Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

2nd failed scs trial

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello there everybody,
This is the 1st time I have been on this site, and I can't wait to get in touch with other chronic pain suffers.
My history is: Aged 18, I broke my back in 4 places after a
major road traffic accident on the motorway & ever since then I have suffering with chronic uncontrollable back pain, thats been nearly 11 years ago now, after trying all the pain releif tablets, muscle relaxants etc that my pain management doctor recommended everything has failed so he then recommened trying different types of spinal injections, so it then took us 3 years to try all of the different injections, none of which worked, so I did some research about the spinal cord stimulator & my pain management doctor agreed that it could help with a least some if not all of my pain, so we went ahead in Sept 08 to have the scs trial, the electrode was placed in the wrong area so I was getting the stimulation in my right boob & armpit instead of my back, then on my 2nd week of the trial I developed some kind of reaction to the exit wire that was placed inside my body, so the week after it had to be all removed. I've since had dermatology tests to rule out any allergy to any type of metal then on 27th April 09, I had my 2nd scs trial done. The 1st electrode was placed, again in the wrong area, so it now stimulates my left boob & armpit instead of my back, he tryed to place a 2nd electrode in but he could'nt get it to stay in place (I presume this is because of scar tissue, but he never said the exact reason why.)

So thats my history out of the way.
I've read a bit on this site about the scs trial being sucessfull for people suffering from chronic pain & would love to hear from these people, I'm going back to see my pain management doctor tomorrow afternoon to discuss my next step & options & am scheduled for the completion of the trial or the removal of the trial on 11th May & my worse fear is that he's going to want to take it out because he's got the placement wrong twice! I hope he says to keep it in & that he'll try to move the electrode to see if he can get better placement or that he's going to ask a neurosurgeon to do it for him.

If anybody has had any simular experiences to mine or if your a chronic back pain suffer & the scs has worked on your back pain.
I would love to hear from you, my only regret is I didn't find this site sooner & got other peoples sucessfull experiences to think about to help me through.
Hope everybodys not in too much pain today, and lets us all hope for some good pain releif for us all.
Take care x


  • Hello...
    Welcome to this site. I too am new here and have learned sooooo much from the wonderful people here.
    I can't talk about a failed SCS trial. Mine was a huge success but all my pain is in my legs and feet and the SCS implant is very good for leg pain. I am now waiting for my permenant implant.
    I did want to pass along a tip that will be a great help to you. Go to the top of this page and type scs in the search box. It will take you to the pages that has a post from everyone that has an SCS implant or trial.
    Do NOT give up on getting the right placement.
    I hope my little tip help you and you find the information you seek.
    Best of luck to you.
    Hugsssssss >:D<
    Patsy W
  • I had my permanent placement today.

    I am in some disbelief that they left your trial in place for a second week when it was not covering the proper area? Then they are confused about some sort of reaction? I had an 8 day trial, but I had proper coverage! I am pleased to say I have BETTER coverage now then the trial! I am happy though quite work out so, I am going to stop now.

    Maybe one last thing, are you awake for lead placement? I was full aware during trial. For the permanent they knocked me out, woke me up to detail placement and then put me back out to place the IPG and tunnel the leads to the battery/IPG.

    Now, I really quit, way to tired to type more at one stretch!
  • I also am curious - weren't you awake for the lead placement? One thing I read over and over was that we should REFUSE to leave the procedure until we are buzzing in the pain area. Don't get up buzzing in the wrong area.

    It may be that you have scar tissue - I do. Tons of it. My trial was a nightmare, but they did get it in the right place. My 2nd lead had to be disconnected because it wouldn't stay in place and was right on top of the nerve root.

    What my neurosurgeon would do in your case is he would put you in the hospital to do a 2 day trial - he would not thread the lead up your back, he would go straight in and tape it down. That's why you have to stay in the hospital and why you can't move around too much. Once he found the right "area", he would go in and do a paddle lead. A paddle lead is sewn in place and is used on patients whose backs won't cooperate with the threading of the leads (as you seem to prove your will not!!!).

    Please ask your doctor about paddle leads. I am in shock that your doc let you out of the procedure once again buzzing in the wrong place. Was this your regular doc or the anesthesia doc? Perhaps if it wasn't a neurosurgeon you need to make sure you find one.

    Take care,

  • i am sorry that you have had a bad experience with the scs .one on the best reasons not to have the scs is a stringent medical history before considering having a scs. i wanted one but my doctor and surgeon decided that i would get little or no relief from it because of the anatomy in my back i have congenital abnormalities and surgical and arthritic changes in my spine .i am so happy that i did not go through with it as i know many people that have had bad experiences with scs ..i take it that you are having it removed? my friend nicky {you will find her on here } look for nickys on the user list ,she has a scs and she is a lovely person and will talk to you about it .have you tried the acticare unit ?its a high end TENS and external scs {so no nasty surgery!} i have one and use it every day .i still have to have strong pain killer but the acticare helps .i hope things get better for you ,and look forward to talking to you in the future
  • So sorry to hear of your negative experience.

    I had SCS two years ago - from low back through both legs and into foot. I found that my SCS works best for leg pain - I always turn it on in an airplane (yes, you're allowed!). However, I found that it does not "distract" my low back pain (mechanical, and not nerve pain). I can say that it seems to work well for RLS-type symptoms, which I've had since my surgery last year.

    I had a difficult time with the trial, since I had some pretty severe muscle spasms - which were worse than the leg pain. That said, when my trial was placed, I was not completely alert (it was somewhat of a twilight anesthesia), and so I had trouble telling them where to move both the right and left leads (kept falling asleep). That was on a Monday; that same Thursday, I had permanent SCS placement. Before I went into surgery, I told them that the placement really didn't help the low back pain - but that the leg pain was completely covered. We agreed to leave the lead placement alone, since they covered upwards of 75% of the low back area down into my left and right feet. Overall, very successful.

    Hope this helps!

  • both trials have "been put in the wrong place" if that's the case I'd have a different doc do it.Sometimes it's as simple as getting reprogrammed. My trial guy called everyday and offered his services readily. Afterall they are trying to help your insurance spend 50k.

    If you have not been reprogrammed since it was put in, then it may be as simple as that. I don't know that a paddle trial would be worth it unless they will leave the same paddle in and just permanently implant the connector and battery pack. Only because the less one is going in and out of the dura the better, obviously.

    My trial was very "floppy" I was so overstimulated by the end of it and even though I thought I found all the right places after the trial I woke up the next morning with nothing in the right places. I called the programmer and got completely redone then once again later in the week I was tweaked again. As the swelling and all of that is going down it is normal to need tweaked.

    Lastly, although it doesn't say where your back fractures were, and in which case some scar tissue may be unavoidable, generally the doc isn't threading through it or going straight it. There is an entry spot way above the usual said problem area, usually around L1 then threaded up to the thoracic spine anywhere from t7-8 to t10-11. The lead coverage area is over an inch long at least so there has to be some threading. I had a different guy after the permanent placement & it was a drastic difference I think he was new so when my heart, I know that's as high as T4 but these electrodes criss cross and everyone is wired different, started to get a massage he was fired as I'm not trying to be some guys practice body, I asked for the 1st guy back in the end.

    The trial was so floppy but enough to know there was going to be some help I ended up getting the paddle for permanent and what a huge difference. Mine is awaiting re-placement as it got infected & had to be removed but was great. If the reprogramming doesn't work after he turns those upper electrodes off and moves the program down to the lower electrodes then your doc may be willing to pull the lead down if neither helps it's time for someone else to do it. The SCS is like a new world, new life that is so hard to explain.

    good luck and get that programmer to work...lol
  • I want to mentione that I was awake and telling them about my lead placement during permanent surgery on Monday. Howevever, I remember NOTHING of it! I remember everything up to being placed on the table and getting comfortable, then it all goes blank until my wife came in the second recovery area!

    I do not remember the 1st recovery room at all, so fear of the procedure may be totaly unwarranted, depending on anesthetics being used.

    My largest current pain area is as everyone else states, the ipg unit. I am very disapointed that even though I thoroughly discussed placement not being in my hip, they put it there anyway! There is nothing I can do about it now, just wait and see how it heals up. It should be fine, it's just not where I wanted it. Not that it is unusual for us to get something we don't ask for!

    My coverage is awesome! we have coverage on my shoulder clear down to mid arm below my elbow! No coverage on my hand! I was told that was probably not possible! My PM also told my wife the lead placed very easily this time. I have channels that will cover my left side too! Currently not turned on to save battery life, they do not want me to recharge till I have staples out and am healed over from that. I am just leaving it off for the most part. I'll can deal since I have plenty of pain meds right now.
  • Gosh..what a pain in the butt (no pun intended) to have the leads placed in the wrong site. I'm so sorry you are going through this!

    I agree with Pettynme though. I'd look into having another doctor try. If this guy has tried twice and cannot get it in the right spot..it may be him and not you. Technique is pretty important when it comes to this stuff.

    Also..what were you feeling during your trial? Did you feel proper stim. placement but then the stim. lead moved??

    I had 2 trials myself and have head of others having 3 trials. Don't give up on this if you feel that it something that could work. I think at least a second opinion is in order.

    I also wanted to tell you that I have a blog about living with a newly implanted neurostimulator. There is all sorts of info. on there..as well as advice on how to cope and just every-day kind of stuff..as I make my way through my recovery.

This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.