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SCS--Positional Leads

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Pain Management
I am not really having trouble but I have noticed that I get good stimulation and then moved to a different position and the stimulation isn't the same. I was told I was very positional in OR...with time does this calm down or will I always be positional. I am still rather swollen so I don't know if this is why I feel less at times.


  • As the leads scar in they will become less positional. You will most likely always have it to some degree but will find it's easy to adapt to. This is one of the reasons that the manufacturers don't want you to drive with the SCS running. Since it can be positional, they don't want a patient to have an uncontrolled movement caused by the SCS when shifting position.

    I have found that it's easy to adjust the SCS to adapt to the changes in position. Mine is cervical which tends to be far more positional than lumbar.

    So you should find it to become less positional as your leads scar down and the swelling goes down. This is another reason why it is so important to get your SCS reprogrammed several times during the first few months after implantation.

  • What program and positions work together. You also will find yourself shifting, mine is cervical like "C"S so I will turn my head or cock it at an angle. People have looked funny at me, but I just decided after explaining it over and over to no effect to just let them think I am weird.... 8}

    ( It does get better with time, but you will still have some changes with movement )
  • My SCS's are both cervical. One of them is a few years old and it is still very positional. I can turn the stimulation off by a slight nod of my head. I am used to shifting around a lot to get the best coverage. I move my head around all the time and I don't even think about it. I probably do look funny but it works for me.
  • I'm a month out from a lumbar SCS placement, and I notice it now being less positional. The worst is when I laugh really hard or cough, expanding my thoracic cavity or extension does it every time. This can be handy-if I have a sudden spike in pain, I know I can just stretch a little and get jackhammer(my name for tons of stimulation.)

    I actually will leave the remote in the bedroom sometimes when I come to the living room. The first few weeks the remote was in my hand no matter what(at least that's how it seemed.) I've figured out what I do that makes it uncomfortable and try to avoid it and hope it continues to improve as the scar tissue forms.

    So ironic, when do we ever wish for scar tissue except now??? :)
  • have the lumbar SCS and once I was scarred down, I only noticed posiitonal issues when I lay down or really change my body position. Just walking around doesn't affect it anymore. (or hardly ever). I was told the leads don't scar totally down, but scar in a pocket, giving a small amount of wiggle room. Thankfully, I don't feel it too much.

    I know my SCS trial was ridiculous on positional issues. lol I felt like a cell phone trying to get coverage on and off all day.

    Take care,

  • Mine has different setting for sitting,lying down,walking,and so forth. Does the one you have? Hope it settles down fir you. It will take some getting use to.
    I do wish mine was doing it for me.
    But glad others have success.
    Good luck!
  • I notice it more when I transition from sitting to stand or lying to standing. I get good coverage while sitting but don't feel anything when i am walking and when lying down I have to turn it way up. If I roll on my side at night I lose all stimulation. Just wondered if this was normal. I am only 2 weeks post op. The good thing is I have already cut out two daily doses of pain meds. I hope to be at half the dosage by 4 weeks...and if lucky down to nothing at 8 weeks.

    My battery isn't lasting long...3 days between charging, so either my stimulation is strong or my battery isn't holding up. I will talk to doctor tomorrow and the rep and see what they have to say.
  • I was fairly shocked to hear that they went with the Mini IPG for you given the fact that you have more than just one or two leads running. I have two leads running several concurrent programs and get a week on every charge, but I have a somewhat larger battery with the Ultra. You may wind up having to charge quite frequently since the doc felt the Mini was better due to you being thin.

    When the rep reprograms you next time, see if he can set up a program or two that doesn't drive the signal as deep or focused. I found that a more diffused setting on the leads gives better coverage, better control and doesn't burn through the battery as fast.

    I don't know if the Mini has the capability to allow the patient to do any personal reprogramming like the Ultra does. If it does, then maybe you can experiment with what works best for you at different times of the day and during different activities.

    Keep us posted. Glad to hear that it is working for you.

  • Yeah, I was(sometimes still) recharging every three days. Are you charging to full charge each time? My problem was I couldn't charge to full charge after hours because it got too hot(thanks C for advice) and would shut off and the rep told me that if not perfectly centered, it will charge more slowly. So, I would charge for as long as I could tolerate then stop. Experience and asking questions has helped me figure out how to better do it.
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