Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Has anybody out there had sucess with Spinal Cord Stimulators?

The next step for me is to have a spinal cord stimulator implant, due to failed back surgery syndrome. One major drawback is that you can't have MRI's done anymore, although CAT scans are still an option. How long do the batteries last, and what happens if you've reached the maximum stimulation intensity level? I'm still debating whether or not I want to go through with this. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Tired of hurting all the time!


  • backbback Posts: 190
    edited 01/14/2013 - 9:05 AM
    I consider myself a success. I've had my stimulator a little over 3 years now. It provides me with about 50% relief and I use drug therapy for the rest. I've had a head MRI done and a CT scan of the neck, so they still can do some diagnostic testing. I have a Medtronic and the battery is supposed to last 9 years, but I'm considered a heavy user, very complicated programs. One would think that my battery won't make it 9 years. I don't know what you mean by maximum stimulation intensity level.

    You need to do a trial to truly make an informed decision.

  • I have recently gone through the trial stage with the Nevro Senza scs device. It is new technology and, whereas with the Medtronic you feel the vibration, you do not feel anything with the Nevro device. I believe the company are still trialling this device (well, they obviously are here in the UK at least).

    I am scheduled to have it permanently implanted on Monday 21 January, but currently I have an infection which my doctor is desperately trying to get rid of before my surgical admission date. It's actually better this week than it was 2 weeks ago, so that's encouraging. The discomfort I feel now is at the top of the incision site on my spine where they placed the electrodes/leads. Fingers crossed, everything will clear up over the next week (I've been on antibiotics for 2 weeks now).

    Yes, you will need to do a trial. Having the electrodes/leads implanted was more of a hurdle than I thought it would be. I don't know about anyone else, but for me, they had to channel the leads around to my side (in readiness for the permanent implant) and after this first operation, it was extremely painful to recover from (though the infection probably didn't help any). I still find it very sore to lean against anything (i.e. pillows or cushions or sitting in the car). However, I am sure there are loads of people who have sailed through this surgery with no adverse side effects.

    Once you have completed the trial - and gone through all the programmes/settings, then you will know if the device helps to relieve your pain symptoms or not. If it doesn't, then you have lost nothing by trying it. If it does help, then you will be glad of it and will want to pursue it further.

    Be warned that the spinal cord stimulators do not suit everyone and could exacerbate your pain symptoms. I do hope you will be a good candidate to trial it and that it is successful for you. I understand (from my own experience) that they like to have at least 50 per cent pain relief of back pain and possibly higher for leg pain. This Nevro works on them both at the same time. For me it totally took away the leg pain and did help alot with the back pain, although I was having other issues at the time so I am unsure if it would be more successful under normal circumstances. I'm hoping so.

    Perhaps you'll let us know how you get on and what you or your health professionals decide in the end.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    I have multiple spine and back issues including failed back surgery syndrome -- L5/S1 fused twice as the first one did not work; along with spinal stenosis and several other issues.My back pain is predominantly in my lower back at my waist and just below my shoulder blades. My SCS provides some relief but not a lot; percentage wise is difficult to estimate but I'll speculate that it helps maybe 20%. I also take 32MG of exalgo every morning supplemented with 100MG of nucynta 6 times a day. My first SCS implant was in early February 2012 and the SCS failed in September 2012 and I had it replaced in mid December 2012. From what I have read and my personal experience, the best thing is to proceed with your SCS trial and ask them to give you at least 5 days in the trial. I recommend that you make notes of how you feel throughout each day and night, including how much relief you are getting from the temporary SCS. I recommend this because when you meet with your doc to discuss your results and decide if you want the permanent SCS, it is helpful to have your notes to help you with that evaluation. With my SCS, I am only marginally better off and I had to stop work in late August 2012 after 7 years of progressively worsening back pain. My work requires me to be clear headed and focused and I was and am exhausted emotionally, mentally, and physically so I allowed my doc to put me on disability. My docs said being at a desk and on a computer was the worst thing I could do for my back. In these past 4 months or so, I cannot believe that I was able to work until I did.

    Bottom line is the SCS works great for some and for others we are all across the spectrum of results. Good luck with your SCS trial and please keep us posted with your results and experiences.

    All the best, Jerome
  • after my discectomy and then fusion, I really never recovered. I have had the scs trial and it easily took away 50% of the pain. I had that in November and am still waiting for even a surgery dateto implant the paddle. during my trial, they used three wires rather than just one or two you could as about that. Also, I am getting a paddle implanted rather than the leads. I think the scs is a great tool, not fix. Sometime you hear people are able to reduce their meds and do great, other times people really suffer. I wish you good luck. Just keep in mind thats it just a tool.
Sign In or Register to comment.