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Perm SCS Recoup Advice

JwriterJJwriter Posts: 140
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Pain Management
Hello Brothers and Sisters in Spines! :)

I'm having the a permanent Medtronic SCS implanted tomorrow morning (2 percutaneous leads in lower t-spine, left abdominal IPG placement) and I'm looking for info as to "what to expect" after returning home and how to best handle the recoup experience?

I currently take 10/325 Oxycodone for pain, and 300 mg Lyrica daily for nerve pain. However, I am prone to what I call "lightening-bolt" spasms and cramping in my lumbar back/hips/glutes thanks to the level of nerve damage that I have...is there any kind of muscle relaxer that would work to diminish the severity and frequency of those? I'm the kind of patient that's afraid to ask for anything, preferring to "tough it out" rather than potentially be labelled a drug seeker. That's never happened to me (not even remotely) but I don't want there to be a first time...though I want to be sure I'm not left in agony over the next couple weeks either!

Any experiences and advice would be appreciated and thanks folks!



  • Well, I can tell you my experience. I needed help getting in and out of bed as the stimulation was positional and when I tried to get in and out of bed it was a strong increase in stimulation. I couldn't put on my own shoes, and couldn't shower for 4 days, had to sponge bathe. What fun that is. LOL I did have some increase in pain but more incisional pain. All in all there was a relief because incisional pain wasn't as bad as the normal every day pain. I had my IPG placed in upper left hip so I can't tell you how that will feel. I kept telling the doctor that it was stinging like salt in an open wound and he told me that was normal. I am 6 weeks out now and just have that itch but afraid to stratch because incision feels funny. I hope that helps. If I can answer any other questions feel free to ask. I hope you get better relief with perm. than trial...I know I did.
  • Thanks so much for sharing your story with me and I suppose that I'll be needing some help from the Mrs. for at least a while anyways afterward!

    My trial went well on one hand, and on the other it didn't. The percutaneous lead placed in my spine worked wonderfully (and that's why I'm going through with the permanent placement of two of them) but the 2 subcutaneous lumbar leads they placed caused horrible spasms and cramping that I'm still dealing with to this day (over 1 month later). I was told that they migrated into nerves and raised hell, and in reality that was putting it mildly!

    Thanks again, I appreciate your taking the time to reply. Goodbye and all the continued best to ya!

  • I went through the process with only Tylenol and Celebrex for pain relief. On day 4 post op I hopped on the Metro and went down into DC and rode around on a cruise ship and then back from there in a car. Staples and all. Sure it was a bit uncomfortable when changing from a seated to a standing position and vice versa, but it was no big deal. The burning sensation of the IPG pocket is what I experienced as well as a bit of discomfort at the incision site where they inserted two percutaneous leads between C7-T1 to thread upward into my neck.

    I have a Medtronic RestoreULTRA and love it. I've had it now for almost 18 months and it has been a life saver for me.

    I take Zanaflex (Tizanidine) for muscle spasticity and it helps tremendously.

    Good luck with everything. From the sounds of it, you will be like me and chomping at the bit in no time to get out and do things. Remember to take it easy and let things heal and scar in before going to crazy.

  • Best of luck with your stimulator.
    As for the pain meds it will be up to you to decide what you will need to take. Were you still taking your pain meds during your trial? If so you may need the same amount. I say MAY because it really is up to you how much you need to take. Only you know your pain.
    I take Skelaxin for muscle spasms and it works really well for me. I take 3 800mg tablets daily. But what works for me may not work for someone else as we all are different.
    For the first few days after my permanent implant I slept in a recliner. I did need help pushing it back. I did not sleep with my stim on. I am one of those people who can't sleep if the slightes thing bothers me. But that is just me.
    Recovery time for me was longer than I expected. I thought I was doing well until I would try to do simple things and realized just how weak I was. Prepareing a simple meal would wipe me out. But your wife can do that for you. I spent a week at my sisters and should have stayed another week but came on home. I managed with the help of Meals on Wheels and a girl that comes in and cleans for me.
    One thing I found really helpful was a reacher/grabber. Somehow I managed to drop everything I put my hands on.
    Best of luck to you and I hope you get wonderful pain relief.
    Patsy W :H
  • I found ice packs to be extremely helpful in the first few days post-op. I have a great big one that covers almost my entire back and it worked wonderfully as far as helping to reduce the swelling and irritation from the lead tunnels and incision sites. :)
  • Ditto what BionicWoman said!

  • one thing i found to be helpful with the discomfort was to get up and walking after my implant. I came home and rested for about 4 hours, then got up and walked slowly for a few minutes. Everyday i would extend my walk time. Never walked at my regular pace,just slow. It seemed to keep the imflammation down some and the soreness. I too had a little problems getting up and down most of the time. I would literally scoot myself to the edge of my recliner then slowly raise up. Repeated the process to get sat down. After about 10 days i was moving around pretty good. Took it pretty easy for the first 4 weeks then increased my activity each day again. I had to remind myself not to twist or lift anything over 10 pounds for the first 8 weeks though. Went back to work after 8 weeks and fully resumed my activities. Only thing i had to do was get reprogrammed several times since the implant to compensate for the scarring. The one thing im very proud of is ive been med free since about 3 days after my implant.
  • I don't have any advice, but I just wanted to wish you good luck tomorrow! I am scheduled for my permanent implant a week from Thursday. Please let us know how things go.
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