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Post-Op Thoracic SCS horrible pain in shoulder blade *Help*

amdivingaamdiving Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I had a permanent St. Jude SCS implanted in my Thoracic Spine almost two weeks ago (03May11). For the first three days everything was to be as expected, sore from surgery... nothing too bad. On the fourth day, I woke up with my left shoulder blade aching. When I moved a Horrible pain hit me in my shoulder (SCS was not activated at this time). For the past 12 days I have been dealing with this. Any movement of my left arm causes a terrible pain in shoulder blade. The NS is at a loss, saying it must be muscular. X-rays show the paddle to still be in place. Turning the SCS on/off makes absolutely no difference in the pain. I am on my second box of steroids, they help the first day then that's it. I am in the Military and believe I have a high pain threshold but this is absolutely debilitating. The NS said he is considering removal of the SCS, because he is so confused. If ANYONE has an experience with this, or has any suggestions I would sincerely appreciate it.


  • I have no idea! I do hope it will resolve itself and you don't have to have your SCS removed before you can even experience the benefits from it for your normal pain. I'm so sorry.
  • amdiving,

    I had my permanent SCS implanted in February and it works great! My LBP & parathesis in my legs are both very well "controlled" by the SCS.

    The issue I am facing now is similar to yours: very painful spasms or muscular pain above the surgical site in my back since the surgery. That and my fatigue has increased dramatically. (A bit of history, I don't have a structural spinal problem, but it is believed to be MS where fatigue is a significant symptom.) I've moved up my next neurologist appointment and will be having a brain MRI soon. The back pain is debilitating for me as well. I find it very frustrating that we have found something to help the one problem I've had for several years only to have another problem that is as bad if not worse. I haven't worked a full work week in at least 6 months now.

  • This has been a chronic issue for me ever since I had my SCS implanted in March 2009. I had a revision in May 2009 and have had debilitating back pain ever since. My SCS paddles are implanted in my thoracic spine, T10 area (I believe). I have had debilitating pain in my upper back, especially in the area of my shoulder blades. I never had back pain/issues/problems until I had my SCS implanted (for nerve damage in my groin/thigh). I have not worked a single day since my surgeries because of the debilitating pain and some days I do not even get out of bed because of the pain. The SCS works wonders for the nerve damage/pain in my groin/thigh. Unfortunately, the back pain is more debilitating than the nerve damage/pain in my groin/thigh was.
    I have had multiple spinal injections and have been on multiple strong pain medications. All of my doctors are at a loss as of what to do with me.
    I'm sorry I can't be of any help. It does help me to know that I'm not the only one out there experiencing this type of pain.
    Good luck!! Please feel free to write me any time you want at mark@marconnus.com. Maybe we can come up with a solution together.
    Take care!!
    - Mark
  • So do you suffer this new pain regardless as to whether the SCS is turned on or off? What was the reason for your revision and what was done?

    Sorry you have such a difficulty with the one thing that brings you relief.


  • tbsjohnnyttbsjohnny Posts: 1
    edited 11/22/2012 - 8:25 PM
    I had the simple wire SCS implanted in the thoracic are in 2009. It failed & was removed. Am getting set up to have the Beaver Paddle Lead inplanted around the T8-T9 area. Ever since the problems from 2009 I have had progressively painful issues directly between my shoulder blades. To the point that they will take my breathe away at times.
    I never equated these problems with the SCS I had in me since 2009. Does anyone know if this is a "Common Problem" when you have a SCS Implant where the leads are in the Thoracic region?
  • I had a SCS implanted 8 weeks ago. The first couple of weeks the back pain and spasms were horrible! However, I was told by my doctor that back spasms are common due to the fact that the surgery involved going through muscles to get to the spine. I still need need muscle relaxers as I have spasms infrequently but sometimes they can be debilitating! I hope your back pain starts to decrease because I know how painful it can be! Good luck!!!
  • SusieblueSSusieblue Posts: 2
    edited 05/05/2014 - 4:40 AM
    Hi, Amdiving, did you ever get to the bottom of the pain? I had the full implant (UK) two weeks ago and didn't have any pain in my shoulderblades until post surgery. I get the most excrutiating shooting pain, more in the right side shoulder blade. It's impossible to lay on my right side at night and sitting down i'm constantly aware of the pain. I've had the leads places on my right hand side one going to the rib area the other to my lower back/sacral joint. I expected some new twinges as they warned me the implant often gives you a few new nervy pains but I didn't expect this. I'm hoping they won't have to remove the implant as it's controlling my intercostal neuralgia fantastically, it's so great not hitting the floor in agony!:) Hope your pain is more under control now, I see it's quite a while since you posted on here..hoping you pop back now and again and see this:) Kind Regards, Susie:)
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