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Questions on SCS

4jkasper44jkasper Posts: 231
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Pain Management
My NS thinks I should try the SCS for the neck and shoulder blade pain I have. But, most of the posts I see on here say that it usually won't help much with just back or neck pain. It looks to me like it mostly helps leg pain. I don't have the money to just try it to see if it might work, do the ones that have the SCS think I would be wasting my money? I just want your opinions on that since your the ones with the SCS and my Dr. isn't, I feel you would have a better idea than he would.
Thank you,


  • I have a cervical SCS for neck, shoulder, arm and hand pain. It works wonderfully! If you have the opportunity to do a trial, it is well worth the money. Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions, or just ask here.

  • whats an SCS??
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • Little electric gizmo that sends electrical pulses to the nerves. The pulses block or confuse the signals from reaching the brain. Most users report feeling a tingling or feeling something close to what you feel when a body part is "asleep". Not painfull just that tingling sensation.
    I'm anxiously awaiting my trial to start on March 11! Mine is for right shoulder, shoulder blade, back and upper arm. I realy hope it works! =D>
  • Jeanette,
    I have a SCS for my lumbar related pain and I love it. The great thing is that they do a trial first so you will know if it works for you. Once you have done the trial, then you can make the decision to proceed with the permanent implant or not. They don't get rid of the pain they just mask it, I get about 60% pain relief from it. Everyone is so different and that is why they do the trial.
  • SCS leads are connected to a battery that depending on the type can be the size of a half dollar. The percutaneous leads are placed in the epidural space along the spinal cord. It is placed above the problem areas for example, in the thoracic for lumbar/leg pain. The contacts(dots) on the leads send eletrical signals to the brain to out smart the brain into not perceiving pain. The brain thinks there is tissue damage or impending tissue damage because the nerves are screwed up one way or another.

    The location of the lead is different for everyone but generally somewhere from T7-8 to T10-11 is where they end up. So let's say a person is looking for nerve leg pain relief only then it is usually found lower of that range since there would be little need to "search" for back areas which vary greatly but if I remember correctly my doc saying most people lose the back somewhere at T-10 and below. Most people who seem to find the best relief are those with scar tissue, nerve damage, they are using them for DDD, and many other things.

    A paddle type lead is also used instead of a percutaneous depending on the patient, doc and so on. It's like a pacemaker for the back!

    Jeanettte, I think it's for sure worth it even to try and if it works and you want to get the permanent in the long run it may save you money by not needing so many tests, treatments like epidural steroids etc, not as many meds and less doctors appts. As you know hospitals/pain clinics let us make payments and as long as we do some every month they seem to be cooperative.

    The SCS's are wonderful!!! I'll leave it at that ;)
    Have a great day!!!
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