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Feel pressured by Doc

kateybeansmomkkateybeansmom Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Hi, I am looking for feedback from people who have had both successful and unsuccessful SPS surgery. I am being scheduled for the trial soon and I am very anxious about the procedure. I feel like my Dr. is pushing this on me but on the other hand I do not want another back surgery. Have had 4 previously and had complications I would rather not live thru. I suffer from constant back and leg pain that brings my life to a screeching halt most of the time. I have a 4 y/o who doesnt understand why mommy can't do all the used to with her. My Doc says that he does not use sedation and that scares the life out of me, have had injections and just those were excrutiating. I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing. If anyine can help I would greatly appreciate it.


  • Relax, take a time out. The trial is not that bad. Is your Doctor saying that he doesn't even use twilight anaesthesia during the trial? I've never had any sedation for any of my injections but was given versed while he placed the trial. You need to be awake when they insert the leads so you can tell them if they have the coverage right. You may want to mention to him that you are very nervous and would prefer something to take the edge off.

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask, we have a great group here of SCS patients.

  • Hi, and welcome to spine health!

    I'm also trying to make a decision regarding a SCS trial so I won't be able to answer your question, but the title of your post caught my attention.

    I really think before you proceed you need to sit down and have an honest discussion with your doctor. I think the SCS decision is a very personal decision, and it is not one that you should feel pressured for. I think sometimes doctors think we expect miracles, and therefore feel pressure from us as patients. In return, there can be some pressure to make decisions and take advantage of what they have to offer. Unfortunately with chronic pain once you exhaust the conservative options it generally comes down to meds or a SCS, so it can feel like pressure to choose one, if that makes sense? If you'd be comfortable, I would even mention to your doctor that you are feeling pressured and need to make sure this is the right decision. He may be able to give you more info, or more of his reasoning why he is recommending this for you that could put you more at ease with the decision and the process. I also think it is really important to discuss the sedation- why is he so adamantly opposed? Like dave, I'm a person who has never had sedation for injections, but I know with the SCS trial the pain center I go to normally uses light sedation.

    I guess I just hear the anxiety over whether or not this is the best decision because I'm there too, and I feel like your doctor needs to be aware that this is a *big* decision and not one that you need to be pressured into just because he has no other alternatives to offer. Good luck, and keep us posted on how the trial goes. Hopefully others can share their experiences and help put you at ease over the decision...

  • Thank you for the input and info. You are right about talking with my doctor for sure. I appreciate you taking the time to respond and wish you well with your trial as well!!
  • Thank you as well for your response. Any and all input I can get for this is greatly appreciated!!
    Thanks again,
  • Jeanae,

    I am looking at having a SCS placed myself and I was wondering if you have had yours put in and if so how did it go?? I've had 6 surgeries and we are trying to put off a fusion so I am hoping this would help me cope with the pain so I can function.
  • Become informed prior to getting a SCS. My PM mentioned it to me over a year ago. I researched it on the web until i was as informed as i thought i could be. I had my permant implant done on July 7 2009. I do not regret a minute of it. For the trial they usually utilize a twilight sedation. You must be able to tell them if and where you can feel the stimulation. This is very important. The leads must be in the right place in order to be of benefit. If all goes well and you decide, then its on to the permant implant. Here they utilize twilight sedation until the decide the leads are again positioned correctly, thens its off to sleep you go until everything is in place properly. In my case, neither the trial or permanant were really that bad. Yes there will be some discomfort but if you get up and slowly move around a little it helps. The thing to realize is that a SCS goal is to help with about 50% of your pain. Its not a cure all. Everyone is different, so it may help others more. Never allow a Dr to pressure you int oanything. My PM is great. She informs me of what can be done, then lets me decide . We work as a TEAM. Its my body and her expertise. The search button is your friend.
  • I would be happy with 50% and if it does nothing then back to the drawing board. The pain I live with right now is horrible so getting some relief would be great. My doc was pretty good about explaining the odds and he is trying to take a conservative approach with me. Thanks for the info regarding sedatation it's helpful to know what I might be expecting.
  • Dear KBM,
    I had the trial done in Feb (only a 6 day trial) and got pushed , no railroaded, into making a decision about getting the Spinal Column Stimulators put in. I got that done March 12. For me they don't work, but then again I have muscle spasms from hell- not the sharp burning pain you have. My advice to you is to read this web site for the next 6 months intensely before making a decision. Don't let your doc push you into any decisions either.-Paul
  • IMO the trial SCS procedure was a walk in the park compared to the pain of getting spinal nerve block injections.
    And if you DO go for the permanent, just communicate with Dr ahead of time your 'anxiety' and (in my case) I was WIDE awake, but they shot a little local anesthesia at the incision site everytime i whimpered 'oouuuch'..... :)
    Numbed my hiney up real good and my Dr is slick enuf at what he does, it went quickly and smoothly. It was actually a bit amusing hearing how 'they' talk in the OR while working on a patient.
    Communication is KEY. If you have any red flags whatsoever regarding your Dr's confidence in what he does, then think twice.

    God Bless
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