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I may be getting a SCS

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,662
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I had a laminectomy at T11, T12, and L1 in Jan. 2006 to remove a spinal cord tumor. Since then the pain in the surgery area has never gone away and is getting worse. I take pain meds by the handful and they don't work.
I was referred to a new NS due to my insurance changing and he prescribed Amitriptoline and Neruontin. I was a ZOMBIE on that stuff! I couldn't take it and do anything. They are now referring me to a new pain management doctor and they are thinking about doing a SCS.

All the research I have done on SCS is for patients with back and mainly leg/foot pain. I am wondering if anyone here has had a SCS for JUST back pain?

The thought of surgery and having something installed in me sounds crazy but if it will work sign me up! I am ready to get control of this and go on living.


  • Hi and welcome to Spine Health. It depends on who you talk to, as to whether or not an SCS will help with just back pain. Earlier SCS leads did not do a very good job of covering back pain, newer leads have since been developed that can and from what I understand, do cover back pain.

    The good thing is, that you will have a trial during which time, you will be able to decide for yourself whether or not you feel it is even helping with your pain. The trial leads aren't as robust as the permanent ones are, so you stand a good chance of getting far better results from a permanent implant vs the trial.

    Spinal Cord Stimulators are not a cure all end all for pain. They are simply a tool in the management of your pain. So it generally take a few other tools or ingredients to make managing your pain a success.

    Having an implant is a huge responsibility. It is something you always know is there and you can't just take it off or get rid of it. It forces you to make special arrangements for activities you wouldn't normally think twice to attend. It's a reality check every day.

    If it works, then it is worth millions!

  • The way it was explained to me is that there is no intrinsic reason why a spinal cord stimulator would not work for back pain. The primary difficulty is that the nerves of the back are located very deep and are therefore hard to get at with the stimulator. As C has said, the good news is that you first get a trial and the trial should give you a pretty good idea of whether or not the stim will help your situation. Good luck to you and please let us know what you decide to do. Susan
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