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

spinal stimulator trial and possible surgery

tcr1130ttcr1130 Posts: 122
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Pain Management

i should be hearing this week as to when my spinal stimulator trial is going to happen., this sounds like it should go pretty easily, my trial will last 5 days. lead inserted, where the fanny pack with the battery pack in it....

the surgery i know will be decided on how well my pain is controlled ....

i had a 2 level fusion in march, woke with right foot problems from the surgery ended up being diagnosed with RSD, they are hoping the stimulator will help with that and the pain i still have in my back...

has anyone had the trial done!? and the surgery!?
reading the surgery websites sounds like this has a healthy 8 - 10 week recovery time for that surgery, so this surgery is a big deal i am taking it.,

if anyone can enlighten me further on this, or have had it i would appreciate hearing from anyone.. like i said the trial should be in the next couple weeks... and if successful i will schedule the surgery immediately, but as always.. so glad for this site, i would like to hear from more people that have to go this route!!!!

thank you



  • If you type SCS into the search box at the top of the page, it will bring up numerous discussions on Spinal Cord Stimulation. There are several of us on Spine Health who have gone through the trial and permanent implant. There have been discussions ranging from lead type and placement to battery placement and life after implant.

    Sorry to hear that you have developed RSD. Hopefully your doc has put you in touch with other folks or sources of info on living with RSD.

    Please let us know how everything goes.

  • Yes the recovery period from the implant is 8 - 10 weeks. This is to allow scarring to form around the leads so they do not migrate. I can tell you, take as much of that time as needed. I took 8 weeks although i felt real good after about 4. you do not want to risk damaging your implant any. I was a very active person, so 8 weeks about killed me. LOL. But like stated above, go to the numerous web sites on the web and do research. There are three manufactures of implants and each are a little different. Read the good and bad and form your own opinion. Mine has helped alot. Reprograming is needed as time passes also.
  • If you check from my last thread, "Back from SCS trial" you can see my experience with the trial. It went really well and I am now scheduled for the permanent implant on October 29. I really can't wait because I am missing the trial and the pain has really reared its ugly head.

    As far as the permanent goes mine will be outpatient since I will have the precutaneous leads. They told me that I should be well enough to drive to my appointment on November 6 and I can start working from home (desk job) on November 9. I do have the no BLT for 6 weeks as well. I am hopeful that I will be doing pretty well by Christmas.
  • Just a note, to add to anjuan's post. If, your lead(s)is/are going to be cervical your time away from a desk job may be greater. My PM would not allow me to return for 4 weeks. He did not want me to constantly be sitting at desk looking up and down, left and right.
  • thank you for all the info., my leads will be lumbar .. i had a two level fusion in march,..suffered CRPS after the surgery and we have been having a hard time keeping under control.. was in tears driving to the appoint for the nerve block today the pain was so bad... i cant wait for this trial.. but i want to have all the pro and con facts before i okay the surgery..... i have a lot of reading to do and hunting down info.. thats why any info that you all that have gone thru it would be great help

    they told me they dont let people return to a desk job for at least 6 weeks after this surgery, at the time i am still recovering this back surgery so havent been working.... but he said 8-10 weeks today for he surgery.. which right now is the monday after xmas!
  • Not returning to a desk job for 6 weeks seems a bit extreme, but the key is to follow your doctors orders. 6 weeks is the time it generally takes for the leads to scar in so that they don't migrate and change or lose your stimulation. So for 6 weeks there's a no bending, lifting or twisting restriction.

    Write down as many questions as come to mind in regards to the SCS and life with it. Then take your list with you when you see the doc next time and get him to answer as many questions as you can. That way you aren't left "wondering" what you can and cannot do, should or should not do.

  • I am scheduled to have my permanent implant next month just before Thanksgiving. I have been told that I can go back to work (desk job) after a week if I feel up to it. I will have a no BLT restriction for two months. Looks like I don't get to rake the leaves on the day after Thanksgiving this year.

  • I am so sorry you developed RSD a very, very painful condetion.
    Some people with RSD have a stimulator AND a pain pump to help control ther pain.
    If you SCS trial should fail to help your pain you can always try a pain pump or use both.
    Best of luck. I do hope you find relief for your pain.
    Patsy W :H
  • He let me go on a one week road trip (from Wisconsin to Clarksdale, MS) to a blues festival where I walked around all day (AND slipped on the wet, rainy pavement and FELL) one week after my paddle leads were surgically implanted. I think I had the surgery on a Thursday, spent the night at the hospital, had lunch with clients on Friday (who lived out in the area where my surgery was done) and I'm certain I went to work on Monday to my desk job. I see from your history, that you have had a fusion. This should be a piece of cake compare to that. (I still have nightmares. LOL) I do remember feeling very tired and my back felt a little sore but not nearly as sore as it did after the trial--Yikes! The incisions stung and burned but on the proverbial scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 2. Others might disagree but that is how I describe my permanent implant for a lumbar SCS with paddle leads. Now, the trial, that was rough. In the end, I am very happy with my stim. (ANS Eon Mini) Susan
  • thank you for all of your comments, i finally got insurance approval, so i will have the stim trial done on the 12th of november, and the surgery, if im a candidate with be on dec. 28th...

    i have had a horrible time with the recovery from my xlif in march, besides the rsd, my doctor did tell me they had a very hard time during the surgery., and my surgery took 6 hrs which he said should of been a three hour surgery... my emg studies show definite problems on the right leg...

    we have spoke of the pain pump.. but that hasnt been spoke of as much as the stim trial/surgery.

    they said they had to (overstretch) me to get to my l4-5 area... which is where all my problems are still coming from.. if the stim trial doesnt take care of the pain, we will do a myleogram before going anyfurther with anything... my primary and pain management doc think i have a nerve problem in the l4-5 area and the rsd, my surgeon believes its just the rsd causing the problems... so this trial should finally put an end to what has been going on.... but my life is certainly different at this stage.... lots of things i can not do anymore., hoping as time continues all this will get a little better and this stim thing helps even more...

    one day at a time., i have hope.....
  • can anyone tell me there experience with the procedure for the stim trial!?
  • You asked for an experience with the stimulator trial. I had mine this past Thursday, Oct. 29th.

    I don't want to scare you, because most people here have no problems with their trial.

    I had a terrible trial. When the Dr. finally got the wires positioned, the only place being stimulated was my stomach area. After moving the wire several times, he still could not get stimulation in the right area.

    He then began to remove the wires, and needles, and was going to try another spot, this caused even more pain, and I had to ask them to stop.

    I felt real bad asking them to stop, but I just could not take it anymore. I believe if I had known a little more about the procedure beforehand, I might have held on a little longer.

    I also don't feel I was given enough sedative, or possibly they forgot to give me any, because I drove myself home after I was released. They did not know I drove myself, and I did not endanger anyone, I was totally ok. That is why I think they forgot to give me any sedative at all.

    The Medtronic Tech told me my wiring must be backwards. He also told the Dr. he had never seen a case like mine.

    Evidently, my family is wired differently than most people. My sister, and my Dad, have nerve patterns different than most people also.

    So if you have normal nerve wiring, you probably will be ok.

    I would advise against drinking any coffee the morning of the day you are having the trial. A mistake I made, I was real nervous about the trial.

    Make sure you ask them if they have sedated you before they begin, and if you feel nervous, ask them for more. You just need to be able to tell them where you feel the stimulation.

    So if you do encounter pain, don't give up like I did. Just think of the benefit you may get by having the stimulator. I am so very sorry I gave up, but maybe it was the best in my case, since my nerves are wired differently. I cried like a baby because I had to give up. I wanted this to work so badly, and if I had it to do over again, I would ask them to give me more sedative, and let them keep trying.

    Hopefully you are wired normal, the procedure will go fast, like most people, and you will be on your way to living a life without pain.

    God Bless you, and good luck, Robert in NC

  • If you look about a page back you can see my experience with the stim trial. The procedure itself was difficult for me but the trial was great. I just had my permanent SCS implanted this past Thursday.
  • just wanted to let everyone know i had my stim surgery done right before xmas., i believe im about 4 weeks out now... it was kind of a rough go for the first week., and as warned following the surgery, the signals wouldnt be great to my needs during the swelling time after the surgery, i went in last week to have the stim reprogrammed and they have been able to get the area more to places i need the stimulation..

    during the trial i told them it was about a 30-40% relief from the RSD pain and 4 weeks out i still agree with that......

    we also found out because of a push for a myelogram i wanted because of continuing back pain, that i have not fused at l3-4 area, i have at l4-5 but not much at the other level... we are trying lots of things to get bone growth at that area, but my surgeon is saying he will have to go back in - under a plif surgery this time and redo that level...

    my mouth litterally dropped, i know he saw my disappointment... i saw the scans and i have bearly any growth at that level.... so i have till the third week of march to try and grown bone at that area.. we are trying many things.

    i am having a diagnostic l3-4 shot done on feb. 1st and they are trying to get me approved for a drug called Forteo, and also i am back in my brace, and my bone stimulator, taking 4000 iu of vitamin d and calcium suppliments..... i pray everyday that this will help.... i think i can tell by his face its a slim chance, but im not ready to hear i need to have a plif.......

    if i can help anyone with spinal stim info i would be happy to "pm" them., for now im just doing a lot of prayin!!!

    thanks for all your info and friendship on this site

  • Great to hear from you. Sorry to hear about the problems with fusing. The good thing is that your doc is staying on top of everything and isn't afraid to operate with your SCS implanted. Hey, 30-40% less RSD pain is a blessing of its own. That's fantastic that the reprogramming session went better and the stimulation field is targeting things better. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you don't have to have the new surgery and that bone starts to grow!

    Hang in there!

  • Oh my dear.....You are having your share of problems with your fusing aren't you?
    I am so very happy to hear the stim is helping some of your pain. I am sure it is a blessing.
    Along with "C" I will be keeping my fingers crossed your Doctors can get you completely fused.
    Best of luck to you. Please keep us updated on how things are going.
    Sending a hug coz I think you could use one. >:D<
    Patsy W
  • If you do nothing else......PLEASE try not to move around to much until you are healed,the 6 to 8 weeks,even after do not do to much physical stuff,you can move the leads if you are to aggressive in your movements.I think I overdid it when I thought I was ok,so becareful and good luck to you
  • i just had an appointment with my stim people and a diagnostic facet joint injections.... the stim is doing well... i can say im getting about 30-40% relief from where i was before xmas.. now the second problem, is that i havent fused at one of the levels and they are doing facet joint injections to see if they are helping with my pain...the ones i got last month, helped my base pain a lot (not movement pain, but my baseline pain)... the pain started coming back about a week ago, so they did another level on monday.... right now i think im still sore from the shots, so while today is better than yesterday i think im still dealing with injection pain at this point.... but i see the doc in three weeks.... i imagine he has to schedule another myelogram but if the pain is still there, he knows i havent fused... i am seeing an orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion next week.. my primary recommended it when i said i wasnt content just saying that my only alternative was to have the plif... so i will see what he says, he has all my cd scans and myelograms.. so he said instead of a nerve guy ... go see a bone guy, you havent fused, thats bone, see what he has to say.. made sense to me... so thats where im at right now..... this is all so scarey, and sometimes you feel so alone with all this, like no one wants to tell you to much, like im going to take the information and become a surgeon and run them out of business... its maddening... i just want to know everything i can for me to make the best decisions and for me to feel like a person again!!!!
    know what i mean!?
Sign In or Register to comment.