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Nuro Dr. says SCS for me Does it hurt?

ellineellin Posts: 188
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Pain Management
:SS Ok big chicken here. So much that I have to be put out out GA to get injections and the ablation. THe fent and versed is not enough for me. So, nuro Firt appt. today says no surgery and I have an appt with the Dr. who does the scs. Now does it work on the neck to the lower spine or just one area?? I have problems from the neck to LB I am chicken so please tell me the truth about the pain and all 8}
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  • Ok did anyone have a spinal cord stim. put in?? I need some input. I would like to know if it works on the whole spine from the cervical to the lower back? Please help if you can. I have read a bit on this but, can't seem to find out if the stimualtor works only on one part of the back? I also heard some scs are larger than other and the battery and so one please any thing will help me. I do not have my appt. yet so I would like to hear from you so, when I do go for this appt. the nuro Dr. is setting up I can ask questions of things I have heard. Thanks
  • The area covered by the SCS depends on the level at which tye place the leads and what type of leads they use. With my current program set, I have consistent coverage from T7/T8 to the bottom of my feet. I have intermittent coverage up into my shoulder blades as well, when I arrange my programs in a specific way.

    I would suggest a very long conversation with your doctor about how he plans to place the SCS trial if you require general anesthesia to get through an injection.

    When you have the SCS trial placed, the doctor uses a needle similar to those used for injections, except it's larger. S/he uses fluoroscopy (real-time x-ray) to guide the needle into the epidural space. Once it's in place, they feed the lead wire through the needle, into the epidural space, and up through the spinal column until the electrodes cover the space that will create coverage of your pain area.

    During the trial procedure, you have to remain awake. The representative from the stimulator company is in the room with you and once the doctor believes he has the lead where it belongs, they attach the wiring to the representative's external programmer and ask you to describe where you feel the stimulation compared to where you feel your pain. With your feedback, the doctor moves the lead in order to obtain the proper stimulation.

    For my trial, I had no sedation at all. The doctor used a local anesthetic to numb the area where the needle and lead wire went in, but other than that, I only had my normal dose of pain medications that morning.

    In my personal experience, the trial procedure was not painful. There was a slight burn of the local anesthetic, but it disappeared very quickly. I didn't feel the placement of the epidural needle at all. As the doctor was feeding the lead wire into my spinal column, I could feel a little bit of pressure and a sensation I can't possibly define, but it was not pain or painful. It was just unusual.

    Once my trial leads were in place, the Medtronic representative turned on his test stimulator and my doctor had to move the lead around a bit to obtain the best coverage for me, but again, it was only that unusual sensation and some pressure, nothing painful to me. Once the stimulation was in the right places, the doctor put the dressings in place, I climbed off the table, and went into the next room to sit with the Medtronic represenative for programming.

    About an hour after the procedure was finished, when the local anesthetic began to wear off, I had a lot of aching pain at the site where the epidural needle entered. Tylenol was more than enough to cover that pain and it was nearly gone the next morning.

    In my opinion, in order to get the best results from the trial and make an informed decision about the permanent implant, you really have to be able to take an active role in the process, which requires being awake and able to communicate clearly about what you're feeling and where you feel it. I would definitely recommend discussing that with your doctor, at length, since you know that's an issue that challenges you.

    Do you know what brand stimulator the doctor plans to use? I have a Medtronic implant and absolutely love it. They have a lot of basic questions/answers on their website and some videos that explain the procedure in a non-graphic way:

    http://www.medtronic.com/neuro/ttp/treatment_pacemaker.html

    Boston Scientific and ANS also have information on their websites.

    Hope that helps with your questions. :)

  • That was some info. I thank you for all your time in that response. I am going for a cervical ablation tomorrow and See how that goes. I have pain that I can deal with after the ablation on the LB so, I am thinking positive of the neck feeling the same way and than maybe I will not need the SCS. I will have to do what the Dr. wants and if it is dealing with the implant with no GA I will see how I do if not the Dr. just will have to stop and I can say at least I gave it a shot. Well thanks again. By the way how is your pain doing with this? And how was it before? Thanks again
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