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Typical Questions and Answers on Spinal Cord Stimulation

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 51,465
edited 12/21/2015 - 6:29 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Questions and Answers – Getting a Neurostimulator

* How will my doctor know if I am a candidate for neurostimulation?
* Why do I need to take a screening test?
* How long does the screening test take?
* Will it hurt?
* Can I have pain medication during the screening test?
* Will I receive the same relief that I get during the screening test when I receive my permanent neurostimulator?
* After the screening test, how long will it be until the neurostimulation system is implanted?
* What type of anesthesia is used during the implant?
* What is the average length of the hospital stay?
* How big are the incisions?
* Are there other side effects associated with placing the lead so near the spinal cord?
* Is spinal cord damage a possible complication?
* Can a previous abdominal incision be used?
* Between which vertebrae are the leads placed?
* Will I hear or feel the neurostimulation system inside me and will people notice it?
* Can the neurostimulator be removed?
* Will my insurance company pay for a neurostimulator?
* Is the procedure covered by Medicare?


How will my doctor know if I am a candidate for neurostimulation?

Talk with your doctor about your goals for treatment. Your doctor may do a screening test to see whether neurostimulation will provide adequate pain relief.


Why do I need to take a screening test?

Your participation in the screening test allows you and your doctor to evaluate whether you are a good candidate for neurostimulation treatment. The purpose of the screening test is to determine your response to neurostimulation, if it reduces your back or leg pain, if it helps you meet your goals, and whether a neurostimulation system is the right pain treatment for you.


How long does the screening test take?

The screening test period lasts approximately 3 to 10 days.


Will it hurt?

You will have local anesthesia when the leads are placed. There may be some occasional discomfort during the procedure and you may have pain at the incision site once the anesthesia wears off. You should not have pain or discomfort during the rest of the screening test period.


Can I have pain medication during the screening test?

Your clinician may reduce or withdraw your oral medication 1 to 2 weeks prior to the test. During the screening test, oral medication may be given for breakthrough pain. Never stop taking your prescribed pain medication without first consulting your clinician.


Will I receive the same relief that I get during the screening test when I receive my permanent neurostimulator?

If the screening test has been successful and you go on to receive the permanent system, your pain relief may differ slightly. This is because the leads may be in a slightly different location than during the screening test. Be sure to tell your clinician about the way you feel so that changes can be made that will give you the best pain relief possible.


After the screening test, how long will it be until the neurostimulation system is implanted?

If the screening test is successful, you and your doctor will discuss when the system should be implanted. Some doctors prefer to do the implant right away while others prefer to wait a few days.


What type of anesthesia is used during the implant?

Typically, the implant of the neurostimulator is performed under general anesthesia. However, you may wish to talk with your doctor about other options.


What is the average length of the hospital stay?

Depending on your doctor's preference and hospital policy, a hospital stay may be recommended. However, the procedure may be performed on an outpatient basis, which means no overnight stay is required.


How big are the incisions?

There are two incisions. The one for the neurostimulation pocket depends on the size of your neurostimulator. The other, made on your back, is 2 to 3 inches long.


Are there other side effects associated with placing the lead so near the spinal cord?

In rare cases, you may experience a "spinal headache." A spinal headache is caused when cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds your spinal cord) leaks out from the intrathecal or epidural space. This headache may correct itself, or your doctor may treat it.


Is spinal cord damage a possible complication?

In rare cases, spinal cord injury may occur from surgical placement of the lead.


Can a previous abdominal incision be used?

No, because the incision needs to be made where the neurostimulator will be implanted to help properly anchor the device.


Between which vertebrae are the leads placed?

This depends on your specific condition and the results you received from the screening test. Your doctor will advise you of the recommended location.


Will I hear or feel the neurostimulation system inside me and will people notice it?

The neurostimulator does not make any noise. The device does not normally show through your clothes. It is usually implanted in the lower abdomen, where it is most comfortable and least visible. It may be felt as a small bulge under your skin.


Can the neurostimulator be removed?

Yes. The screening test is designed to minimize the possibility that neurostimulation will not help manage your pain. If you no longer need the neurostimulator or change your mind about the treatment, your doctor can turn off or completely remove the system at any time.


Will my insurance company pay for a neurostimulator?

Many insurance carriers will pay for neurostimulation. However, as with many pain treatments, your doctor will have to get approval from your insurance company before you can receive treatment. Consult your doctor or insurance carrier for more specific information.

Is the procedure covered by Medicare?

Neurostimulators are approved for coverage by Medicare. Medicare will pay 80% of the cost as long as the procedure is determined to be medically necessary. Talk to your doctor about the Medicare Conditions of Coverage.
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Comments

  • I know they said I would need to recharge it for about 4 hours every two weeks, :? I didnt think to ask how its charged, cant it be done while sleeping, watching tv, is there a belt that you wear so the remote and stem touch? since I wear low rider jeans then NS said he would place it in my lower right back, and I also told him I sleep on my left side, Tues nov 23 is the BIG day. Thanks Rose
  • hatcher6040hhatcher6040 Posts: 3
    edited 11/16/2012 - 7:24 AM
    Hello,
    I am considering having a spinal cord stimulater put in. I have had three back surgeries and am still in a lot of pain. The first surgery involved a micro disketomy at my L4/L5. I had some relief for a couple of days and then right back to the major pain in my legs and back. I went back under the knife two months later after discovering that my L4/5 had reherniated and my L5/S1 had herniated. I was very carfeul in my daily activities during my recovery. I then had a series of unfortunate events.. I fell flat on my butt after an ice storm and things went down hill from there. Right after that fall I slipped and fell down the stairs at the house ( I live in Alaska so ice and snow are inherent risks of being Alaskan). I went back to the doctor and after another series of MRIs/ Catscans found out that both levels were herniated again. After much hoopla with my pain management doctor and surgeons in Anchorage, I decided to seek out more advanced help in the lower 48. Last August I underwent a disc replacement @ L4/5 and fusion @ L5/S1. A year later I am still in a lot of pain.... My doctor suggested that I consider a spinal cord stimulater. It scares me, having to live with this device, but the options are- existing on massive amounts of pills. Can anyone give me their take on living with this thing? Is it worth it or should I just continue living on pills?
    Thanks,
    Scarlet
  • I had a spinal fusion last May and my Dr. now wants to do the neuro stim screening test. The fusion was on L4-L5 and the very next day one of the screws fell out and they had to re-operate a week later to remove the two scres on the right side. Since the surgery the sciatica is gone but pain in my lower back persists. How effective is the stim for this area.? I am 63 years old and have so much trouble walking sitting and standing. Will the stim really help one or more of these symptoms? I need feedback from those of you who have had this proceedure, please.
  • Hi there I am contemplating the spinal cord stim, but am very scared after reading a lot of the information on the web...I am that if it can go wrong it will go wrong girl...I have had 4 back surg...with the last being a fusion revision of l4 l5 s1 seem to have exhausted all avenues and am now told I have failed back syndrome....anyone got any advice for me
  • pandqmamappandqmama Posts: 175
    edited 02/28/2013 - 2:16 PM
    I to have fbss after only two back surgeries. I am waiting the permanent implant of the scs, had the trial this past November. I also am concerned of the things that could go wrong, but the amount of pain I live with drives me to try almost anything. There are the horror stories but there are also success stories too. The trial went very well for me and I am relieved that it even worked for me. Has someone told you that you were a canidate for scs?
  • jiffreyjjiffrey Posts: 8
    edited 07/30/2013 - 11:34 PM
    I just got my implant on 07/26/2013 and I am in the first stage of recovery, thank goodness for ice it has helped. I have notice that as the pain from implant leads goes down more pain from the battery implant, hoping ice will cure this. I have been using the device and have slowed considerably on pain meds. I will be seeing the St Jude person to go over more control options. I have crossed every thing I have in hopes this gets me off pain pills for the most part and back to a more active life style and work life. Fusion from L3 to S1.
    Jeffrey Alexander
  • johnand carlaljjohnand carlal Posts: 1
    edited 08/02/2013 - 6:51 AM
    I have had fusions in L3 and L4 , L4 and L5. Then I had the stimulator implanted. This has helped with my leg pain but not with my chronic back pain. There are some days I could not even get out of bed. In Jan of this year, I started to get severe pain in the right buttock and it extended down my right leg. I have always had butt and leg pain but nothing like this. The pain went into my hip when I walked more that 5 mins. My doctor did a CT scan and it said I had a small protusion at L2 L3 and also at L5 S1. He wanted to get a better look at it so he ordered a myelogram. That test was inconclusive and he simply told me that there was nothing surgically he could do for me. He didnt even offer a suggestion of what I should do. I felt abandoned, especially after he has been helping me for 5 years now.
    I decided to call the
    (edited to remove the name of the physicians office.)
    Institute after family refered me to them. When I called for the appointment, they asked my history, and when I said I had a Spinal cord stimulator in me, they said they would not see me because of that. No other explanation. Crazy.
    I am going to see another surgeon on the 12 of August. Hopefully he can help me.
    john j lindenman
  • I had a fantastic response to the temporary spinal cord stimulator.........then they implanted it permanently and i am still in so much pain......i've had a lot of re-calibrations from the rep with no improvement.........now my PM wants to refer me to a NS for a paddle.........has anyone had a similar response??
  • Red621
    I asked and was given a lot of advice before I did have my SCS implant done.
    In my opinion,my surgeons opinion and my pain doctors opinion we did a paddle because they are attached in a way that they have less chance of migration. If your trial went well your implant should be better. A couple of reason that change this are your leads were not placed in the perfect place for you or they have migrated ( moved ) from the right position.
    Your doctor should try relocating them for better coverage before doing surgery to place a paddle. The paddle requires a small laminectomy. One small hint, laminectomys hurt for a few days to a week. They are really painful.
    I would ask about moving the leads for better coverage. One eighth of a inch can make a difference in allowing the rep to program and cover your pain.
    Good luck it most be frustrating when you had a good trial and now this. Don't give up yet.
  • Had the trial from 12-11-13 to 12-19-13 when it was installed permanently. Had the paddle installed between the shoulders surgically. So it's now 1-17-14. Gonna change programs around next week and "fine tune". Are there times of improvement like a 6 month marker or 1 year marker. I am still "playing" with options to see what suits me best. L4-S1 are fused. Having ilium pain or pain that radiates out to the upper hips from center lower spine but also days from hip balls to upper hips. Like most I guess; I'm lost. Is Failed Back Syndrome a general term for we don't know? I LOVE MY JOB AND CAN'T WORK. I'm a Barber. At least up until about 5 years ago when I lost everything but my wife and family. She's been GREAT. Want better for my family. Any advice or suggestions appreciated. Also, been denied disability twice so far. Appealing now. I fall a lot. Can't stand or walk a lot. Again, any help appreciated. Using Allsup as disability rep..
    Him dat give the bushy tail to da squirrel, give da bobtail to da rabbit.
  • Hi
    Yes IMHO there are a few times in which are like landmarks on your stimulator.
    One month after implant was a improvement. Next was six months has the paddle scars in and then again at one year it seems to be more solid and programming seems to stay the same. All through this process reprogramming is important when ever needed. Do not be afraid to ask for it. I had my second unit implanted about eight weeks ago and just had the first reprogramming done and just small changes were made. Find out how many changes you can make on your own.medtronics is pretty simple Boston locks some out unless they feel you know what to do.
    You say your falling a lot. That worries me because it can move your lead which isn't a good thing. If you do fall and your coverage changes a lot contact your rep and let them know.
    Later the paddle will scar in and might even become non moveable which is great if it's in a good place.
    Anyway good luck hope it works for you. I have no idea how much damage you have but it took me four years before I gave up trying to work. If you get the coverage you need who knows what you can do in the future. Never give up.
  • Hello. I am considering neuro stim and hoping for the peripheral subcutaneous variety (trouble with the insurance company -- "experimental") , but may just end up with the traditional SCS. Regardless, the implant is the same. While I would do anything for pain relief (mid/high back) after 4 years of this and a failed fusion, I am wondering about the aesthetics. I am thin and the surgeon told me that the implant would show through the skin. I have some anxiety around this because I think (and hope!) if I can get my life back, it would include athletics, bikinis on the beach, dating, etc. I know this sounds superficial and it truly won't change my mind if this is something that provides relief, but I still wonder about these things. I would appreciate any comments/advice anyone may have. Thank you!!!
  • chrelseycchrelsey Posts: 90
    edited 01/25/2014 - 8:38 AM
    I received my Medtronic SCS one month ago yesterday, and here are my thoughts.

    First, the pain relief has been incredible! Seriously. I am experiencing between 60-75% pain relief. I've been able to step down from taking Oxycodone, and am now just on Hydrocodone. And over the next couple of months, I hope to be off of that entirely, except as needed for any breakthrough pain. I, too have had surgeries, procedures, ablations, etc. My normal pain level for YEARS was a 7-8 on any given day, and now I would say it is a 1-2. I hadn't slept in bed for longer than an hour at night - also for years. Just last night I stayed in bed for 7 hours before having to move to the recliner. That is HUGE!

    Now, about the aesthetic issue. I am not thin, and I am not overweight. I am working on getting off 10-15 lbs, but I don't have a lot of extra padding on my back where they put my unit. I feel it sticking out, but when I point it out to my husband, or say "Look! Can't you SEE that!" He tells me that he can't tell at all. And, he's not just being nice (although he is a sweetheart!), he is just being honest.

    All of that to say, I'm not sure what it will look like on your frame, and if just you will be able to tell, or if others will as well. For me, personally, I am just so glad to have pain relief, that I don't care if anyone sees it. And if they should, hey - what a great story! My son - who is 27 - loves to say that now I'm his cyborg mom!

    Anyway - keep us posted on what kind of implant you get - should you get one - and how it is doing for you!

    =Becky
  • hopetogetwellhhopetogetwell Posts: 35
    edited 02/02/2014 - 12:43 PM
    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I know the pain relief is the most important....it's really the only thing! But, I let my mind get ahead of itself and consider what my life will be like as a pain free (or less pain) person, dating, etc. as mentioned and conjure up thoughts that a potential mate would be horrified by this "thing" sticking out of me. Also, I was always the girl who worked out with the guys at the gym for heavy workouts, crossfit, etc. and it became a lot of who I was and I want that again....in all my same clothes...nothing sticking out of them. :) All I can say in my defense is that I've been in such severe pain for so long and want to have a normal life so badly that, perhaps, some crazy comes out. :) :). The fact of the matter is that nothing exists now that did before and I will have to rebuild to get friends again as well as to get back out in the world. Essentially, square one. That said, I realize that I am putting the cart before the horse with these thoughts, big time.

    I can't even imagine being at a 1-2! That's amazing and I'm so happy for you, cyborg mom (that's so funny!). I'm glad you have that kind of support from your husband and your son. I'm quite sure I would be less concerned about the aesthetic part of this if I already had a boyfriend/husband and some kind of support.

    Okay, the update: My neurosurgeon had the "peer to peer" consult with the insurance company doc yesterday and they approved the subcutaneous peripheral stim (Boston Scientific) even though they stand by their "experimental" assessment. Apparently, however, they have stipulated that my trial will go a full 3 weeks and require other modifications that I will find out about on Monday. I don't have a firm grasp on the restrictions during the trial other than I know I can't shower ....good grief....for 3 weeks. Also, I am on the calendar to get the trial on Monday, Feb. 10. Regardless of how I feel about any of this, the reality is that I can't survive without pain relief. Although, I take some pain pills that I have been prescribed over the years from the "leftovers", on occasion (hoping for any relief!); I stopped getting prescriptions and taking anything regularly and even went 4 months taking nothing. The fact of the matter is that the medicine doesn't help my pain.

    Thanks again for sharing.....it helps a lot!!

    Amy

  • I am having surgery on Monday. I just got a call from the hospital today and they asked me if I was staying over. I then told her that I didn't know, was I? She said the doctor reserved a bed for me and it could be possible. I asked her how I would know and she told me it depended on how I felt. Won't I be on pain meds and not really know how I will feel. My surgery is in the morning. I am getting my leads put in up by shoulder blades and neck. Not sure if that makes a difference. I also have a 45 minute ride home. Any suggestions? Kind of confused.
  • chrelsey said:
    I received my Medtronic SCS one month ago yesterday, and here are my thoughts.

    First, the pain relief has been incredible! Seriously. I am experiencing between 60-75% pain relief. I've been able to step down from taking Oxycodone, and am now just on Hydrocodone. And over the next couple of months, I hope to be off of that entirely, except as needed for any breakthrough pain. I, too have had surgeries, procedures, ablations, etc. My normal pain level for YEARS was a 7-8 on any given day, and now I would say it is a 1-2. I hadn't slept in bed for longer than an hour at night - also for years. Just last night I stayed in bed for 7 hours before having to move to the recliner. That is HUGE!

    Now, about the aesthetic issue. I am not thin, and I am not overweight. I am working on getting off 10-15 lbs, but I don't have a lot of extra padding on my back where they put my unit.
    =Becky
    I just finished my trial and had basically the same results as you for relief. I also have the same general goal with weight. Right now, it feels like I am slipping back into a pit I just climbed out of. I can't wait to get through the perm implant surgery now!
    Murraytscan@yahoo.com
    L4-L5 fused at birth (congenital malformity). L-5-S1 bulge/degeneration, L3-L4 bulge/degeneration. Permanent nerve damage L5-S1 and L3-L4. Fused C5-C7.
  • Mid-high back is not the best stimulator coverage area. When my doc (and some of you may know that the doc I use at Emory has written the book on stimulators but there are many who are well qualified) talked to me about where my pain was and what would work, he placed his hands around my waist and asked me if pain was above, at or below where his hands were. I said it was all lower and he said Great! Middle/upper back doesn't tend to get best outlook. PM me if you need more info. Kathy
  • I have been recommended to try SCS for my pain relief. Good days for me my pain is 5-6. I've had injections, ablations, etc. with little to no relief. I have had fusion of L3-L4 and L4-L5, with complications, so am doing everything I can to avoid more surgery. Those that have had SCS have you had long term relief, or only temporary?

    Any insight would be appreciated.
  • jiffrey said:
    I just got my implant on 07/26/2013 and I am in the first stage of recovery, thank goodness for ice it has helped. I have notice that as the pain from implant leads goes down more pain from the battery implant, hoping ice will cure this. I have been using the device and have slowed considerably on pain meds. I will be seeing the St Jude person to go over more control options. I have crossed every thing I have in hopes this gets me off pain pills for the most part and back to a more active life style and work life. Fusion from L3 to S1.
    PLUS I am fused at C5 to C6 just for fun.... YOU give me hope since you are the first I have read with nearly as many fusions. Did you ever have bad pain from back muscle pain and spams as well? Did this device help with that? That is the pain that is destroying me. But every single time I get ready to sing on to my pain managements insistence for me to try this, I panic and back away after reading Wikipedia and other links to nightmare scenarios.. I honestly can NOT bear one single additional mistake. I just can't....
    Fusion With Hardware C5/C6
    Fusion With Hardware L3 THROUGH S1
  • Bill85308 said:
    I have been recommended to try SCS for my pain relief. Good days for me my pain is 5-6. I've had injections, ablations, etc. with little to no relief. I have had fusion of L3-L4 and L4-L5, with complications, so am doing everything I can to avoid more surgery. Those that have had SCS have you had long term relief, or only temporary?

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    My SCS has been a HUGE success. I got it in May of 13 and I continue to have relief.
    Murraytscan@yahoo.com
    L4-L5 fused at birth (congenital malformity). L-5-S1 bulge/degeneration, L3-L4 bulge/degeneration. Permanent nerve damage L5-S1 and L3-L4. Fused C5-C7.
  • SCS units are a great tool to try for help in pain control. Not a fix but they help a lot in my case. You will have a trial for up to or about five days. This will let you know if it well be any help for you. I have two units, a medtronics and a Boston Sci. Both work well and are comparable.

    Good Luck
  • Due to several operations, and a lumbar fusion with instrumentation, I have suffered chronic back pain for many years. Tramadol has given me some relieve, but over time the pain has progressively become much more intense. My most recent M RI, indicates that nothing medically can ease the pain. My Neurosurgeon recommended a spinal cord stimulator. I just saw a specialist in the field of spinal cord stimulator who wants to put me on a Medtronic five day trial. I am very new at this, I do need the in put and support of someone in this forum who has had a spinal cord stimulation implanted. I do not know what to expect, and quite apprehensive. I do thank in advance any one who will be so kind as to put some light into a matter that is unknown to me.
  • Thank you so much for your most helpful information. Just yesterday I was fitted with the Medtronic spinal cord stimulation trial unit. It is quite a new experience, but it is helping with my chronic back pain involving the right leg. I am being told that I am a good candidate for the permanent implantation. The trial unit is coming off the day after tomorrow will then have to make a decision. more in put on your part would be most welcome
    Thanks again.
    AR
  • I have what is now being called FBSS (from a surgery to fuse L4-5, L5-S1 done in 2010) . I live in a very remote area and my primary doctor has been great in that he prescribes 50mg Fentanyl patches which I change every other day. I still am in a lot of pain and have all the symptoms described in FBSS, but I have (barely) been able to continue my employment with a 36-hour work week. However, I'm not sure how much longer I can continue to work and just discovered today the SCS. I am in Northern California and don't know who I should even consult with to discuss this option. Does anyone have any suggestions for a medical doctor that I can go to?
  • I am a 43 yo female & had torn L4-5 disk about 12 yrs ago. My doc did an IDET procedure (he actually developed it but they are out dated & no longer done.) and it worked wonderfully. I had no problems for 11 years. About a year ago, by lower back pain came back with a vengance. Back to pain management doc, another fun discogram revealed torn L 4-5 and L5-S1 discs with pain caused by fluid leaking on nerves. Pain radiated into my hips & behind, then the sciatica set in. We tried epidural injections, but they increased the pain exponentially. Pain pills kept increasing, added narcotic patch and slowly lost ability to participate in most activities due to pain. In April, I had the stimulator trial & the leads rolled into the gutter causing horrible abdominal stimulation better referred to as 'zapping' every time I changed positions, laughed, coughed, etc. In an effort to salvage the trial, I went back in & had the leads pulled down (and back toward the center) for better placement & stimulation. We were at least able to get stimulation in my hips & behind, and decided to go ahead with the permanent implant (surgery was done by neurosurgeon). Today is 4 weeks post surgery. I am small framed (117 lbs) and he had some difficulty getting the paddle lead placed. The laminectomy and incision were more than expected & I had to stay overnight with a drain in the incision. At the 1 week mark I still had pain but was able to go into the office for part of the day then work from home. At 2 weeks, my staples were removed & I had bizarre swelling. It looked like there was a golf ball under the bottom half of my incision. They suspected a pocket of fluid so they attempted ultrasound & aspiration with no luck. Needless to say, i backed off my working hours. 2 days later, the entire spinal incision was puffed out like a little pillow, so he ordered a ct scan & lab work to rule out fluid leak or infection. Everything came back ok, only showing a bit of cellulitis, so he put me on an antibiotic just to cover our bases. 5 days later the headache & nausea set in. I just felt icky! That was 1 week ago today. I went in to see him on Friday. My incisions look really well & show no visible signs of infection, just still a bit puffy depending on the time of day. The headache & nausea & horrible feeling is really bad by that point, so he suspected a possible spinal fluid leak & put me on bedrest for the weekend. Monday morning brought no change. Today, I had a CT Myelogram that was absolutely fine. I'm glad I don't have a leak, but why do I feel like crap? He is now ordering a lumbar puncture to check for menengitis and a head CT. This has me more than a little on edge. Has anyone else had the headache & nausea like this? What else could it possibly be? He's talking about sending me back to the pain management doc to see if he can figure it out. Any words of wisdom out there???
  • I urge all of you to look into a new SCS technology called Stimwave. Same technology as Medtronic, BS, and SJ but completely MRI safe, no invasive surgery, ie no battery implanted under the skin. The battery and generator is worn on a small cloth belt instead of implanted under the skin. It has been FDA approved in the U.S. and numerous procedures have already been performed in Florida, Texas, and Chicago. Stimwave is going to revitionize the SCS industry by giving patients with chronic pain a non invasive approach to SCS that is just as effective without a rigorous surgery.
  • paula wilsonppaula wilson Posts: 1
    edited 01/27/2016 - 7:58 PM
    Ihave multilevel degenerative disc disease ,a left sided disc herniation at T12-L1 level, iI have osteoporosis in hip andback , i lose feeling in mymy legs all the time, I'm in pain all the time ,I can't sleep for the pain ,I now have to take blood pressure pills ,the pain keeps my blood pressure high ,what can I do ,help

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    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
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  • Dadio60DDadio60 Posts: 1
    edited 01/28/2016 - 5:19 AM
    I had a Medtronic spinal cord implant surgery in February of 2015. It has worked well for me. It doesn't eliminate all the pain but makes it manageable. I charge it while going about my daily routine with the belt recharger. It is programmable for just about every position which is a huge plus. It was a long process for me because of insurance issues but was well worth it!
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,667
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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  • Here is my experience with an SCS trial, never made it to the implant stage and I never will after this!!!

    I went for the outpatient trial of the Medtronic device and suffered complete paralysis within 1 hour (trying to get
    relief from a pinched nerve). The wire lead at the T8 area somehow created a
    blood leak (epidural hematoma) that traveled from the T5 and pooled around the
    L3. After all the emergency issues that follow such a problem, I now have some
    feeling after 3 weeks and learning how to walk and do other things completely
    foreign to my body. What will return or the outcome for me is unknown.
    The DR I chose had a 25 year record I reviewed and never had a problem reported.

    If you have heard of this problem with the leads
    in a simulator trial please inform with a contact is possible. My wife and I have searched and cannot find a like
    problem. Would like to know of others is possible.



    Best of luck. I tried it all but acupuncture for a pinched nerve. With what I know now with implants I would never alow anything placed in my body.



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