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My review on medronics scs unit and design!

alexhurtingaalexhurting Posts: 1,991
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I would be interested to know who designed the hand held devise unit for medronics scs unit,

We have come a long way with all the new technology with so many things, Cell phones, ipads , smart phones and list goes on and on,

Everything is about user friendly and this and that bla bla bla bla bla,
So who is the moron who would desighn the scs hand unit you cant hold in your hand because the cable that plugs in to it is on the side that the paddle is attached to that you have to sit on to turn it on,

1 st thing i told the rep is who would not want to hold this in there hand while 1 st starting to use it to feel safe they have control over the on and off and how high the level is at,

Its just like a cell phone that you hold but i never hold my cell phone while its charging when its pluged in to the charger especialy if the plug is on the side where you cant hold it in the palm of your hand,

I mean seriously something so simple as to at least design the scs hand held unit to have the wire either on top or bottom to be able to hold it firmly while in use which controls electric going to your spine? realy?

You would think with such serious device and the severity of its use on chronic pain patients would make this device a priority and its use to make it as easy to use as posible,

Its obvious who ever design it dont use it and was of no concern for them,
It comes with a carry velcro case you can hook to your belt and zipp it up in that and good luck taking it out if by some chance you have to turn it off in an emergency! Something you would find at a dollar store because it has no opening even for the wire that plugs in to it,

The unit itself has no clip on so you have the ability to just reach for it and hit any of the controls on it, Even a cheap cell phone they have cases for them while you can text and make calls answer calls without even taking it out of the case,

I asked the rep can i get a beter case that holds this to my belt, He says sorry no but he can get me another thing to put the wire in,

I mean i know you dont have to stay connected once its turned on but why would you not have that option if you needed to change the setings often when you are out and about and having to turn it off when you are driving because they dont recomend you leave it on while driving but in order to do that you have to be connected to turn on and off each time you even get out of the car,

Its hard enough to try to make the thing work to posibly get some releif as it is, What do i have to do find a custom shop to make a simple carry case that i can clip on and customise a leather case with an opening all the way down the side so the unit can slide in to it while wire is connected to it?

Medtronic sure did not make anything for it from what i see,

Might not seem like a big deal to anyone who dont have the scs but i think anyone who went for such extreme measures to get pain releif and have a device implanted in there body would agree everything maters with the use of this device once you make the jump,

Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
2012 scs implant ,


  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    but is it covering your pain (better) this time around??

    (asked quietly and respectfully)

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • No mater how much the rep played around with it he could not get it to the back of the legs where i need it the most, 2 times i went in now and he played around with it,

    Once he sees it wont go where i need it he thinks blasting it on high is the answer where its so high front of the legs are on fire already before i get some stim to where i need it and i already have smoke coming out of my ears,

    If i lay in a position on the couch with left foot over the other foot the stim gets near the correct spot, I might have to stand on my head to get releif,

    Dr said no problem geting it to back of the legs during implant after the trial, Well guess what, We seem to have a problem after all now dont we, Talk is cheap,

    I just like to know now= Where is the Beef???
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    It is helping only IF in Yoga pretzle position??

    Hmmm ... I'm rootin for ya !!!

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Alex,

    Sometimes you wonder if R & D actually READ those books for all that trainin' they supposedly received regarding their products :? . Wait a minute! Did I say TRAINING???? :O (No offense intended, anyone). I don't understand why a product cannot be thought out more. Perhaps the end users experiencing the chronic pain should be brought into the picture for input from their side. Such minor things to developers are majors to users. Your experience is case in point!

    I have been watching your story, as I am considering speaking to my PM Doc about an SCS for my chronic cervical pain. When I read experiences like this, I hesitate to move forward. I am sure there are success stories out there too. I am just not sure about that foreign object inside my body and rejection, infections, sleeping, bathing etc.. I have had no success with any type of injections. Now Doc is wanting me to consider RFR. I had this done bilaterly C2/3 through C5/6 in 2007 -2008. As I remember, not much relief, if any. That led me to neurosurgeon and ACDF C5/6 - C6/7 in July 2009.

    So ... what are your options now, after all you have been through? Try a different make and model? Keep going back for adjustments until they get it right? This is CRAZY ~X( . Seems like there is a failure to communicate 8} . And the beat goes on ................. (|: . Stay Strong.

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • Well in my view i was promised a mercedes and got a yugo instead!

    For now i am not going to do anything, Other then maybe going to bass pro shop and buy a case and i bet i can customise a case for the hand held unit of the scs in a nice camo green so when i go fishing hopefuly the fish wont see the scs unit,

    Then maybe i will go on tv and do a commercial for the scs case,

    Are you tierd of being tied down by your scs wire while you are receiving shock thearapy? Worry no longer, Now you can receive shock thearapy in style and no wire problems,
    Comes in many diferent attractive colors, Navy green for the outdoors in you,

    Hot pink for the woman along with many other colors to match your high heels that no man can resist,

    Dont be cought dead without the hotest scs cover that just screams out must have for every spine pain person wearing a scs unit,

    I will have to hire some models to go on the cat walk to show these covers off! Lol
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Don't they use electric voltage to catch some kinds of fish?? Maybe some extra leads could be made??

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    under water and use my hardware as a shiney lure?

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • I can just pull out one of the leads and jump in the illinois river to kill off every asian carp before they make it in to lake michigan,

    Good idea Dave, I can always count on you to put this scs to good use,

    They have some sort of electrical fence or something in Romeoville to stop and kill off the asian carp but did not work, They already made it up the river by the lake where people have been pulling them out catching them,

    Once they take over the great lakes commercial fishing is gone after asian carp kill everything off, Medtronic scs will save the great lakes by the time i am done with this thing,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • While I think your sense of humor has remained intact, I have to comment on the system that Medtronic has developed for us the "end users".

    Initially I thought that I was going to have to find a way to keep my antenna extension and remote on my person in order to shut down or adjust throughout the day. After all, what a challenge to hold my remote over my IPG to turn it on or off or make and adjustment. I found over time that I was placing an unnecessary burden on myself.

    If you look at other neurostimulation systems and their remotes, you will find that most are larger and more cumbersome than the sleek little patient programmer we both have for our units. One advantage another company has, is a wireless remote patient programmer. However in order to make that work, there had to be a compromise on shielding the IPG from stray input. Not something I would want to deal with.

    Some other companies have a control magnet for quickly turning the SCS on and off. Well then that means carrying an additional piece of equipment with you and one more thing to lose.

    I really believe that if you were getting enough good stimulation with yours, that you would not be so focused on what you dislike about the entire system.

    I found that it is quite easy to turn my SCS on or off with quickly holding the programmer over my IPG (through my clothing) and activating it. What some folks don't realize for a while, is that you don't have to constantly hold the programmer over the IPG to switch settings. To make adjustments, yes, but switching screens and checking status, no.

    If I am tweaking my programs any more than a simple increase or decrease in stimulation, then I generally do that at home. As far as turning the SCS off to drive. That is a CYA issue placed in there by the companies to keep from being sued if you have an accident and claim it was brought on by a sudden change in stimulation. I leave mine on constantly. I could not drive with it turned off.

    I carry my patient programmer and leave the antenna extension at home. I easily carry it in the front pocket of a small fanny-pack type of bag or in my jacket pocket if I am not taking my fanny-pack.

    Have you requested that another rep try and program your IPG? Not all reps program the same and there are some remarkable subtleties that can make a huge difference.


    There's nothing to worry about in regard to bathing, sleeping and basically normal life with a permanent cervical SCS. I bathe, swim, scuba dive, drive, ride horses, ride motorcycles, garden, clean house and work with mine. Yes infection is a big concern initially, but between you and the doc you can minimize that risk easily.

    Well gotta run,

  • I now finaly got use to leaving it on and not have the worry to have to shut it off too often, But the 1 st few days or even 1 st week untill you know its cool and you know you can leave it at that seting without having to worry about it you want that control every step of the way untill you feel safe with it in my opinion,

    I would not walk out the door without having the wire with the paddle in contact with my ass where unit was implanted, It takes a while to make the perfect seting where you finaly see its not too high when you bend or sit or cough,

    Thats why i thought a beter case to clip on would of been much beter then what it comes with , I slept with it on finaly without having the control near me and drove to menards and almost forgot to take the controler with me but i am glad i took it because i had to turn it off for a bit,

    I can tell the nerve damage is so severe shooting down the outside of my leg that this scs is massaging it but over use dont make it any beter, But i woke up feeling prety good sleeping with it on,

    As you said this is not a fix but thearapy for the nerve and sadly dont look like it will be enough to get off the norco like i though i might be able to do,

    Flare ups dont seem to last as long and the scs might help it some but this nerve pain just cant be stoped totaly to stay away and you feel the pressure no mater what,

    My toes feel as they want to curl up as the nerve messes with the foot,

    I can lay on my side while watching tv and stim is all over that nerve so it does feel good but if i push and force to walk on it when its flared up it goes out of control still,

    It is what it is i guess so have to make it work and time will tell if it pays off in the long run, Too soon to tell for now because finaly now all the incisions healed up so time to get the show on the road,

    And no i am not joining the circus, Git-ir-done
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Cool!!!!! Don't forget to add safe for the environment to your product specifications, while you are at it. You know that is what it's all about these days ... GO GREEN ! =))

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • Hey All,

    Thanks for your continued input. I REALLY do not make light of my decision to move forward with an SCS, nor with ANYONE'S issues with their SCS. I keep my fingers crossed for EVERYONE to find a way to gain relief from constant chronic pain. I have to maintain a sense of humor about things to keep my own questions, anxieties and probably fears about this SCS option. At least with me, there is always aprehension with the unknown, especially when it concerns my body and moreover my spinal cord ... where ever lies the issue/s. Continuing to see stories here on S-H truely is helpful,

    Alex: Maybe you just need a little more time for the unit to adjust to you and your needs and you to adjust to the SCS. I think Haglandc hit upon a great idea. How about a different rep? Pehaps different rep could explain it in a different manner or would grasp better what YOU are trying to get across (ie: what SCS is doing, not doing, should be doing, could be doing). Sure something to consider. Look at it this way ... what can it hurt to get a "2nd Opinion"? We always preach get one from a doc, so why not a 2nd or 3rd explanation (whatever it takes) for a piece of equipment that has become part of your body? I would not quit asking questions or hammering for results until I was completely satisfied. I can tell you are a very determined person and we are all going to make sure that does not change!!!

    Haglandc: Thanks for your input regarding your SCS and how your life is affected (or not) by it. For me it is a hugh decision to even want to discuss it with my PM Doc. 6 years of the Pain Game is wearing me down. I know there ore others whom have been in this game longer, but it is still as absolute Hell to even be in it 1 day! Fortunately, within the past 4 months or so, we have gotten my pain med regiment to where it controls mine fairly well. Still have those flare up times. So, is this good enough? Will I settle for this? One day at a time, hey!

    Sorry I have gone on so long! Stay strong all and keep us posted. Good luck with your continuing SCS adjustment & recovery, Alex.

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • Ok this is still frustraring in my opinion, I dont think i even mentioned how short the antenna wire is, I realised more this morning as i had to make some adjustments as i was laying down how frustrating it is fighting with such short wire to have to strugle with it not to damage the side connection because its simply too short,

    I am sure its fine when the unit was implanted on the uper part of the body not somewhere below the waist in back of you,
    It would take not much effort to break the antenna where it connects to the control,

    Haglandc: I am not done with the rep yet, We have a few more weeks before even seting up the adaptive part of the program, They only have the 2 reps, The female did the trial with me and she was in while i had the surgery to make the adjustments,

    Then i was asked to follow up with the 2 nd person who i seen now 2 times and i dont think we made progress the 2 visits i seen him so i will probably ask for the original rep this time,

    I will be asking for another antenna thats longer and they beter have 1 thats longer then this 1

    I am sure you are aware of that untill this is all set up with the adaptive feature and the combo of using 2 programs together untill its all fine tuned everyone starting this has to use the programer more often then not,

    I understand what you are refering to about after its all fine tuned you can just turn it on and have no need for the remote controler unless you ready to shut it down,

    But this could take months, This is the only reason i am pointing out what i see wrong with this and how it could be made easier for a patient who just starting out with this scs,

    How does a chronic pain patient hold a control unit to a scs attached to antenna to there ass thats aprox 2 feet long laying down, And i am a medium size person,
    If i was 50 pounds heavier i would of tore this wire right out of the control unit already just by changing positions while testing how the stim level changes when you change positions,

    And as i said earlier in my post about plugs in to the side of the controler makes it awkward to hold makes it that much easier with the slightest pull to break the antenna off right by the connection,

    I dont care if you are left handed or right handed the wire dont belong where you hold it,

    Medtronic is a big company,This is not rocket science to make a hand held device more user friendly,

    Ok i am done bitching for the day. Lol. Git-ir-done
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Alex did you see who was doing an scs trial and where??


    God help us all,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Yep. I called them Dave about 6 motns ago, Soon as they heard i already had 2 previous scs trials they turned me down, They did say if i want to come in and see the dr i can to see if he can help but i am out of the trial for reasons i stated,

    The trial is where they offer either the scs or more surgery, I already had that final surgery from my dr when he did the lami and removed hardware, So no reason for me to drive up there to be told what i already know,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I'm stunned that you leave your antenna "deployed" against your skin constantly. If I were to do that I would certainly have pain and discomfort over the IPG from the constant friction and pressure.

    The way the antenna is designed, it is intended for it to be removed once the patient is finished making adjustments. I've not seen nor heard of a longer antenna for the system I have. I've only seen different lengths for the Itrel programmer.

    Not sure if you realize it, but most of us with cervical SCS systems have our IPG in the same place yours is.

    I don't know if there is a way to make things easier for a patient without decreasing the function quality of the product. I guess I am of the old school thought process of making something work for me by adapting to it's functions and features. Sure it would be nice to have the Rolls Royce of SCS models first time, but I think that is a bit of a pipe dream. It is difficult to design a perfect product for an unknown number of imperfect patients. In the end you do what you can and hope for the best results for the most folks.

    You knew it was going to be a crap shoot going into the third trial and once again with your decision to get the permanent implant. I can understand you being unhappy with your results so far, but think about the tens of thousands of others who have had great success. They aren't around to write reviews, because they are out enjoying life once again. So now when someone searches for information and comes across your review, are you really helping them?

    Well enjoy your Saturday,

  • I dont keep the antenna against the skin! Only as i am adjusting it after i turn it on and i am in a diferent position trying diferent levels and programs,
    I think you missunderstud,

    But the 1 st few days you beter believe i kept it against the skin so i can lower it if i need to, or shut it off when it gets too intense soon as you change positions,
    Or have the ability to do so lowering it as needed,

    You are forgeting the adaptive feature is not turned on yet where it will adapt to change in positions, I dont know what you mean just by having a longer wire from the hand held controler to the skin would change any function when it should not mater if its a 2 foot line or a 4 foot line,

    Same as it would not change the function if the wire connected from the top of the hand held controler,

    I understand that the scs is working great for you, And i am aware this was a crap shoot and i am planing on making it work for me also, I am not giving up just cause the design issue could be beter in my opinion,

    But me being just your average Joe 1 st time scs implant and only weeks in to this having a birds eye view at the moment, I dont see how there is any harm in anyone reading it,

    So i dont realy know what you mean by how is this helping anyone if they read this,
    Whatever issue i might have with the scs at the moment they could posibly find the same issue when they get it, And then again they might not,

    I read all the good and bad before i went for it, As i am sure everyone else will,

    And at the moment the verdict is not in yet on my part on the outcome of the scs,
    So please dont take it personaly, Its not an insult on you i am sure you know,

    But you starting to sound like as if you had stock in the medtronic company or something , lol. You sure you dont work for them lol?

    Git- ir - done

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • hey alex
    Have ya see the dude that does that rag thing shamwow something like the that

    you so could do it
    invent one and become millionaire.
    Now they have the GOJOE omg its tooo funny
    I can see you now doing this commercial

    this guy who does adverts kinda looks like you
    hahah its a head phone with a sucks-ion cup on it so hands free cell phones hahah they even show "hey look its so strong it can hold your laptop" show dude with a laptop on side of his face.

    I know you can invent something then you can come on here and try selling it and well get booted for being a spammer.
    sorry its not working~~hey it's kinds cool n rainy and damp out with that new device probably wise to get out of my front bushes. before rain comes again.

    so basically it works if you lay on your couch and cross your legs.
    I have to ask is the Rep. guy still alive or in hospital waiting his scs trial.

    really sorry to hear, I would think with all the gadgets, and this being something the effects lives they'd have it down by now. Oh wait they only make stuff so ppl don't really have to use there voices to communicate.

    Hope something starts working for you, its nuts to suffer so long.
    Hope can see you and good looking lady over summer
    again get out of my front yard hahah
    always here for ya 8}
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Nah I'm not worried about any insult or personal affront. I am seriously concerned that your focus is on all that's "not right" versus what is working. My husband does that sort of thing and forgets to stop and smell the roses some times.

    Nope, no affiliation with Medtronic other than I have one of their devices implanted in me. I guess if anything, I get a bit concerned when folks tend to bad mouth or bash a certain company or medication or treatment. It gets to where it looks like the only goal is to tear down the integrity or reputation of a product or manufacturer. You've seen the SPAMMERS we have to take care of here every day. Maybe I am just letting that spill over onto my concern for you getting a system that will actually help you. I really want it to work for you!

    As far as cable length, that is really a big concern for SCS external antennas. Notice how the programmer your rep uses has one that isn't very long and is thin in comparison to yours? There's something called reactive impedance and the longer the cable the greater the impedance. The engineers have done a great job in reducing the size and bulkiness of the SCS system, but like many other things, there has to be a compromise somewhere. If you use your remote quite frequently, you'll notice the batteries wear out quickly. Also you will find that it is important to always have a fully charged battery when seeing the rep for reprogramming, because the process drains so much from them so fast.

    Think of it this way. As we develop scar tissue on our leads, the impedance increases and we wind up increasing our signal intensity. So if we have a longer antenna cable, we just burn through batteries a lot quicker.

    Well it's late and I'm exhausted. I hope I explained this coherently enough. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  • Well i am not smelling the roses but i will be pushing up daiseys if this thing dont work beter then its working right now lol,

    Yesterday i had it on all day of course and i thought i was in heaven, The small level of stimulation felt so good i thought i was close to being cured, Was able to get on the tractor cut the grass, Walked around the property talked with neighbors then layed in the sun on the lawnchair enjoying life as it was ment to be,

    Today of course was the big test of the nerve flare up! I wish i could say the scs stoped the nerve pain in its tracks but no mater how i tried to get it to stop it it simply could not,I was floping around like a fish out of water finding position stim would work best,

    It seems it can help break up the pain signals to lessen the length of time flare up stays around but the scs alone without meds sadly was not enough,

    I am aware everyone gets diferent results with the scs and everyone has diferent condition the scs is treating so i am sure some can become totaly pain free and some just have to work harder to get some releif using it,

    For now i know it needs fine tuning because it has changed with healing so time to see the rep 1 more time and see if we can tune me up, I need oil change and new spark plugs and maybe a new gas filter and i should be good to go!
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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