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Medtronic SCS

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Pain Management
Hi everyone, I am scheduled to have a trial implant for an SCS in 2 weeks. I have heard both good and bad stories about all brands of SCS's. I have been reading some posts and it seems a lot of you have spent the night in the hospital after your permanent implant. It is my understanding that for my permanent implant (should I get that far) will be done on an outpatient basis. Maybe the differece is the way my particular doctor does the implant I dont know - but is there more I should be aware of? My device is going to be for chronic nerve pain in my hand/forearm due to a crush injury 27 months ago. Is there anyone out there who has this device for a situation similar to mine???? Any and all comments will be appreciated.


  • I think the doctor's decision depends on a zillion (maybe not that many) different reasons we all don't know or appreciate. A lot of folks with stims go home the same day. I think its safe to say that in most cases going home is the plan, but some complications might arise that necessitate a night in the hospital as a precaution.Susan
  • I have the Medtronic Restore Ultra with a Specify paddle lead, for low back and bilateral hip and leg pain.

    When I had my permanent implant done, I was in and out of the hospital in less than 12 hours. Since I have a paddle lead, my surgery included an open laminectomy, rather than the less invasive surgery for percutaneous leads.

    I would've rather stuck hot needles in my eyes than spend the night in the hospital. Once my procedure was done, I was programmed, and my post-op pain was managed well enough to stop the IV meds, I wanted nothing more than to get home, in my own bed, with my own non-plastic pillows and blankets, a half a dozen ice packs, and sleep it off like it was a bender gone bad! (|:
  • I have hand and arm coverage via a Medtronic RestoreULTRA with two percutaneous leads. I was in and out of the hospital in about 6 or 7 hours. The trial will be very "positional" since the leads will be in your neck and only tacked down to the skin, so the coverage will change with certain head and body movement. With the permanent implant it is much more stable.

  • Hi

    Everyone seems to be soooooooooo different. I was in 2 nights - I have a Boston Scientific Precision Plus rechargeable with paddle leads & had a 4 day trial that was done as a day patient & the full implant was done as I said as a two night stay. They decided to use the paddle leads to get better coverage & less variable stimulation.

    Good luck with yours - I wouldn't be without mine!!
  • "C"
    Thanks for your input. You are the first person I have found that has had anything remotely similar to me. I have read that the trial is stitched to the skin.....is that true? How was the trial for you - was it painful when they were putting it in??? I have a panic anxiety disorder and 2 of my triggers are pain and fear of the unknown. More about your experience would be quite helpful to me.
  • I am waiting, waiting, waiting for a trial of an SCS to cover my right shoulder, upper arm and shoulder blade area.
    Not sure how much of it they can cover. I spoke to my PCP's scheduling assistant and she assures me the Pain Clinic is working on getting insurance approval. This is all a big unknown to me too! I have passed the psych eval and only need to the insurance to sign off on it :SS
  • The trial was quite easy and not much discomfort at all. The doc used a local anesthetic and injected it into the area where the leads were then threaded into using a device similar to an epidural needle. I could feel pressure, but no pain. The leads were then stitched to the skin to hold them in place and the connector block was attached to my shoulder with tegaderm.

    The only other discomforts I had during the trial were not lying on the block and having to be careful not to snag or drop the external unit. My trial was for 3 days and when they removed the trial unit it was nothing more than clipping the stitches and pulling the leads out. I was surprised that I didn't even feel the leads come out, it was that easy.

    For the permanent implant, I had some good stuff through the IV and I can remember being alert while they checked the placement of the leads by turning on the stimulator, however I felt no pain during the procedure. I had a few days post op where I was uncomfortable but needed only Tylenol and Celebrex to fight the pain. 4 days post op I was out and about riding the subway, taking a cruise and shopping.

    Hope this helps.



  • "C" & Wrambler..........thanks for the info.
    "C" - I hope you dont mind but I saved your pics (if you want me to delete them I will) but they helped me out quite a bit. It is giving me a better understanding of what to expect. Where did they implant your battery pack? Do you have any pics of your back after the permanent implant was finished?
    Wrambler I totally understand about the waiting game. It has taken me 2 years and a lot of BS from WC to get me where I am. Doctors started recommending the SCS 2 years ago and they just recently approved it. I can understand why it is difficult for insurance companies to approve the procedure as it is quite expensive but what they DON'T understand is the tremendous amout of pain they put us through while exhausting all other options. In my case we exhausted all other options several times over before I was finally approved. I know it can be a long process but have faith and hang in there.
  • No problem with saving the pictures. I am glad they are helpfull. Here's a photo taken right after the permanent implant was done. The battery is in my right hip area just below the belt line and the wires run down the right side of my spine.

  • I appreciate you letting me save the pics... they are a big help to me in understanding what to expect. It looks like it could be quite painful but if it works then it will be well worth it. After 27 months of constant and a lot of times excruciating pain my name here says it all........frustrated and hopeful. By the way - I LOVE your quote about being stupid and abusing it - LOL made my day the first time I read it. I was pleased to learn that I wasnt "crazy" after my psych eval even with my history of panic anxiety disorder and depression. I am so glad I found this site. In the few days I have been here I have learned soooooooo much and it has been a huge help. Thanks for the posting.
  • I just got off the phone with PM! It has all passed through the red tape, insurance etc,
    So, on March 10, 2009 at 9:30 am I am supposed to be at the PM center to get me trial leads placed.

    I am so happy I could just, well, you know.... :)))

    In a few days I will start to worry, but hey, that's just me :SS
  • That's fantastic. Congrats.

  • I wouldn't consider being afraid of pain or the unknown a "disorder". I'd call it normal. But that just my perspective. I'm back on the merry-go-round. I've met with the neurosurgeon who's going to do my permanent implant. I've met with the PM doc who's doing the trial and next week Thursday I'm doing the psych eval. I think I've put together a really great group not to mention the other PM doc, much closer to home, who's doing my drugs. I'm all set. Frustrated and Wrambler, you don't know my whole long sob story but this report is a good, good one. Good luck to us all. Susan.(Oh, I have pain in both of my legs due to a permanently damaged L5 nerve)
  • Wranger, I am sooooooooooooo happy to hear you got the go ahead. I have waited 2 very long and very frustrating years for this. I can hardly wait for my trial. Mine is scheduled for Feb. 24 at 9:45 so I will be sure and post updates as I can. But again I am sooooo very happy for you. Please keep me informed.
  • I have a 13 year history of panic anxiety disorder along with major depression. I know some of the "triggers" that cause the panic attacks and two of them are pain and fear of the unknown. I do everything in my power to avoid the "triggers" but some things are just out of my control. However, I feel that I can eliminate some of the fear of the unknown by talking to others that have already been through what I am going through now.
  • No worries. Based on your response I thought you may have misread what I wrote.
    Just trying to clarify for you.
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