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Charging SCS battery

sandy nursessandy nurse Posts: 75
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I had my SCS implanted in April. I am wondering how often others have to recharge theirs. I know that the more you use it, then you will need to recharge more frequently. I use mine all the time and only turn it off during the time I recharge. I am recharging it every other day (when the message to recharge comes on the unit) I can't put pressure on the unit when charging or it gives the beeping alert. Any advice on recharging is appreciated.


  • Is your SCS for your lower spine? Do you have paddle leads or percutaneous leads? How long does it take to fully charge?

    Normally those who have an SCS for their lower spine go through the battery far faster than those with a c-spine SCS. The power settings required to penetrate the dura in the lower spine a generally higher. Another thing that plays into battery consumption is pulse width. A longer pulse width will consume more power as well. Also depending on the number of programs that you are running, if they are set up to run sequentially, will tend to consume more power as well.

    Have you spoken to your rep yet and asked for a read on it?

    I have a c-spine SCS and run three sequential programs all the time, including while charging. I charge once every week and don't let my battery get below 25%. It takes about 3 to 3.5 hours to recharge from 25%.

  • My SCS is in the lower back. I remember the rep did set the width wider. I am not sure what type leads I have. Sounds like I need to make a list of questions before my visit with the rep next week. Thanks for your response.
  • Sandy-
    I charge every other day, maybe every 3rd day sometimes. I have 3 leads at T8, Medtronic, for lower back, hip, and thigh pain. I put the belt on before I go to bed and when I wake up in the middle of the night to take a biology break, it's all done.

    Since I can't sleep without it on, I charge while it's running. What's your logic in turning it off whileyou charge? Are you just trying to save time? If so, I highly recommend charging at night. That way if it takes 2, 4, or even more hours, you won't notice.

    Good luck-
  • I sometimes think that there is something wrong with mine.

    I charge about once a month, honest. When I told my PM that he looked at me like I was not being honest.

    I have one cervical lead and they must have gotten it right exactly where it needs to be.

    I Have the Medtronic Advanced, which is larger and one of the things it mentions is having a long battery life, mine sure does! It's a little bit bigger and bulkier than the Ultra and those made by the other makers though. Sometimes it can be a pain in the ...

    I can't sleep and charge mine though. The belt won't stay in place at all. I usually charge in my recliner watching TV or a movie.
  • I've had my implant a little over 6 months now. I have the same unit as Wrambler, so my battery life is a little better. I have two leads in the upper lumbar/lower thoracic area. My rep thought I was full of crap when I told him that I only had to charge every 10 days. According to him, I have the most complex programs of any of his patients. I'm thankful for the fantastic battery they gave me. I actually charge every Sunday night, cause that's where I worked it into my schedule.

  • was charging every other day for over a year and it was driving me crazy, having been told I should probably charge once a week.

    Then I went for the 5th time I think to get reprogrammed and she gave me the most awesome program. (I am not given details at all, and cannot do any programming myself), but this time, I can turn each leg up or down individually, plus then overall turn myself up or down. (I have 2 percutaneous leads with the ANS/St. Jude Eon Mini).

    Now, I charge maybe every 3-4 weeks? It is so far apart, I haven't kept track. I almost forget to check the battery! lol I am so surprised, as this is THE strongest program of all the ones they have given me, so I am completely shocked that it doesn't suck the battery like my former "favorite" program.

    Mine is for lumbar and is placed around L-2, which I was told is lower than normal (for my surgeon anyway).

  • "C" pretty much said it all!
    I've got dual percutaneous lumbar leads and use my pulse rate at 55 (anything below 40 causes that 'thumping' and I do not like that), so I up the rate to 50-55 and it's a smoother 'buzzing'.....

    All these things into consideration (and the fact that I have the smallest unit available) add up to having to charge more often (once every 3 days at half tank)

    And yes, it takes longer to charge while battery is running. So, i turn mine off and it takes about 2 hrs to charge if I charge battery at half full.
    Sometimes I just top it off whenever the mood strikes me. I don't want to take the chance of letting the battery go down too far, as this can cause irreversible damage (at least that's what the Medtronics told me), plus it would probably take about 4 or 5 hrs to charge. And, no, I wouldn't recommend charging while sleeping. I fell asleep once and it left a heck of a 'dent' and my battery site wasn't too happy.
    Just my 3 1/2 cents.
    Peace all :)
  • Mack, I turn mine off while charging because I tried to charge it while it was running and it seemed to only hold at the same level. My SCS is by Boston Scientific. The implanted unit is very small and the remote is about the size of my cell phone.

    Rae, I agree with you about the rate, I like mine at 50 to 60. I mess with the settings all day trying to control the pain and I think that might be some of the reason that my battery runs down so soon. I am just thankful to have the relief it gives me.

    Thanks to everyone for the info.
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