permanent implant. I would have gone sooner except I had to make the 16 hour transocean flight back to Japan. I waited until I knew I could sit that long before attempting the flight.

    Common sense and good judgment go a long way to making your SCS experience what it should be. Keep that in mind and you should do just great.

  • Any other helpful comments? So far they have been good and I have a better outlook on possibly getting back to work on time to keep my job. I had a potential setback today because my doctor scheduled trial for next week even though psyche eval is this week so my insurance company sent a denial for next week so in other words I need the results of the psyche test to get out ASAP and submitted ASAP so I can go as scheduled next week so I can get perminant 5/15 as surgeon wanted. It would be optimal because then follow up would be a few days before needed return. I called today and told them I wanted off morphine because it was making me sick but trade off now pain will be crappy for a few weeks. I am a mental health therapist and I can't do my job if I am forgetful and clumsy.
  • Getting things processed can be frustrating. I don't think you will have much luck "forcing" this along, maybe, just maybe with your doctors firmly behind you and with you it can be sped up. All I got was a bad case of anxiety and a good dose of "when we are d!#n well ready, we will let you know".

    I did not have my PM pushing to hurry things up though. He was kind of levered into my SCS service by a second opinion who suggested it and my insurance since he is in coverage and the second opinion doc who was out of coverage.
    They also would not allow me to even schedule the trial until the psych eval was done and passed, no exceptions!

    I wish you good luck in your endeavour, however, some meditation tapes may be helpful to tide you over till they decide they are ready to let you proceed. I guess I do not understand why you called them to take yourself off the morphine? Be careful if you have been taking it for a while you could be setting yourself up for a rough ride doing it cold turkey without tapering! It is a good idea to get off pain meds for a while before any surgery. You're a better man than I. I have been trying for the last couple of weeks. I can't do it and keep going into work, justis not possible right now.

    Sure hope you get it all worked out in the time frame you need.
  • I'm not going cold turkey on the morphine, god no!!! I went through wd(s) after first surgery and never again. Just cut back a bit for now and do it some more in a couple of weeks. I still don't understand why my doc. scheduled one before the first thing needed to be done. It is so easy to get anxious and frustrated when you are in pain and have unemployment right around the corner. I want to joke with the neuropsychologist that all of that should be considered prior to test.
  • To joke with the psych before or while doing the testing, unless you know them well! Mine was a fiasco, my PM kept putting off getting it scheduled and approved by insurance, so my PCP stepped in, had MY longterm Psychiatrist do it! My Psych new it was scheduled so he called my PM about what they needed to have done. He got NOTHING from my PM. So my psych did a normal "is this guy nuts" test. Sent the results to my PM, PCP and insurance. Then my PCP kept on my PM to set up the trial and get it done.

    I would have gone to my second opinion PM for all of this, but he is outside of network, 2.5 hours away, and it would have cost me a small fortune, plus more strain on my marriage, family etc, so I relented and kept using my local PM. He's not inept, he just is so busy he does not really care if people get ticked off and leave! The only game in town...
Sign In or Register to comment.