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Getting Perm SCS 11/03/08

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Pain Management
Hey all!

After months of waiting, I finally got approved for my permanent spinal cord stimulator! I had a great response to the trial and Im very excited and nervous about the surgery. Did anyone have bad pain post-op? Also, what meds did you take post-op? I am currently on alot of meds for CRPS and I didnt know if I should ask for something more for the pain.

Thanks for reading,


  • I do not have one of these, but did want to say congrats and good luck!
  • Welcome Shannon!

    That is great news! The after surgery pain depends on the type of SCS implant they will be doing. What type of SCS are you getting and at what vertebrae level will the implant be done? Are you getting paddle or conventional Leeds? Does he plan to turn SCS on right away?

    Your surgeon will be able to give you a better clue for after surgery pain. I wouldn't worry about it too much because you will be in the hospital at least overnight and they can make you comfortable. I'm sorry I can't give you a better idea as my SCS implant was a more extensive surgery. I would prepare your living conditions to help you with the no BLT and hands above the head recuperation time.

    I am so glad that the trial was a good experience for you. One step closer to a better quality of life. Please keep us posted.

    Take care of you,
  • I have a cervical SCS with two percutaneous leads and I was able to manage post op on Tylenol and Celebrex.

    My normal meds at the time which I continued to take were

    When I had the surgery, I showed up early morning and was out and walking back to the lodge shortly after lunch. The rep met me after the took me from recovery and he switched on and programmed the IPG.

  • haglandc said:
    I have a cervical SCS with two percutaneous leads and I was able to manage post op on Tylenol and Celebrex.

    My normal meds at the time which I continued to take were

    When I had the surgery, I showed up early morning and was out and walking back to the lodge shortly after lunch. The rep met me after the took me from recovery and he switched on and programmed the IPG.

    was walking around DC with me and another friend days after....and we did alot of sightseeing and walking too.

    Congrats Shannon on the approval , I am sending well wishes your way , please keep us posted as to how you are doing. If there is anything that I can ever do for you then please just let me know. The best of luck to you....take care....Miki
  • It was Sunday that we met up and the surgery had been on Thursday. I think the insanity of you, Jessi and the Purple People Eater distracted me from the pain in my .....

  • haglandc said:
    It was Sunday that we met up and the surgery had been on Thursday. I think the insanity of you, Jessi and the Purple People Eater distracted me from the pain in my .....

    You meant to say , the pain in your butt , right? Wait a sec , are you calling me insane? I might be offended , well , not really , I think you might be right....I may just be a little Krazy!!!! =))

    See Shannon , we were sightseeing not even a full 4 days after C's surgery and she really did do great...I wish the very same for you sweetie....Miki
  • Part of the recovery will depend on what type of leads you have placed. If you have percutaneous leads placed, the permanent surgery is similar to the trial placement. The paddle lead requires a laminotomy or laminectomy to place, so the post-op recovery period reflects the more invasive surgery.
  • Does anyone know how the doctor determines which type of lead to use: percutaneous or laminectomy. As I was researching the SCS online, I ran across a conversation between 3 or 4 PM docs. The one who did the most stimulators (or was the most pro-stimulator) said he ONLY used the laminectomy leads. I found this interesting but not really meaningful. Any thoughts? BW?
  • I think I would reconsider the doctor that would only do one lead or the other, arbitrarily. There are pros and cons to each type of lead that really depend on the individual patient's situation.

    On the "pro" side of the percutaneous leads, they require a less invasive procedure to place and they offer excellent coverage for people with pain concentrated in their limbs. On the "con" side, they're more prone to migration and they offer less efficient coverage for trunk-oriented pain.

    On the "pro" side of the surgical (paddle/laminectomy) leads, they offer a greater depth of coverage while using less power to accomplish it; they're a good choice for people with trunk and limb pain because they cover both areas equally well, without requiring extensive recharging times. They're also anchored differently and not as prone to lead migration, so they're a good choice for very active people.

    I think if I were a person with RSD of one or two limbs and my doctor subjected me to a surgical lead "just because," I would be extremely upset. The percutaneous leads would offer perfectly adequate coverage for most people in that situation, without the risk of the more invasive surgery causing the RSD to spread to other areas.

    As a person with FBSS, chronic low back, hip, and bilateral leg and foot pain, I would have been equally mortified if my doctor had chosen percutaneous leads, because I would have required multiple stimulators to cover all of my pain.

    I think it really does depend on the individual patient, the cause of their pain, their pain pattern, their activity level, and whether or not their overall health makes them a good or poor surgical candidate to begin with.

  • Hey all,

    Im getting ready for my perm surgery on Monday at 10:45am! Im very nervous but Im also excited for the end result.

    I will keep everyone posted!

  • You will be so happy when you head home after the implant is done!!!

    Remember, that if the rep doesn't get you tuned in perfectly the first time, it's easy to do the next time.

  • Sorry for the delay, I am just now able to get to the computer. Well, my recovery has been pretty bad. I was referred to the surgeon that did my implant and he said that I should have enough meds at home with what i take and he wouldn't give me anything for post-op pain. I was numb for about 4 hours and then it hit me hard. I hadnt taken any of my normal meds and all I could keep down were norcos. I was severely nauseous and I was vomitting, I couldn't eat for 3 days. I called the surgeon the night of and he never called back, I called my pm the next day, crying in pain. The nurse said the dr said I could only take 4 norcos in a day when for the trial he said I could take 8. When I called, I had alread taken 8 that day and it didn't do anything. My pms nurse was so rude, she knew I was hurting and all it took was some kind words. She ended by saying that I could only take the meds for a few more weeks because that's what I have the stim for.
    Well for one, I now have rsd in my left arm, so I dont expect to be completely off meds. Should he know that? Yes! She treated me like a drug seeker when I just had major surgery.
    So anywho, Im really considering a pm change. Our drs are supposed to be there for us and call us back. I left him a message that day, my hubby asked for a call back to make sure I was ok, and i called, no call back from the dr. He implanted my trial for 10,000 and now he doesn't give a hoot about me.
    When I finally got a call back from my surgeon, he apoogized for the miscommunication and gave some lie about not receiving the calls.
    He said that I was sick and I was also going through severe withdrawls from my meds since I couldn't keep them down.
    He sent me home the day of the surgery and I really wished he kept me overnight so this wouldn't have happened. If I would have had my pain under control with meds, this recovery process would have gone smoothly. It was absolutly barbaric to allow someone to go through that kind of pain! lol
    I am better now though! I was able to get up, walk around without my cane. The pain is a lot better and I cant wait to get back to normal. I havent been able to eat alot, my stomach is still very sensitive. I know I had to lose about 10 pounds those days with starvation. I needed it though!

    I am doing alot better now, I am able to walk around and I am getting used to this new equipment in my back. I am seriously considering changing pms after my recovery.

    Thanks for everyone's support and encouragement!
  • Sorry that you have had such a rough time of it. I have no idea why or why your doc would seem to be so uncaring. Just doesn't make much sense.

    My doc basically set me loose until it was time to pull the staples out. Although I know if I had had a problem he or one of his team would have seen me. I was basically turned over to the company rep since the SCS was there to control my pain, the rep was/is now in charge of keeping me tuned as best the device can.

    I was seen one last time before I flew home (about 3 weeks after implant) by the doc and rep.

    I guess since the neurologist is in charge of my meds for the nerve pain, the PM doc did his job and the rest is up to the neurologist and company rep.

    Are you still being treated by another doc for the CRPS? Which doc referred you to the PM doc for the SCS?

  • Your situation is exactly what I fear. I take three 80 mg of Oxycontin daily. I will not be able to stop taking this kind of medication abruptly after a permanent implant
  • The Pain Management doc and his team who did my SCS, also did my detox last year. One of the things they specialize in is making sure that people have a good plan for getting off pain medication as their pain source is corrected or treated.

    Speak to your doc and let him know your concerns. In many places it's one complete package deal, to do the SCS and to help you titrate off the Oxycontin.

  • I'm so glad to hear from you. I was really worried when we didn't and, apparently, I was right to worry. I'm sorry to hear that your post-op was so rough. I sometimes laugh and tell my husband that at least if I were ever captured by the enemy, I could endure a lot of torture without giving up any sensitive information. lol In the end, is the stim managing your pain? I'm seeing my pm tomorrow. I will be sure to ask about detox. I had never even thought about that. Again, I'm so sorry you had such a bad expereince. Doctors can be real jerks. No other business would dare treat their customers this way. Post more often now that you're up to it and let us know how you're doing. Susan.
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