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Spinal Cord Stimulator Question (long and detailed...sorry)

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
I injured my lower back 19 yrs. ago. I've have a laminectomy that was unsuccessful, followed several months later by a 2 level fusion (L4-5/L5-S1) in 2001. After a long recovery, I regained my pre-injury life. There are no words to describe how happy I was with the surgery. But last summer, I leaned down to pick something up from the floor at work and went into severe spasms. I finished my 7 hr. shift, but my husband had to take me to the ER as soon as I got home. Morphine did nothing. I couldn't even tell they had given it to me. I left the hospital in as much pain as I was in when I arrived. I began seeing an orthopedic surgeon who sent me for epidural injections and also facet injections. There was no change. The surgeon said he didn't think my hardware was the cause and there was nothing more he could do but send me to a pain management dr. The new dr. prescribed Percocet, Soma, Neurontin, and Mobic. They helped for short periods of time, but wore off very quickly. He said I was a perfect candidate for a spinal cord stimulator. I had the trial done and noticed about a 40% improvement so we scheduled the permanent. I took 6 weeks off from work in order for the leads to set properly. Due to the fact that it didn't control all of my pain, I was left on my meds, but the Percocet was reduced by 60 pills per month. No other changes except for the addition of Lidoderm patches. I thought the scars would heal like they did following my fusion. The one where my battery is implanted has, but my problem is the incision where the leads were placed. It's red, puffed up and lumpy. It's gotten much worse over the past month. I've also developed a lot of pain in that area and the scs doesn't seem to be doing a very good job any more. What concerns me is the raised scar. People close to me agree that it seems to be getting larger and larger. I'm wondering if this could be a keloid. If anyone has had an scs implant and know why this is happening to me, I would be forever greatful for a response. I can't seem my dr. until Oct. 1 and in the meantime the worry is eating away at me.
Sorry this was so long and much thanks for reading.


  • :D Welcome -- So sorry for your issues -- someone is sure to post a response to you regarding your problem as many people on this site have the SCS implant.

    Take care,

  • Is your complete scar raised, or just portions of it? Are you a thin person? The SCS leads are kept secured with anchors. Depending on the amount of tissue over these anchors, the body will develop scar tissue around them and if they are close to the surface they will appear as nodules along the scar. Movement in this area can easily cause it to become inflamed and painful, both to touch and just painful period.

    I had a revision done on my SCS in April because the anchors had broken loose and were close to erupting through the skin. It was very uncomfortable. The doc installed new anchors and brought in tissue from another area to create a "pad" over the anchors so they wouldn't erupt through the skin. It is a lot more comfortable now. I found that an ice pack helped a bunch to keep things at bay. I also take Celebrex twice a day to keep the inflammation down.

    Keloids are very distinctive, whereas with the SCS anchors they just get red and white and a bit "angry" looking. It's easy to tell by icing them down and allowing things to cool down.

  • Melissa, I am sorry you are having trouble with the incision site for your lead placement.

    Some questions:
    What is the manufacturer of your SCS system?
    What type of leads do you have? Percutaneous or paddle leads?
    What type of lead anchors did your doctor use, if you know?
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