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Questions about scs trial/perm

Hello will start by just saying I'm a 41 year old guy who is waiting on the trial stem. In about three weeks I haven't got the date yet. I've had a microdiscectomy/lamanectomy in 2010 on my l4l5 which did not work and ended with nerve damage from my lower back all the way to my left foot. I have numbness in the groin area and all the way down my leg into my foot. I was just wondering if anybody has had the stem for the same symptoms! I can't walk without a cane or hardly drive. I've not worked in two and a half years and was just wanting to know if this has helped anyone get somewhat of their life back! I don't really know what to expect I'm being told by my pm nurse that I should get 80 percent relief but that seems to good to be true. I've read a lot of post on here and got a lot of help but now it's my turn and I guess I'm just a little nervous! I guess what I'm trying to ask on here is for input about how well the stem trial and perm helped with nerve damage like mine? Any answers will be grateful. Sorry so long but getting a little nervous thanks for listening to me whine.


  • First off your not whining at all. But as to your question I been around along time, and those that have gotten relief most are long gone and out living busy lives. Unfortunately that is something that happens when members get better they just don't post anymore. So yes i have seen it happen many times. Also keep in mind each individual is going to be different. Be sure that you tell them a lead is not helping or needs to moved, don't be shy about telling them, that is the whole purpose of this. Also be sure you work with your rep in the trial days to get it adjusted, your not bothering them it is their job. You want your trial to be as successful as possible. It also gives them the information of where to put the permanent leads, and what to set the programs at. If for some reason you don't get a response from your rep call the company, so have those numbers ready.

    Your doctor is giving you percentages which is a good thing, and not just, saying it will work, kind of a bad idea. So I belive he/she is on the up and up with the information you have provided them regarding your condition. The one thing you are sure a fusion wouldn't help? Stims are used as a last resort. So be sure all surgery is off the table.

    It is normal to be nervous as we have so much time and energy invested in the pain. But If a doctor gave me a 80% chance I would be all over it. One thing to keep in mind is a positive attitude walking into the trial will go a long way as well. You surely don't want to be with that cain for the rest of your life. Also have you had at least 2-3 opinions? I think it is important to have multiple opinions on ones case when they end in chronic pain, sometimes the new eyes see something. But then again sometimes they don't. It sounds as though you got nerve damage from the surgery, so the stims do help that. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  • My nerves are getting the better of me but I'm ready for this to happen! I have had a couple of other opinions and my surgeon and two others agree that a fusion would not really help me and that the stimulator is the last option! They only removed about sixty percent of my disc but the nerve damage was already done. The ortho that did my surgery said a fusion would not help! Like I said I got other opinions and they said the same thing so I'm ready to get on with a somewhat normal life! Thanks for responding and listening to me whine. I will be back on here with my stim story and hope its gonna be a good one.
  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    tamtam provided great advice. I can't add much more other than wishing you the best of luck. My SCS experience is not very positive but my doctors tell me I'm unique! I think that is their way of saying I'm so "special" as my pain doc frequently tells me that my experiences are new to him and he has been in this business the better part of 20 years. If you have any specific questions but don't want to ask in this open forum you can send me or anyone else here a private message.

    Good luck and keep us posted. Jerome
  • I've had the trial and it was great! My nerve damage is very very small compared to yours but during the trial I never notied the sunburn pain at all. I havent had the permanet device implanted yet, waiting for my surgery date. I am nervous too, but at this point what do you have to lose?
  • I guess there is nothing else to do but wait and see what happens when my trial stimulator is put in! I'm nervous and excited at the same time. Like I said I have not worked in two and a half years. I'm on ssd finally got it about seven months ago. Makes paying bills a little easier on my wife because she has been working and taking care of every thing since my injury! I was a truck driver/ heavy furniture guy. I just got my workers comp around same time. My life has totally changed I've always been physical like mowing or remodeling around the house but now I can barely walk or sleep for that matter. I don't know if the stimulator will put me back to work or just so I can do things around the house again but I hope it can give me just a little bit of my life back. Ok I'm done going on about will be back later and hopefully with good news. Out for now.
  • I just got my date for my trial stem. Feb 18 can't wait. Workers comp approved and dr. Is getting me in as fast as he can. I talked to a Medtronic rep yesterday and felt very good about it. He answered all my questions and went through everything with me and he did tell me to remember that this may or may not work and so what to expect. I'm just ready to do this to see if its gonna help or not. Tired of so much pain. I also don't know but I see a lot of post on here about the way this works with the trial that if you get fifty percent or more they go through with the perm stem but if its usually less than that they may not go ahead with it. If anybody knows please let me know. I just pray this works. Thanks for listnening,

  • Sounds like you are a week or two ahead of me with the trial. I am going for the trial also.
    Did you have an MRI before? Did the doc tell you where he will be placing the leads? And if you will have
    paddles? I understand the paddles are stitched in place so they dont migrate. I have some of the same pain you do
    down the insides of both of my legs to my ankles outsides too. Plus other stuff too.
    Please keep us posted I have much interest as I am just behind you!!
  • I had my trial stem in on the 18th and out on the 21st of feb and it gave me about 40 to 50 percent relief. I want the perm stem as soon as possible! The doc told me it should take about a month to get me in but I can't wait. They used a percetanease lead however you spell that for my trial and only had to use one lead to get the full coverage from my hips to my toes. A little rough getting it in but very worth it. My pm doc did the trial but doesn't do the perm so I have a neuro for that. He will use a paddle lead which I'm told is even better and gets more coverage. It did not take all of my pain away or my numbness in my leg and foot but for the first time in three years I stood up straight and slept about six and a half hours. So I consider it a success for me. I still had to lay on my back and not my sides but I still got some sleep. If anyone has any questions please just ask and I will let you know all I can about what I know in my experiences.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 02/23/2013 - 11:30 AM
    Good to hear that it helped you. One word of caution always say it was at least better then 50% pain relief..
    Some insurance Co do not cover if it doesn't reduced pain by 50 % or more.
    From my experience the paddle is the best way to go and about every six months the coverage gets better as the paddle scars in and becomes more stable. I was told off the record that 50% was the cut off point but to me if it was only 35% or any help its worth it.
    Now I said the paddles are better but its a more complex surgery then using perc leads. We do have one member that had perc type leads placed but they still did a lamimectomy to secure them and she is happy with it.
    So a set of perc leads stiched in may be as good

    Good Luck. And always ask for a reprogram when your coverage changes as it will change
  • pandqmamappandqmama Posts: 175
    edited 02/24/2013 - 12:02 PM
    im glad you received some relief! it can never fix you but may be able to give you some of your life back. iwish you all the luck for you and for all those that your pain effects.
  • reesemayrreesemay Posts: 67
    edited 02/24/2013 - 2:45 PM
    AWESOME it helped you!!! What did the actual stim sensations feel like? Was it buzzing electric shocks zapping??? Like maybe someone massaging??? I have heard numerous things, some I have even heard say it is like bubbles. As long as it helps that is great!!!
    Where in your back did they place the leads to get that much coverage? I am hoping to get the same amount of coverage you are getting, but in both of my legs and back as well. How were you able to sleep on your back? I thought that is where the leads are directly placed? I have difficulty sleeping on my back
    So happy for you...mine is workers comp too. Can you PM me and tell me which insurance you have? I hope we have the same and my company wont give me a hard time. They are so slow to approve anything. I am told it is fast, but when we have been waiting on some improvement any amount of time is too slow. I am ready for all of this **** to be over with NOW!!!
  • I met with the dr who is gonna be doing my permenant stimulator and I did back ground checks on him and it came back not the greatest. He does not have good bedside manners and has as much bad replies as good ones. My pm dr referred him but what does everybody think about having good manners and caring or just seeming to relate to people as being a good dr. I mean I think I trust him but I want to get answers if I have them and some reviews said that he was bad for not getting back with you to soon or believing that you are still in pain so I'm not sure if I need to search for another dr or what. I'm supposed to go for pre surgery stuff on April 9 but still don't know my final date yet. I'm just tired of dealing with all of this and want to be done already. I've been in pain for three years and I want to get off these pain meds that I've gotten addicted to. I mean I can't get out of bed without them but I've been on them so long that I can't cut back because I tried and it don't work. I just want my life back. Ok I'm done.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 04/02/2013 - 5:46 PM
    First off I get the feeling that most people that rate a doctor only do so if they are unhappy. A few years back my Dad was in a ICU and they had to call in a nuro for some problems my Dad was having this great big attitude showed up and the nurses and others complained that he was rough and had a real bad bed side manner. Turns out they were right He was a jerk but he also did a lot for my Dad and probally saved his life so bedside manner means nothing to me. Egos ,mean nothing to me if they can back it up. Now if there is a list of malpractice incidents that would be differant.

    If you are already set up with this surgeon I doubt you will be able to replace him in less then a month or two maybe longer.So how bad is he? Also keep in mind one person can make several complaints about the same doctor with other screen names if they were upset with the doctor. Just think about it before making a choice. I do feel we have to have faith and trust our doctors. Hard choice at this point.
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