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spinal cord stimulation- scared- help

melto9mmelto9 Posts: 75
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I would like to know if anyone would have reservations about letting an anesthesiologist do the spinal cord stimulator versus a neurosurgeon. I am scheduled Tuesday to do the trial, but I am leaning toward just having a "tailbone" shot since he thinks my pain is coming from sacral area. Trouble is I have met my out of pocket deductible- but I'm scared,.


  • If you trust this doc to do a caudal epidural injection, and he is experienced with SCS placement, then there really shouldn't be an issue.

    Very few neurosurgeons do the actual SCS trial placements. They will get involved when it comes to permanent placement of paddle leads which require laminectomy or laminotomy.

    Have you been ruled out as a surgical candidate? Has your doc run out of tests for determining the source of your continued pain?

    Let the doc know that you are nervous about the trial procedure and see if he can answer your questions enough to ease your fears some.

    Hang in there,

  • Is your wiggle nerve/intuition trying to tell you to wait/hold off/get a different doc? I am a FIRM believer in following your gut instinct, and why is yours flaring?

    For "normal" patients, the SCS trial procedure is fairly quick, relatively pain-free and uneventful. As in 45 minute type time frame. Not a difficult procedure in general, unless the patient has issues, such as scar tissue or spinal abnormalities. Do you believe this doctor understands your medical history before proceeding?

    Whatever you do, I would wait until you feel good about it. Maybe it is just timing, but I would try to figure out why the intuition flare-up. Can you change the appointment into one in which you talk with the doc about your choices and then reschedule the actual SCS trial or sacral shot?

    Take care,

  • Have both covered it pretty well.

    Yes, it is the norm for anesthesioligists PM's to do the trial lead placement. It is fairly to pretty much exactly the same as placing an injection. I doubt you find many neurosurgeons doing trial placements. They are simply in to much demand for more complicated sugeriers.

    My trial and permanent precutaneous lead was placed by a PM anesthitics doc.

  • Everyone has a different opinion of what type of doctor to see. I feel that you are the one that needs to feel comfortable. If your gut is trying to tell you something than you need to listen. It is normal to feel a little scared...it is the unknown that gets to us and makes us question everything. I personal went to a PM (Anesthesologist) to do my trial. He has extensive training and was able to do more than a normal anesthesologist...I had paddle leads placed with normally takes a neuro to do...but mine went just fine. Follow your gut...it won't lead you wrong.
  • Thanks to everyone- actually due to circumstances I never got to come back and read the replies. I was scheduled for the shot and went for the trial at the last minute. He did have a hard time getting it in due to a lot of scar tissue I guess. I didn't get the pain relief that I had hoped, but enough to go ahead and have the implant. He is going to implant leads over my hips also to cover pain in my tailbone or sacral area. I am due to have this Dec 21st, so Merry Christmas to me.I was very sore from the trial so I expect it will be worse.
  • It is wonderful that you found a doc that you like and trust. He sounds like a truly: special person. BUT, as a point of fact: No one gets "paddle leads during a trial" I have paddle leads that were implanted by neurosurgeon. For my trial, I had percutaneous leads. In order to use the "paddle leads" the surgeon must perform a "laminotomy) which is similar, though not as complete as a aminectomy. So: #1. No one uses paddle leads on a trial #2. It is, usually and I say usually rather than always becuase I don't know everything but I don't know ANYONE who's had paddle lead implanted by a PM doc.
    If you like and trust your doc, then percutaneous leads may be the way to go. There are many satisfied customers who have percutaneous leads. If you definitely want paddle leads, you had better talk to your reP Asap. Susan
  • Hi all. I'm getting a SCS trial on 12/7. My neurosurgeon is doing it and I will actually get the permanent paddle leads placed on Monday and then be hooked up to the external generator for 3 days before determining if my pain relief is good enough for the permanent device. My surgeon will actually make an incision above where he had worked on my back before. There will be no temporary percutaneous leads...he thinks that's a waste of time because once good pain coverage has been made, why take them out?

    I'm concerned with the recooperation time on this because my employer is only giving me a week to do this because I have exhausted all of my FMLA. I guess I'll just have to suck it up. I have a desk job so I will just have to do it.


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