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SCS Trial FAQ's

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 12/21/2015 - 6:28 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Medtronic said:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take pain medications during the screening test?
Your physician may withdraw oral pain medications 1 or 2 weeks prior to the
screening test. However, you may be given oral medication during the screening test
for breakthrough pain.
Never stop taking your prescribed pain medication without first consulting your
How long will I have to wait until a neurostimulation system is implanted?
If you and your physician decide neurostimulation therapy is right for you, he or
she will discuss when a permanent system should be implanted. Some physicians
proceed right away while others prefer to wait a few days. Insurance considerations,
including the amount of time to get coverage approved, may affect scheduling for a
permanent neurostimulation system.
Will a neurostimulation system provide the same pain relief as the temporary system?
Your pain relief may differ slightly. This is because the leads may be placed in a slightly
different location than during the screening test. Your physician can adjust your
neurostimulator so it delivers the best pain relief possible. Be sure to tell your physician
about the way you feel, so that changes can be made that will optimize therapy.
Will neurostimulation therapy completely eliminate my pain?
Many people experience significant improvements in their pain symptoms and quality
of life after receiving neurostimulation therapy. However, not everyone
responds to neurostimulation therapy in the same way, and your experience may vary.
Your neurostimulation system will not provide relief from other types of pain such as
headaches, stomachaches, fractures, etc
Neurostimulation requires a commitment from you. To help ensure success, learn to
operate your system. It is also important to follow the treatment plan developed by
your physician, including participating in physical therapy as prescribed.
Can neurostimulation therapy be stopped?
Yes. If you receive an implanted system and no longer require it for pain relief or change
your mind about the therapy, it can be turned off, and the device can be removed


  • The spinal cord stimulator trial is used to find out if this treatment will reduce your pain. You will go home with your trial leads in place. The trial most often lasts one week.

    Your feedback during the trial is vital.
    • Keep track of your pain for the length of the trial.
    • Take your pain medicines as instructed by your doctor.
    • Learn what settings of spinal cord stimulation work for you as you adjust the controller in response to your activities, body positions, and changes in pain.
    You may have pain in your back where the leads exit. It is okay to use Tylenol® or ice to ease this pain. Avoid aspirin which increases bleeding. You will need to carefully watch your symptoms to decide what pain is caused by inserting the spinal cord stimulator and what pain is your normal, chronic pain.

    You will need to restrict your activities during the trial period. This is so the leads in your back don’t move. If the leads move too much, you can lose stimulation.
    • Do not raise your arms above your head.
    • Do not twist, bend, or stretch your body at the waist. When rolling over, keep your body straight. Sitting in a chair is fine as long as you are careful.
    • Do not make any sudden movements.
    • Do not lift items weighing more than 5 pounds.
    • Do not strain when moving your bowels. Take laxatives if needed.
    You will have an incision in your back where the spinal cord stimulator leads exit. This will be covered by a bandage. You will need to take very good care of the site to avoid complications like infection or bleeding.
    • You may not shower, soak in the tub, or go swimming for the time of the trial. You are encouraged to keep yourself clean with sponge baths.
    • You will need to watch the site to make sure everything is healing well. Look at the site daily. Do not remove the bandage. Call your Doctor if you have:
      • Pus-like drainage.
      • Site is red or warm to touch.
      • Excess swelling, bruising, or bleeding.
      • Pain you cannot control.
  • I had an excellent response to my trial with the spinal stimulator. However, since they implanted the permanent one in, I have had terrible pain...........Has this happened to anyone? Also , my doctor is referring me to a neuro-surgeon for the paddle........does anyone have any experience with that one?????
  • Hi, I am currently doing the trial for my SCS. I have had a couple back surgeries in the past 4 years. This was my last hope. I like to think I am not a "wimpy" person, but I am having a hard time with the trail. I was told I was a "text book" patient so I don't understand why I am feeling pain and soreness from the trial procedure. Has anyone else ever have this issue? Thank you!!
  • darby01darby01 Posts: 191
    edited 05/30/2015 - 4:52 PM
    So I know theyll probably show us the unit,remote,etc and tell us how to use it but what else happens during the class?
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