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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I have become increasingly concerned the last few months over the developing attitude that spinal cord stimulation is okay to try even without addressing the root of an individual's problem.

Normally I would stay out of a discussion like this, but this really worries me based on the direction this developing attitude is sending the mindset of different state governments and health insurers. Just recently in my own home state, there was a push to consider policy changes that may limit patient access to important therapies such as spinal cord stimulation. Since it is a very expensive therapy government officials are looking towards it as a way to cut expenditures from their budgets.

As patients we ourselves are somewhat to blame for this because we are driving the numbers through the roof in regards to trial stimulator and permanent implant failures. In a desire to find relief from relentless chronic pain, patients are seeking out spinal cord stimulation versus seeking out other conventional or traditional treatments and possible surgical interventions. Some are even seeking it out, because it appears to be the "latest and greatest" pain management device.

Until recently, spinal cord stimulation and drug pumps were deemed a treatment of last resort. Now it seems that patients and financially challenged companies are campaigning to move one or both therapies into more of the "avoid surgery" category. By doing this they/we are beginning to create the statistics needed by governments and insurance companies to show how "ineffective" spinal cord stimulation is. When in reality spinal cord stimulation is extremely effective in the right cases.

Better patient screening should be being carried out by doctors and "jumping on the bandwagon" requests should be discouraged.

Also jumbled up in this mess, is the issue with regards to the long term use and prescribing of opiates. The more that the government cracks down on PM docs to "squelch" prescription drug abuse the more inclined they are to recommend spinal cord stimulation versus drug therapy.

So what can we as patients do?

What as patients should we do?

Just some thoughts on a subject near and dear to my heart.



  • Yes!
    I live in rural mid USA and I advocate a support group for SCS'ers. What I have been seeing is that it's the DOCTORs who are pushing these units (moreso than patients requesting them - most patients are scared and very leary of the SCS) and it almost appears as tho the Dr's are pushing them because of the huge kickback they get financially.
    It is unbelievable to me that the average cost of a SCS(including the trial & permanent surgery expenses) is around 100K !! And I'm only speaking of the percutaneous lead implantation....not the more involved (laminectomy)!

    In some cases patients seem to actually be getting blackballed! If they 'don't' try the SCS, the Dr will turn their nose up at them and lead the patient to believe they are crying wolf with their pain.
    And yes, I agree regarding the DEA/controlled med issues......From what I'm seeing in my neck of the woods, it's as tho it's the doctors 'easy way out' to push the SCS because they don't want to hassle with the 'little stuff' ie: prescribing long-term pain control. IMO the 'war on drugs' has gone WAY over the top, leaving chronic pain sufferers with inadequate pain control, which is driving the suicide rate UP! No matter how you slice the pie, the recreational drug users win.
    This is just what I am perceiving from my neck of the woods. Hopefully you'll get more feedback from folks in urban areas.

    The immediate future in our healthcare is a VERY frightening thing......it's like watching the Titanic sink in slow motion...right before our eyes.
  • C - I must agree with you.

    For years, I thought I would have surgery. I kept looking into it, but I did not understand how it might impact me negatively, until I went after medical research and case studies, covering the entire gambit of surgeries. After a time - I realized that I had been saved from a fate, because I probably would have had a failed back syndrome.

    With the SCS - I was made aware of it, and did check it out as a therapy. I have severe sten. DDD. since I was 20 or so. Pain = discomfort = has been my partner for almost 30 years now. And even with that, instead of popping around from idea to idea, I have kept working on myself, to find the best things that help.

    I have looked at SCS and I see it as another tool, in the box. But I also took my surgeons advice, when asked about this. His comment was that he would rather leave that option, until later, when things that we are using now - do not work. I see no need to keep pushing his limits, on my care, or disregarding his advice, just because I think it might be better. He has the experience to let me know what he thinks will work. I still trust his judgment, just as he trusts mine, to be honest about how I am doing and what I really need to get "feeling better".

    And that has been my motto - I keep using what works, I do everything I am suppose to and I keep researching new ways to modify the discomfort. The mind is a powerful computer and it can be reprogrammed.

    In the end - with a long term attitude - I would rather have a few more things to try, as time goes by, than use them all up and be sitting there in a pity party wondering - "why did it not work for me"
  • Thanks for the replies so far. It is nice to get the views of others on a subject like this. I was recently contacted by the manufacturing company of my SCS to help explain to the state government how effective spinal cord stimulation is and that it is not some eccentric treatment that really has no impact on a person's ability to function.

    I went from being unable to walk more than a few feet, to being a very functional individual once again. I shudder to think what would happen were I to lose support for my SCS therapy. My only other "option" right now is an experimental surgery to graft muscle and nerves to my head and neck by going through my jaw. Doesn't give me much of a warm fuzzy and doesn't even come with a moderate chance of success and does come with a chance that it could make things worse.

    When I read and experience personally how "department store" spinal cord stimulation has become in certain areas, it really upsets me. My first experience with Pain Management in my new home was like walking into a department store with product displays everywhere. Without even addressing my referral, this PM doc wanted to implant a second SCS. He wouldn't even listen to the fact that the medications do a decent job of keeping my legs fairly comfortable.

    Reading on-line about how "en-vogue" having an SCS seems to have become, just upsets me. These people are messing around with the future of the only therapy option I have left and one that is doing wonders for me.

    Thanks again for the replies!

  • Howdy C!

    When they told me I had Neuropathy in my right arm, and more importantly both legs, my NS "mentioned" the SCS. He told me "we aren't there yet", but if they can't figure out what is causing your Neuropathy, that might be the route - but that is *after* all other options are exhausted. That's why on here I saw many with Neuropathy issues getting them - freaked me out, hell, it still does, and I don't freak easily!!

    Since I know there are issues in my back that match were the leg Neuropathy is, same for my neck - I won't be accepting that option for a long time. I think there are still interventions that can be done on me. So I guess the long and the short of this thread in Miami? SCS is still looked at as the last option...when nothing else has worked. I think that is good, right?

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I had no idea the SCS cost that much.
    When i seen my PM last week, he told me he was concerned about the amount of norco i was taking as it could evenuatally mess up the kidney's.
    So he asked me what i thought about getting the SCS, i told him i would need to discuss it with my NS, so he said he would talk with my NS before i see the NS on 11/10,
    The PM answers to my NS so nothing get's done without him approving it. Whom i completely trust.
    But with work comp. paying the bills, i cant see any way they would approve those kind of additional costs.
    But for the patient it sounds like something to consider, rather then being dependent on mind fogging med's the rest of your life.
    The CD he gave me to watch, show's the mfg. is Medtronic.
  • I want to follow this thread VERY closely. I was told that sometime down the road we would be looking into this for me. Right now it scares the Jabez's out of me to even think of it lol ;)

    I am rather confused haglandc

    "As patients we ourselves are somewhat to blame for this because we are driving the numbers through the roof in regards to trial stimulator and permanent implant failures. In a desire to find relief from relentless chronic pain, patients are seeking out spinal cord stimulation versus seeking out other conventional or traditional treatments and possible surgical interventions. Some are even seeking it out, because it appears to be the "latest and greatest" pain management device."

    I would think most people would be lining up to get this if it would remove the insane world we live in called chronic pain... ??

    I am sure I am not understanding something correct here. Please explain to me - a lay person ( ie. ignorant lol )

    Here is what I understand - the gov thinks the SCS is being over used/abused and wants to limit it.
    People have jumped on the SCS band wagon BEFORE trying different options to handle there pain - hence why you posted what I copied in "quotes" above.

    AM I close ? lol ;)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • More and more it appears that patients who hear of spinal cord stimulation want to try it before trying less invasive, less risky medications and conventional therapies.

    The insanity of chronic pain is just that ... insane! It drives people to make decisions that they generally tend to regret later on in life.

    If I could live my life without spinal cord stimulation, I would in the blink of an eye. If I had tried using it before I tried everything else, I would not be as pleased with the results as I am today. It's not a perfect treatment, but my definition of perfect has been redefined by going through all I did prior to SCS therapy.

    Some doctors are genuinely recommending them to patients who have exhausted all other viable options. Some doctors are recommending them to anyone they feel they can convince to try one. Not in the true interest of the patient, but in the interest of gaining more experience and gaining more income. So many patients are being duped into thinking it is better to go with an SCS sooner rather than later.

    Because of this, many are rushed through trials and while still confused as to the trial results, are convinced to proceed with a permanent implant. It's not long before they feel the unit is ineffective, their rep is a horrible programmer or some other reason that the SCS does not work. So after the huge expense of the implant, now they have to have it removed at a great cost as well.

    Many folks are convinced that an SCS will allow them to get off of most if not all pain medications. Well that is not normally the case. So the excuse of "I don't want the fog of the drugs" doesn't hold much hope, since they still wind up taking the meds anyway.

    All of this and more lends itself to horrible numbers when tracking the success or failure of SCS therapy. A good numbers cruncher for the government can make it look as if it is a huge waste of government money. As in some states right now, they are trying to take the option of SCS away for Medicaid and Workman's Comp.

    So in our enthusiasm to get relief from chronic pain, we have begun to shoot ourselves in the foot. By continuing this pattern of haphazardly going about patient selection for spinal cord stimulation, the numbers are getting skewed. Those looking to save money so it can be used elsewhere are chomping at the bit to get their fingers into the "dough" being used for spinal cord stimulation.

    I hope this makes sense. It's not as easy to elaborate on as other topics.

  • I always thought it kind of odd when reading the posts here about people doing the trials. Am I correct in thinking it's only a couple of days? I wouldn't think that would be long enough to do a complete trial with valid results. It would take about two days just to get used to it, and then play with the different settings to find the right levels. I've read about a few people here, who's trials were fantastic, but once they had in implanted permanently it turned out to be a disaster for them. Would not longer trials also benefit in decreasing the numbers of "failed" SCS, once the patients have been properly screened for it originally?
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • One thing that all docs have to contend with is that trial leads are required to be pulled after 10 days. The risk of infection is very high and if a person hasn't made up their mind by then, another few days won't (in my opinion) make any difference.

    From all the different groups and people I have talked too in regards to SCS therapy as well as the doc and a couple of reps, those who benefit the most from SCS therapy pretty much know within the first hour of their trial that the therapy will work. There is a placebo effect that some fall victim too and it seems the longer the trial the more confused they get.

    During my trial, I knew the instant that the trial unit was switched on, that it would provide me with relief. Even more so, I really knew it the first time it was switched off!

    Drats, I am exhausted and my words are starting to jumble. Will have to address tomorrow

  • Thanks for explaining!! You've certainly given people a lot to think about when/before discussing this with their doctors.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I understand MUCH better now - Thank you C :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I appreciate your interest. As you might imagine, those of us who rely on spinal cord stimulation because we truly have no other options, get very concerned when stuff like this happens. I do not wish to lose the future support for my SCS therapy and I certainly don't want to see others denied the chance of a valid pain management device.

    It seems like hand in hand with this, is the "watering down" of the risks associated with having an implanted medical device. Spinal cord stimulators and drug pumps carry some heavy risks and the marketing departments coupled with some over exuberant patients, are putting a gloss over it. Reminds me of when I learned to teach scuba diving. The agency I first taught under, didn't want their instructors to say "hey, there's a strong possibility that while diving you may have your mask knocked off your face!" Instead they wanted it to be presented like "in the event that you may want to take your mask off for a funny photo for your buddy" ... I see this same thing happening with medical implants. "hey you could get an infection and die from it" ... nope instead it's "Your company rep and doctor are always just a phone call away".....

    Anyway, thanks for your interest.

  • Don't know how I glossed over this thread. Some of you might know that I've had my stimulator for almost a year now. Over the last year, I've also noted an up tick in the number of folks contemplating a stimulator. I'm amazed when its offered to people who are trying to avoid surgery. I actually had this discussion with my Rep earlier this year about this subject. It's the manufacturer that is pushing this therapy. Although, when I had my discussion with my Rep, they were leaning more towards people who had tears in the disc that would heal over time. This makes sense to me. The stimulator is going to limit your activity which in turn would aid in the healing of the disc. When the spine is unstable, I believe a stimulator is eventually going to fail. When this happens, you'll have set yourself back decades in diagnostics because an MRI is disallowed.

    I would have to agree with C on a stimulator. If it were up to me, I would give anything to not have to have it. On the flip side, I'm not prepared to have the therapy so watered down because its being offered to people that less drastic measures would suffice. Do I need to worry about obtaining the same results as someone who could probably get by with more conventional and/or conservative treatment.

    I appreciate what my stimulator does for me. It should also be known that every week I spend 2+ hours recharging the battery. I change programs at least a two dozen times every day. If I increase my activities to much, the tissue surrounding my leads gets inflamed causing more discomfort. At least once a week, I sleep wrong and the IPG pocket is sore for a couple of days.

    My hope is that this therapy is reserved as a last option. Its a huge commitment to have one. They do help, but your life is changed forever.

  • I appreciate the topic being brought up. There are many points in this thread that touch home for me.

    I have intractable Lumbar pain from a failed PLIF, annular tears in the discs above and below the failed fusion (L 4-5) and increasing scar tissue forming at was seems to be a rapid rate.

    In early 2009, my then new Pain Doctor offered SCS as a potential treatment to help alleviate some or most of the debilitating nerve pain I have in my buttock, legs and feet. It was offered as a treatment for neuropathy.It was made pretty clear that the technology was advancing toward treating pain other than nerve pain.

    After this treatment was offered, for the first time since my spine issues began in early 2007, I did not jump to have this treatment done. I was afraid of having an electrical lead implanted in my spine.

    The trial that I completed last week was for 3 issues. The neuropathy I mention above, the lower back pain and for a new injury to 3 discs in my thoracic spine.

    I was not pressured in any way to have this trial done. My Pain Doctor's idea of a good patient/doctor relationship is where a treatment is offered, I educate myself about the treatment, and make a decision based on what feels right for me. I have more than a few medical devices and felt ready to add another one but much more importantly,

    I wanted the trial because having this new thoracic pain put me in that all too familiar place of being desperate to have pain relief.

    What has been bothering me since the trial are two things. First, the poor (non existent really) support from the manufacturer rep. Second, my trial lasted 3 days. I did get relief from the Lumbar lead, but not at the moment the unit was turned on. It was on the 3rd day, when the soreness from inserting the leads just began to subside. Now, I have been referred to a NS to discuss a laminectomy to place paddle leads in my thoracic spine. I have not made this appointment. In my mind it makes no sense to continue discussion of a permanent device after what I now see as a failed trial.

    I am taking a look at my motives right now. Reading through this thread has opened my eyes at just the right moment.


  • extent,As for myself, lamnectomyl4/5 `10 years ago, facet blocks, SNI, several epidurals, all of which helped for maybe a month, not to mention the pain. Being diabetic, everytime I'd get a steroid injection, which btw is in every injection they do, because it reduces inflamation. But when my blood sugar soars over 500 having to inject insulin several times a day, not to mention the epidurals made my heart pound made sleeping evan worse when I didnt have the injections or epidurals. The 3 ns I have seen and even the last neuro said a fusion would only give me about a 4o-50% chance of pain relief. There was no way I was going to have a 3 level fusion, and not be able to bend or function, the trial gave me the old me I once was several years ago, "I had my life back for a few days"I also went from 5 hydrocodone a day to 2 a day, and thats only because my body said "WE need a pill" if you get my drift. MY pm said at my age it would just take more and more drugs to help control the pain, I see on here people, being fused , still having to use oxycotin, fentenal pach, morhine patches, just to make it through the day. I'm sick and tired of the GOVERNMENT and Insurance companys running our lives. mY Rx insurance co wouldnt fill my DH rx for 2 bp pills bc it was too much for him to take, ok ithe only 1 his bp was 169/110, with 2 it was in normal range. OTher countrys have better healthcare Some people do need to do other things first...several surgerys, lots of epidurals take lots of pills, or if possable skip allthe "help a little surgeries, one or 2 every few years ans still be in pain. I dont mean to offend anyone, everyone has to so what is best for them, and the DAMN government needs to keep their nose out of healthcare. Sometimes fusions fail, sometimes people have to be refused, and with all the new infections, less invasive options are sometimes better. Sorry if I got off track. the bottom line is what ever works for each individual person, may not be right for everyone else.
  • Dave or anyone else who understand this please explain to me this part of Dave's post
    "When the spine is unstable, I believe a stimulator is eventually going to fail."

    Please define unstable and why would it fail?

    I am rethinking this as a option down the road for myself. As my Dr DID tell me we could maybe use this INSTEAD of me having surgery..... :??
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • With instability comes more damage. You are more successeptable to adjacent disc disease where the areas above and below the damaged area will cause problems. With an SCS, the leads are placed in a specific area to treat a specific problem. As the spine deteriorates, the stimulator will not be able to support the new areas that are failing.

    If your spine is stabilized and the odds of further degeneration have been diminished, the better the odds that the stimulator will be able to sustain long term relief.

    Hope this explains this a little better.

  • How we go about finding a way to live with our pain, is a very personal thing. What makes it even worse is when we are in so much constant and unrelenting pain, any glimmer of hope takes our focus away from the bigger picture. When all we can see or think of is "stop it and stop it now", it's only natural to find reason not to extend the suffering any further even if it promises a better and longer lasting "fix". Some times we have to put off the inevitable as long as we can just to live with ourselves today.

    That being said, you will be hard pressed to find any surgeon who will give anyone any odds better than 50/50 pain reduction due to fusion or most spine surgery. The stories that you read on line, are of course mostly from those who have failed fusions and are not happy. Those with successful fusions, move on and lead very happy and productive lives. So for me, that is a consideration in the thought process.

    Pain management docs are just that ... they manage pain. Normally they manage pain that could not be reduced by other types of intervention. Or if they are the interventional type of clinic they may address the problem with RFA and MBB. For the most part, they rely on what has already been tried and move on from there.

    The issue of people who have fusions still needing medications even after the fusion, the majority of SCS patients still require meds as well. The fact that you were able to reduce the amount you take during your trial is a positive thing. It is seen that those who do not have the spine stabilized before getting an SCS, tend to have it fail to meet their pain management requirements fairly soon after implant and they are soon taking more and more meds to counteract it.

    As a member of the Spine Health community, I am concerned for those newly seeking SCS therapy as well as the future of the therapy for myself and others. So I do my best to present as realistic of a picture as possible. It is selfish on my part because I don't want to see it deemed to be experimental once again and not supported by insurance companies.

    I wish you the best of luck,

  • itsjackieoh said:

    What has been bothering me since the trial are two things. First, the poor (non existent really) support from the manufacturer rep.
    It would be really great if you let your PM doc know about this lack of support from the rep. There are a few reps that aren't doing that great of a job and if the docs know about it they can address the issue. The hospital I now go to for pain management recently banned a company rep from not only the hospital but any of their clinics. So if they know about the problems, they are better able to address them.
    itsjackieoh said:
    Second, my trial lasted 3 days. I did get relief from the Lumbar lead, but not at the moment the unit was turned on. It was on the 3rd day, when the soreness from inserting the leads just began to subside.
    Sorry that you had such a frustrating trial. I too had only a 3 day trial, but I was in such a pain state before the unit was switched on, that once it was on, the lead insertion pain was a minor annoyance.
    itsjackieoh said:
    Now, I have been referred to a NS to discuss a laminectomy to place paddle leads in my thoracic spine. I have not made this appointment. In my mind it makes no sense to continue discussion of a permanent device after what I now see as a failed trial.
    I applaud you for making a decision like that in light of the fact that you did get some relief, not just as much as maybe you had hoped for.

    I just don't like seeing people make decisions based on bad information or overeager PM docs. A year ago, I would have had a difficult time believing that a company rep could be worthless or that PM docs would push implants when they really aren't warranted. My experiences over the last several months has shown me an entirely different side of things and opened my eyes to a lot.
    itsjackieoh said:
    I am taking a look at my motives right now. Reading through this thread has opened my eyes at just the right moment.

    I think it's cool that the timing of this thread has been beneficial to you.

    Best wishes,

  • My spine is still in stable enough condition for the SCS, and yes everyone is looking for "quick fix" everyone has to get several openions from many doctors and PM, and do their homework. I had settled for getting by with drugs, in our area I would have traveled quite a way for a pm that would RX drugs( the big ones oxycotten, morphine...) none in my area rx these drugs), and my insurance co will not coveranything but hydrocodone 4 per day max. I cant tollerate NSAIDS, so I for the last 3 years used Ice packs 24/7 and my hydro. I've missed out on all family functions, I cant stand to travel more than a 1/2 hr, so my life was at a 1---existing, then the scs trial and my life has changed. I would have never been able to pay for the big drugs, I ha only 4 months ago said "if I hurt this bad now" I dont think I want to live, maybe they will enact uthenasia. This is bad to say but 10 years of unrelenting pain, no family interactions, Ievan told our girls I didnt want any grandchildren bc I couldnt be able to hoold them or play with them which I have always been very active. Many people find strength and can make it . but for me SCS has given me a glimmer of hope. Everyone should read as much as they can and never jump right into fusion, scs or anything until they fully understand the long term out come. Good luck to all of us spinys who are suffering in our own ways. to the best of llife and health Rosemary
  • I haven't been on in quite a while, but find that I have been on an interesting journey.

    With my radiculopathy and LBP problems (which still have slowly been worsening) I look back and find that I have run the gamut. The initial thought was a disc issue, L4-L5-S1 and I went through endless ESI's, blocks of various types, an RF ablation and discogram. After everything was negative or had no effect, I've been on meds for a year and a half now, Avinza (extended release morphine) and Tramadol & Vicodin for breakthrough pain. Not to mention the low dose amitriptylin, valium & baclofen (for spasms & spasticity), Lyrica for a short time and now Neurontin and Cymbalta. I've done PT, including aquatherapy and plain ol' walking. Yet my pain levels and the numbness/tingling continue to slowly increase. Many times, after even the lightest PT, or task around the house, spiking pretty high.

    I'm now playing the waiting game as the doctors have found nothing they can operate on and have eventually moved on to believing I have MS and it will show in my lower spine. They have performed evoked potential tests and isolated my lower spine as the trouble spot. At last! Someone has found something abnormal!

    We have talked with my neuro and family doctor and decided it was time to stop trying to treat symptoms (which is not working very well) to developing a long term pain management strategy. I went to a PM (who is an anesthesiologist and, to my surprise, the doc who did my discogram) who discussed the methods of pain management and that I am at the point where I should consider an SCS. I've read quite a few success stories (as well as those who didn't get any relief) and with the research I've done I think it might help relieve my various pain areas. I have a referral to see a psychologist for the psych evaluation and see the PM doc in three weeks where he hopes we make a decision to do the trial.

    So as I near the end of my book (sorry everyone, like I said it's been a while since I've been on) everything else has failed me and I am looking favorably towards the SCS. Even with all the issues people have and the precautions that have been presented. I hope SCS support does not go away, right now that is my only hope for relief!
  • Whatever questions you have just ask and we'll do our best. Welcome to our little club.

  • Thanks Dave, I'vedone a lot of research in the last week, here and elsewhere. "C" is right, the docs paint a rosy picture compared to the reality of a permanent SCS implant. If I have any questions for those that are really in the know I'll ask 'em here!
  • Jay welcome back!! I've missed your posts. And while I am sorry you find yourself back here seeking new treatment I look forward to reading your insightful responses. :)
  • Thanks Kris, I've still been taking some pictures here and there, I might have to show a few, got some good ones.

    I think I've come full circle, no relief at all but a long journey. I think the group here is the best resource for info & support, bar none!
  • The SCS was offered to me over a year ago, as a last resort for intractable daily level 7 and above lumbar pain and sciatica from my failed PLIF L4-5 in 2007. After the fusion I was a mess. Come to find out I had options even for the type of fusion to have. I simply was not aware of this, due to being in a constant state of desperation to be my former normal very high functioning self.
    I have not come to a decision about the permanent SCS, but so think if I have one, it would make sense to just have the Lumbar for now.
    My pain doctor thinks out loud often, and has made more than a few statements that remind me of this thread. It's kind of funny,,,
    Hope everyone is having a day of less pain and more comfort,
  • Sorry to hear that your journey has not been one that you wish to repeat. I too hope we are able to keep from losing what is in many respects, the last great hope for many of us. The only caution I have for you and any others who may reach this point, please don't put all your eggs in one basket. I have watched too many folks set their sight on the SCS being the answer to all that ails them, only to find it doesn't. Having hope is important, but just be careful not to set yourself up for a huge let down.

    Please keep us posted on how things go. Do you have a date scheduled for your trial yet?

    Best wishes,

  • Just a warning to those who want to get the sps. i had the trial, i don't remember them waking me up and saying i loved it. when they tried to set it the coverage area wasn't exactly where i needed it and the tech told me when they put the permanent one in it can be adjusted perfect so not to worry. well, when i had the permanent one in , they couldn't get it to were i need it. now my dr. will not move it, and im having a hard time getting on to do so. so now i have a unit that i cannot use and seem to be stuck with it like it is, useless, so make sure when you do the trial and it doesn't quite get exactly where you need it, they can do another trial and move it higher or lower till it gets the coverage you need, they CAN do more than one trial, no one ever told me that. they made it seem that's all i would get... good luck, anyone have any advise to me now or have the same situation, please holler at me... i feel so all alone now... thanks.
  • Wow...this is a wonderful topic "C". I do have a question for you all.....do you ever wonder if your back will get worse and you wont be able to tell...I know that sounds really strange....

    Just a question.
  • That is not a strange question at all. In fact that is something that is always on my mind. I know that I have other issues that will degenerate and get worse over time. However, one thing that many don't realize about spinal cord stimulation, is that we can still feel other pain. We can still sense when something is or is not "right". The SCS targets very specifically and targets a specific pain. I can cut myself, break a bone, get hit and bruised, burned etc... and still be able to feel it. Since our bodies are so uniquely wired to feel and sense in so many different ways, taking and interrupting one pain signal, does not interfere with other signals.

    Yes it does provide a nice sense of relief due to endorphin release, however it is in actuality a very focused system.

    I can easily tell when things are "different" in my spine.

    Great question Polly. Thanks.

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