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When the SCS trial doesn't work

kstarrkkstarr Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Pain Management
Hi, I hope someone will post who had a SCS trial because I have a question.

I had a week-long trial of the medtronic SCS for leg pain. Today they removed the unit. I have not had the unit turned on since 24 hours ago but I still feel like it is on and buzzing in both my legs. I hope this is normal, anyone know?

Anyway, they trial did not work for me. Pain levels were the same even though the SCS coverage seemed to be in the right areas. Saw the PM docs today, they want to try an injection in where I have an annular tear. So now I am waiting for that to be scheduled. My pain level is very high today - it was high just before and during the trial too.

Nobody mentioned better pain relief with meds and I didn't ask but I only have percocet 5/235 max of 3 per day. I never take more than that but I also never get really good pain relief. I could use a little more help in that area. Probably need to just bring it up whenever I next see him.

9.5 years and still waiting.....


  • I buzzed for 3 days after my trial was over and the leads removed. I thought that was weird but nice because the buzzing does help me. I'm so sorry your trial did not work. Were you able to tweak with your programmer and make sure the lead(s) were being used to their best potential? I think it is so key for the programming. ( have 2 leads, so 16 different nodes to use in any number of combination to find programs that work. (I have the ANS Eon Mini, though, so maybe that matters, don't know.)

    With your Percocet, do you find that your feel good for a few hours, then it wears off. Then you wait and watch the clock until you can take another one?

    If so, I would seriously consider long-acting meds. I had such a change in pain coverage when I was finally switched to long-acting meds versus the regular (like you are on) that kick in quick and then wear off. The long-acting meds keep your BPL (blood plasma level) at a consistent level and you won't have ups and downs and will find you aren't watching the clock to see when you can have another one. Mine didn't end up working the full 12 hours (called end dose failure) and I take it 3 times a day. All I can say is WOW once we changed to that regimen. I would definitely chat with your doctor about that possibility if it sounds like it might be something you would like to try.

    Good luck moving forward.

  • I have tried the spinal stimulator for the week it did not work for me than injections of the new pre-alt did not work, actullay i did not like the stimulator weird feeling but my situation is different i needed a revision of my surgery plus 2 levels higher thank god they took all the scar tissue out, sorry that i cannot be of much help, but be honest on how it feels cause of the insurance companies ohh and no matter what they can always take it out even after 6 months,yeah i did not like the buzzing i use to ask my daughter like an idiot hey can you feel the buzzing i asked everyone lamo huh well good luck
  • Thank you for the replies Cheri and Claudia. The buzzing is getting less I think, so that's good! I forgot to say that the doc thinks we might try SCS again, after this injection. I don't mind that - but damn the itching/rash from the tape is killing me. It will take a month to go away.

    I found out the injection will not be for a month - so I did ask about pain meds and I specifically mentioned long-acting. He said he wouldn't do that because I was on such a low dose of percocet - he suggested taking more percocet. So that's ok, I think it usually helps except when the pain is at it's worst. But yes, it doesn't act quickly and it doesn't last very long.

  • Perhaps now would be a good time to test drive some different tapes! I don't know what all is out there, but maybe you can find one that does not irritate before the next time and carry a roll around with you :)
    Glad to hear you are starting to not buzz. Makes me wonder what my trial will be like. Got my fingers crossed. Sorry to hear yours did not go so well :(
  • Wrambler - good idea! They did give me a couple other kinds so I will experiment.

    I am hoping for the best for you on your trial.

  • Silk tape tends to irritate me over the long run, whereas paper tape works great for the long term use.

    Good luck,

  • Around here, we refer to the leftover buzzing sensation as "afterglow" =))
  • I'm happy to hear that after buzzing is normal, and I'm not loosing my mind. #:S It doesn't really bother me, I just thought it was a battery malfunction. It helps delay the need for pain meds, so I can't complain.
  • I get to read all this stuff now! Nice to know about the after buzz should one turn the unit off and still feel it. No need to panic! I'd have thought it was malfunctioning!
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