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Any Experiences with a fall after stimulator implant

winkerwwinker Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
My husband has had his spinal stimulator for one year. He was on pain meds for the whole year and just got off of them. Yeah. He was actually really starting to feel better mentally and physically until last week when he fell off of a ladder about four feet off the ground and onto his back. He is now having pain similar to the pain he had before the stimulator implant and also experiencing shock like sensations out of the blue. He says that he feels like he has been hit by lightening when it happens. He has been driving all this time with the stimulator on and had no problems but now he is afraid to. He has an appointment with the Pain Clinic next week but he is afraid that he will have to have the whole thing done over.

Any horror stories on this from anyone?


  • i have no had any accidents since my implant 10 months ago. But if he is having problems i would call the Pain Center back and tell them what has happened. My PC would get me in quickly. He could had pulled a lead loose or trapped it against his spine ,muscle or tendon. He should not take this lightly. If every thing else fails theres always the ER.
  • Bummer that your husband fell in the first place and even more so that he is now experiencing issues with his SCS. There are any number of things that could have occurred with the fall and the good thing is, with diagnostics and X-ray any problem can be identified.

    I damaged my SCS at about the 1 year mark and had to have repairs done. The revision surgery is far less painful than the original and the doc will do everything possible to minimize what has to be repaired or replaced.

    Do you know what brand and model SCS your husband has? Does he have percutaneous leads? Does he have one lead or two?

    The zapping from the SCS usually indicates a failure of the lead or lead wire. Impact from a motor vehicle accident is generally the biggest cause of damage to a lead. So I would think that a fall may mimic that sort of impact.

    I had a wire come loose and when I wold move a certain way it would pull out of the battery ever so slightly and "bite" me in a way that although similar to a nerve zap, was obviously an electrical zap from the battery.

    Has your husband contacted his company rep yet? The rep may be able to talk him through some simple diagnostics over the phone if not meet up with him before his pain clinic appointment. That way the doc can be prepared for looking into the problem.

  • Hopefully it'll be something easy enough to fix, it does sound like he pulled a lead or something though, especially with the zaps.

    I haven't fallen, thank goodness, but I came really close to it the other day - there was a big drop in the sidewalk that I didn't see and it was one of the first days that I wasn't using my walker. My mom pretty much had to pry it out of my hands for a few days after that... lol
  • Although it isn't common place you could have damaged a lead. I damaged a lead by bumping into a exit door release bar. It zapped me and would every time it cycled. I called the Rep and they did all they could to fix it...ended up turning off that one lead and I had to wait for a revision. At least I had the other leads working in the mean time. Don't wait. Explain to them it is zapping you and they should see you immediately, if not you might want to think about going to the ER to get medial attention as this zapping really hurts and if you don't have any pain medication it will be a long weekend.
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