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Date is set for my SCS permanent implant!!

patwhite101ppatwhite101 Posts: 1,213
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Pain Management
As most of you know I have been waiting for my permanent SCS implant.
The hold up has been my Psych evaluation. I have had my trial and it was a success. I buzzed and tingled but felt no pain!! What a relief!! I see why those of you that have the stimulator love it so much. I can get use to the tingling but never the pain.
For those of you that do not know what a SCS is.....I will try to explain.
SCS stands for spinal cord stimulator. It is a device that has lead wires that are implanted in your spine. (location depends on where your pain is) My pain comes from my Lumbar spine...L4 & L5 to be exact. All my pain is in both my legs and feet,(neurophathy)I do have low back pain if i am on my feet to long or am bending over a lot.
The lead wires go to a battery pack about the size of a silver dollar and is implanted under the skin in your upper hip. Wires are tunneled under the skin that connect the devices. You have a hand held remote controle that turns on the battery. You get a mild electrical stimulation that blocks pain signals from reaching your brain and you feel tingling instead. You can controle the amount of stimulation you need....in other words you controle your pain.
This treatment is not for everyone but first you have a trial where you have just the lead wires implanted close to the spine and the batteries are hand held. Wires dangle from your spine to the battery pack. Sounds scary but it is not. It is just to see if this works for you. Some people can't take the constant tingling. Remember you have to live ith this the rest of your life. It is not a cure but a means of cutting down on the amount of pain meds you are taking. Most people get 70 to 80% relief. I got 100% relief which is very rare!!
Before you get the permanent implant you must have a psych evaluation. All insurance companies require it. They want to see if you are depressed....if you are you will be turned down for the permanent implant and the depression must be treated. They also want to make sure you have good support from family and friends. This is very important to your recovery.
The day I will be getting my permanent implant is this Thursday...the 4th of June!! Yippeeeeeee,Whoo Hooo would be turning cart wheeels IF i could!!
Recovery takes 6 to 8 weeks. You have to be careful not to shift the lead wires. No bending over, reaching over your head or twisting. Everything has to scar over to hold everything in place.
You will be in pain and sore from the surgery. The pain will be treated. That pain goes away unlike the chronic pain you are now in.
I am sorry this is so long but I am sure thare are a lot of people looking for information on the SCS implant and I hope this helps them just as reading everything here on this same subject helped me. The DVD and information you get from the Doctor does not tell you much. Thare is nothing like reading it from actual users.
If I have left anything out please fill in for me and correct me if I am wrong about something.
Hugssssssssssss >:D<
Patsy W


  • <:P That is wonderful news. Don't worry, this week will go by quick. I'm waiting to hear when my permanent pump implantation will take place too and I can hardly wait.
  • Hi,
    I am so happy that you have your date. Remember, it is imperative that you follow the recovery guidelines. If you push yourself too hard you can cause the leads to migrate. It happened to me. You do not want to have the surgery again. Do not be alarmed if you have less pain relief after the permanent implant than you had with the trial. I don't want to discourage you at all. However, that is very common.
    I had about 75% pain relief with the trial and I now have 50% or sometimes less. It is not uncommon to lose some of the effectiveness over time. Please understand, I am still thrilled to have it. I just don't want you to get bummed out if you end up with less pain relief than you expected. I am better off having the SCS. It does help. I am even going to have another permanent SCS implanted on June 23rd to cover a different area of pain. Less pain is always good!

    Warm regards,

  • Glad to hear you have finally got it all arranged!
  • I'm so happy for you! You have had such a rough time, it's good that you will finally have more reliable relief!
  • fantastic....hope all goes well with implant. Hope it's the best date of your life! That's amazing that the trial knocked out 100% of pain. If i get 50% i will be happy.
    }:) }:) }:)
  • Thanks for all the good wishes! You guys are the bestes! :D
    I will be at my sisters for a while but will keep you updated. I wanted to come on home but she will not allow it. She is gonna have me under her thumb for a while. Drat!! She is a great sister. We are very close. Another sister will come and stay with me when i come home. I have a great family and they will make sure I am well taken care of.
    Meyday....Hope your date is set soon. Best of luck!!

    Melissa...You are so right...less pain is always good!! I am keeping an open mind about this.

    Wrambler...Good to hear from you my friend. That darned ole neck brace sure sucks dosn't it?

    Kat...Pain meds no longer do me much good so am very happy to have this treatment! Thanks

    Pete...What more could a gal ask for from a date? Pain relief!!!

    I just love all you guys...thanks everyone.
    Patsy W
  • Yeah, the neck brace does suck... I have pretty much given it up. It makes me claustraphobic and is starting to freak me out. I'm just being real careful and staying out of harms way.

    At first my ipg placement hurt the worst, now it is my back. I was trying to very carefully pickup some of the mess around here. Being very slow a methodical. Now my back really hurts. I hate this, it is like riding a pissed of alligator...

    Sorry to rain on your thread, just want to remind you that no matter how good you feel as you heal take it easy! Bleeping, bleep, bleep ouch!
  • Glad to hear you are making progress. The neck brace does stink and I am grateful I haven't had to wear one with my SCS. I just completed another 6 weeks post op restrictions with a couple of revisions on mine. Had both the shoulder and IPG incisions reopened in April and am now restriction free once again! It's liberating.

    Patsy, glad to hear that your sister is going to be there to help you out. That will make it much easier for you. You will be very astonished at how well you can manage without those pain meds that don't work anymore. I never thought I would ever be able to get by without heavy meds, but my SCS has been the silver lining that has made it possible for me!

  • Please, please be very careful my friend. I know you are in pain and hate sitting around but it will ease up in time.
    I am not looking forward to the surgery pain at all but I keep telling myself that it will ease in time. Neuropathy pain is savage and thare is not a lot that helps it much and now I will have the surgery pain to put up with also.
    Hang on to that alligator!! Don't allow the ba%*#rd it to get the best of you.

    "C"....Luv your heart....you have gone thru this twice!!! I can only imagine.

    Hugssssss >:D<
    Patsy W
  • I'm Ok now, have to go to bed...
    Have to go back to work in the morning. Can't wait to see how this goes!
  • I hope your surgery is easy as pie. Susan
  • Wrambler...Please let us know how it goes at work today!! I do hope all goes well. Good luck my friend.

    Susan....Thanks....I do hope all goes well. I dread the surgery pain. But that will fade in time unlike the Neuropathy pain that is with me 24/7. I just hope the permanent implant works as well as the trial. I got 100% relief during the trial and that is very rare.

    Hugssssssss >:D<
    Patsy W
  • Get ready! In just a few days the surgery will be over. In just a few weeks you will be healed. Then you can look forward to a future with pain-free or almost pain free days! Yahoo! I'm so happy for you.

  • You are so right gal!! Whoo Hoo I am happy!! Thanks hun.....Patsy
  • Congratulations! I am so happy for you. I am glad that in days you will be getting what you have been waiting for. I am so glad it will free you from pain. Any of my friends that have improvments is great to hear. I go to my ortho for 6 wk ck up Weds and hope I can start aqua therapy. I dont know with the pnuemonia if I will. I guess I will find out. Had my 22 treatment today. They took it out and put me on oral antibiotics for 10 days. Hope it works. Good Luck Thurs and I will be thinking of ya! >:D< >:D<
  • I found one thing that really helps is a cold pack on the incision sites. Especially the first couple of days.

  • Iowarobin.....Best of luck to you.I did get slightly stronger Percocaet. I hope it helps. My pain is so savage it's hard to do a thing and I need to be packing. Hugssssssss

    "c"....yep...i am stocking up on frozen peas. I found it is easier on my back than the ice packs they give you. Those things are a block of ice and they hurt don't they? Anyway...the ones they gave me hurt. I have also used a bag of frozen Broccoli.
  • Can't wait to hear - hope all went well today!!!

    Take care,

  • Stimulator is in!!
    Put in this past Thursday and I am doing great today...Sunday.
    Surgery pain is easing. I am keeping my back iced and am doing really well. Yippeeeeeeeeee <:P
    Really it has been a piece of cake.
    Hugsssssssss >:D<
    Patsy W
  • I'm glad to see you are doing well! Hope everything goes SMOOOoooooooth.
  • Glad to hear things are going well for you. Keep us posted.

  • Keep us updated on your progress. Well, okay - keep ME posted (since I am going for my trial in a few weeks) - I will follow YOUR story as I have followed those who have gone before us. I love learning from others...

    But more than that, Pat - I am so happy for you that you have found relief!

  • I'm happy for you that everything went well. I hope you have great pain relief with your SCS. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I am doing really well after my permanent implant. Pain is not at all bad. I am still not able to do much. Can't bend, reach or twist. I have to be very careful that the leads do not shift. They have to scar into place. That takes 6 to 8 weeks.
    Am still at my sisters being spoiled. I plan to go home this weekend if my sis will let me.LOL She worries that I will do something to harm myself.
    I live alone but do have help that comes in every week and I get Meals on Wheels so I will be well taken care of.
    Surgery was not as bad as I feared it would be.
    Hugsssssssss >:D<
    Patsy W
  • I'm glad to hear you are doing so well. Less pain is wonderful! Yea!

    I agree with your sister, you never know, at home alone you might drop something or do something to make you accidently twist, just a natural reflex, where at her house she is helping you make sure nothing accidently happens. What's a few more days? But if you do go home don't do anything, act like you are on vacation...just r&r...LOL!

    Take care!
  • I'm so happy to hear that things are going well for you. Hopefully, after you heal you can get back to making some great meals.

  • Hi Pat,
    I just had a pain pump put in Tuesday. The abdominal surgery pain is always tough. If I'm reading correctly you've had your pump for about 2 weeks now. Any regrets? I'm kinda beating my self up over all of this. They're saying the pump needs to be replaced every 5-7 years. I'm not sure I'll be up for going through this every time the pump wears out. July 1st is the day I get the staples (the must be about 40-50 total) out. I'm hoping the post-op depression clears up by then. I was very excited to get this surgery, but now I'm wondering if I made a mistake. Hope all is well with you.
    Take care,
    Crabby Appleton (Kenny)
  • Pat had an SCS installed. so did I...

    Is the pump replacement as bad as the initial install? I know our SCS are only supposed to go 7 years too.

    I'm kinda hoping they just replace the unit and leave the lead ALONE. Can they do that with the pump and leave the catheter thingy in place I wonder?

    I guess we will all have to decide whether to cross that bridge or not when the time comes!
  • I just assumed that since they had to cut a hole in my gut to implant the pump, that they would need to cut a hole to get it back out/replace it. I have about 30 staples across my lower right abdomen. Now wait 15 days to get them out? I'm sure they will be nice and snugly grown in by then. I'm self employed, so that's the good news as far as me taking time off. I'm part of a new research group, so luckily the surgery, meds, etc. are all free for life as long as I stay with the study. There is no way in heck I could have even considered this type of surgery had it not been for the research study... that and my pain doc (who rocks) offered me the opportunity to participate.
  • So the model you have requires replacement in 7 years? That's wild. The model I have is a 9 year replacement. The good thing is, that the removal of the IPG after everything has healed nicely, isn't bad. They had to pull mine out and do repairs and place it back in. The scar was raised for about 6 weeks, but has healed now. The pocket wasn't sore like the initial implant and no staples were used, just glue and sutures.

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