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Got a date

I finally got a date for my permenant stimulator on April 26. I'm just wondering if anyone has heard of the dr only doing a epideril and not putting me under? I requested to be put asleep but he kept saying he recommend that I be awake. I don't think I'm gonna be alright with that. Has anyone else had a epideril for a stimulator? I mean I'm so ready for this but I just have not heard of this before. He also said that he wasn't sure of what kind of lead he was going to use a paddle or what so I'm still not sure of that! I'm getting a lumbar stimulator and my trial went good. I'm just a little confused!


  • Local injection is often done ! Not all injections you have to get sedation, I avoid sedation due to if you get sedation you need a driver and it becomes a pain in the ass having to have someone take off work to drive you when injection is fast and a Valium before the injection to me is as good as the slight sedation they use ,

    But why the injection if you getting the scs implant ? For the implant yes they will put you under twilight sedation very light so they wake you up to ask you if lead feels ok where it was placed,

    The procedure is not at all painful other then where the unit gets placed under the skin,

    Good luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I'm ready but nervous for my permenant stimulator on the 26th of April. I talked to my Medtronic rep and he seems to know more and can keep me more calm than the doctors can. He explained to me a little about the procedure and said that they will be doing a epideril at first and then when they get the stem in the right position then i will be under sedation. I will be under a twilight state at first just like my trial. Has anybody else went through this type of procedure like mine? If so please let me know. This is getting put in this Friday and I just want it to work! I had just never heard of nobody having a epideril for this before. Now don't get me wrong I've checked out the dr and he is supposed to be very good at his job and I'm comfortable with him I just didn't know about the epideril. I guess I'm just nervous.
  • I go to surgeon next Monday for cervical. I have never heard of epidural????? Please keep me posted. Had my trial done months ago. Been just too chicken, but I cant take it anymore. I will read your past posts. It would help me to know about how long till approved for perm. Good luck!!!!!!!
  • I would be confused too, I thought if you were having the paddle placed,you needed to have some of your bone removed and thus be put under but i am not a doctor so don't listen to me.

    I'm about ten days post implant, if you have any questions that I can help with, please let me know.
  • Im not getting a paddle in neck. No surgeon round here will do it for Medtronics. They do prefer for paddle lumbar.
  • I go in tomorrow for my perm stimulator but, still not sure if I'm getting a paddle or what. I am getting a Medtronics unit implanted. The dr said that it was a out patient surgery and I will be going home the same day which I'm ok with. Has anyone else had a same day surgery and then went home? It just sounds like the surgery is more than what my dr is making it sound like! I know if I get a paddle lead then I won't be going home the same day. I know I'm just nervous and will be fine!
  • Cervical get leads not paddles-Is what I have heard. That would also be why it is an outpatient surgery. The parts that go onto your spine are comparable to what you had during your trial.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 05/06/2013 - 2:40 PM
    If they are just placing leads it a lot more simple. If they place paddles then they have to do laminectomys to get the paddles placed and attached . Much more involved then using perc leads which may migrate much easier.
    I was given two paddles with laminectomys and it was still done as a out patient and I went home that afternoon.
    It worked out OK but I would of preferred to stay one night for better pain control but my doctor wanted me out of the hospital asp because of the chance of infection. Perc leads with out laminectomy would be much quicker but those leads may migrate more so then a paddle. Keep in mind there is not always room for a paddle also. The perc leads I am talking about are just like the leads used for your trial, they are just placed completely under your skin with the generator.

    Good luck and I hope it works for you
  • I made it home from the hospital and my surgery went alright! All of you were right the surgery pain is very hard to take. It's Sunday and I had my stem put in on Friday and I still can't move at all. My dr put in a paddle implant at t10 area. My Medtronic rep said that I could turn on the stem but I'm in to much pain still. I still can't get out of bed or even twist a little bit in bed it just hurts to bad. I can't wait until I can turn the stem on and start feeling some relief. I gotta go to much pain will try to get back on later.
  • Get through the first week and things will improve. It is tough but we all made it through, and so will you! I know you hurt but you should try to walk a little, get the blood flowing, it will ultimately help you heal.
  • I had a cervical SCS with three incisions from my neck down to my rear (where the battery pack is located). I was up and around the third day which actually helped a lot. Like Pandqmama mentioned above, it is good to get up and move around, especially after such a major surgery. I hope you start to feeling better and can finally turn on your stimulator to see how it works for you! I didn't turn mine on either right away...I waited a week before I felt like I could take it on. Good luck with your recovery!
  • backpainsucksbbackpainsucks Posts: 47
    edited 05/05/2013 - 3:23 AM
    I'm finally up and moving around. It's been a week and two days now and I can just now get up on my own! I still have some surgery pain but not to bad. I have been able to turn my stimulator on some and I can't really tell yet if its working all the way yet or not. I know I'm not getting coverage on my left foot to good but, I go and see the rep in two days and maybe he can help me with programming the stimulator better! All I know is I just want this to work and help me even if just a little! I haven't worked in three years because I have some severe nerve damage on my left side because the disc sat on my nerve for over a year because of wc fighting my case. I finally got all of this approved and my dr said if I wouldn't have had to wait then he doesn't think the damage would be so bad! On the good side of things I now have a stimulator in and I'm going to give it every thing I've got to get to feeling some what normal! I will try and post as much as I can for everyone about my recovery good or bad. I will be back on soon maybe after my rep programs my stem for me and I'll let you all know how it's working! Hey and thanks for reading my post I hope I can be some help to someone and a lot of you have been really helping me so thanks.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 05/06/2013 - 2:57 PM
    Your post makes a couple of good points first being that your case took three years to get through W/C for surgery which the wait appears to have caused nerve damage that will never get better.
    This is a point I try to make from my experience when people try to put surgery off as long as they can.
    Waiting on a cervical surgery if there is any cord compression is wrong. I am paying for that now.

    Second point is learning what your stimulator can do and what adjustments you can make.
    I urge you to play with your controls on the remote you may or may not be able to get some coverage
    Into your foot and use your rep to the Max. If they are in a hurry make them slow down and show you how to help yourself. It is not easy the units can do so much. I have had mine almost three years and I am still learning.
    Its interesting I have a issue with my left foot that can not be resolved and may have another trial with leads at another level to see if it helps. My insurance keeps saying no but next month I will have new insurance and no pre approval will be needed.

    Your first programing was also just a minimal one to get you started. Was it done in the recovery room when you were still out of it? Hell when I got home I did not remember much of the instructions.
    You should have been given a book that may help I'd you read it.
    Good Luck and we all hope it works or you.

  • I am a week and a half post perm stimulator implant and went to my dr's office today Tuesday to get programmed and all my nurse wanted to talk about was me going back to work within four to five months! I haven't worked in three years and have bad nerve damage. All she was worried about was me getting out to work. I'm not even sure that this is even gonna help me yet because I've been in so much pain. My goal is to go back to work but, I want to make sure I'm ok to do so not just jump back at it to soon. Is this normal for them to do this or is she pushing me to fast? I have to walk with a cane because my left leg and foot go numb all the time and the pain is constant. I drove a truck and did heavy lifting so I'm not sure what it is I would even do. I think she just made me a little nervous because I'm not sure that I'm quite ready to judge this stem yet to say if it is going to help or not, especially to go back to work or not.
  • Not sure if my stimulator is gonna work! I have to go back wed to get programmed again. It doesn't feel like the trial did to me! It's not just helping the nerve pain in my back or my foot. I'm hoping they can set this thing right because it was to high and zapping my left rib so my rep lowered it but, she went to low! I can't set my level to high or it hurts and no matter how high I go its not helping the nerve pain. How long should I wait before I really worry or not that this might not work? This is my last chance. I'm two and a half weeks post surgery and don't know if that is enough time to really judge this yet but, I'm worried! I'm just gonna roll with it for now and wait and see.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 05/13/2013 - 3:44 AM
    Sorry to hear it isn't working.
    I did not have real good coverage until my second programing rep. She was better then the first.
    She explained they have a combination of about 44,000,000 combinations they can set.
    Don't give up yet give them time and maybe ask the doctor on the side if another rep might help.
    That is how I found my second rep.
    It may in a worst case situation take a few months to get it right.
    My unit was started at the t11,12 area and then the paddle was moved up to two levels around T9,10
    on surgery day. But I do feel they need to just get you programed right and take care of it that way.
    Make sure the rep takes the time with you to make this work.
    Did your trial go well, I don't remember?

  • pandqmamappandqmama Posts: 175
    edited 05/13/2013 - 12:20 PM
    I too had one Medtronic representative which was so much better than another. I would see a different rep, and see what they can do. My original rep didn't know how to do a few things (allow adaptstim and speed dial thing in two different groups) in which the other representative did. Also, at first I was pretty much getting coverage from paddle down and wanted less legs, more back, the first person wasn't able to do this but when I asked to see a different person, he was able to figure it out.

    What if this is a common problem? What if peoples trials don't work just because they were programmed wrong or worse yet, what if trial worked and just because someone was not as well trained as another, you ended up getting the 'last resort' removed. so scary.

    Also, about week four I really started to feel better. I don't remember how tough of a time you've had recovering, but please don't worry yet. I strongly recomend seeing another representative.
  • I do agree also about waiting longer to give this more time to heal in and let my rep which the one I'm meeting tomorrow which is wed is a different rep maybe able to program my stem a little better. I can't give up on this at all because I've not had much of a life for way too long. My daughter starts college in two weeks and I've been going through this since she was fifteen. It's been very emotional for my whole family so I will not give up so easy! I have also been talking to a lot of people on here and I don't want to scare anyone away from going through with they're stimulator implant because of listening to my non success so far! I wouldn't change a thing that I have done but, I just need this to work right. Thanks to everyone who has been responding and helping me through all of this painful process!
  • TerriPTTerriP Posts: 303
    edited 05/14/2013 - 5:15 AM
    I have been reading this board for almost a year, Everyone states after surgery as they heal (scar tissue- movement-swelling) the settings have to be adjusted. I think the 1st 6 weeks is biggest but up to a year. I think hope it's normal. Ask your Rep.
    good luck. Finally Im going in after some major dental surgery
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 05/14/2013 - 4:48 PM

    I don't know why I was thinking you were still in the trial.
    What leads did they give you and did they knock you out or do it awake. I could see the non surgical leads done with a local but no way a paddle. They did my paddle and woke me up to test it. Coverage was not good enough they knocked me back out (sort of I could hear them but I could not say anything) it was a odd feeling but no pain. They raised my paddle two levels and it worked great.
    If your still having problems with coverage it could be the rep or its possible the leads moved.
    What are they saying now and have they done any X-rays to check it out?

    Pandqmama I do feel that many trials get a negative result from poor programing.
    I even felt the programing rep for trials should be the best rep to get the best results.
    And the most sales for the company, it seems to me they would look into this.
    The trial is too quick and short. I was lucky that I knew it was going to help in the first
    30 mins because of my rep. My second rep was not has good.
    My good rep took 3.5 hours to get my full coverage working on about my third reprogramming.
    This is why I caution people about the 50% reduction in pain for the insurance company to cover it.
    Also interesting fact is I was using mine 24/7 and now I can reduce the time and still feel pretty well.

    This is a procedure I feel could help so many people but with all the negative information online it worries new people. Just when they tell you the possible side effects scares many off even though its very rare. And yes I am aware it will not help everyone depending on the cause of their pain.
    It is way more safer then a pain pump which should be the last one to try.
    I think the pain pumps have more possible safety issues then the scs does and they seem to be placing
    A lot of pumps now too. I have been considered for a pump and later has I deteriorate more I may have to add one.
    Its just another option to look into

  • Backpainsucks
    I know what the college part does to you also.
    My step daughter was given a scholarship to UC Berkeley. I didn't get to help move her there and I didn't get to visit her at school but I did work it out with my doctors for extra injections and steroids so I did get to go to her graduation just about this time last year. It was worth every bit of the hassles to do it.
    I wish I could have been there more. We did also have a really good day in San Francisco just for fun too.

    You are about to enter the fastest four years of your life. LOL
  • Sorry so long to get back on here but, having a bit of trouble with my stimulator! I had to have one of my reps program the stem different for me because it was hurting my ribs! It no longer hurts to use it but, it's not helping my pain at all. I'm also having to recharge every day. My battery drains at least half way in just half a days use. This is not what I expected at all and if I had it to do all over again I don't think that I would! This has been beyond stressful and depressing and my drs nurse can only think about sending me back to work which I haven't done in three years. I mean don't get me wrong it is my goal to get back to work but, not before I'm ready. I'm so ready to get my life back to normal but, I need to make sure this thing will work first. My dr did do my surgery with a paddle lead and went to my T8T9 area and yes he only did a epideril. They did sedate me a little so I don't remember much. You know if this doesn't work I still don't think I would have it removed because I don't want to go under the knife again unless its completely necessary and as of right now it's not working. Ok I'm done griping, I will be back on soon.
  • Do not stop griping until your unit is working. Having a good programmer can make or break the whole thing. What unit did you get that has to be recharged so much. That doesn't sound right at all.
    I messed up a cervical trial pulling the leads down a few inches by accident and it set my chest off like a heart attack. If the leads are placed right they should still be able to get your coverage dialed in.
    Removal would not be has bad has the first implant but I know it would be great if it worked so keep getting reprogrammed . My lumbar implant was first programed and got into my rib area, took them about two mins to change that. Ribs and organs are areas we don't want coverage.
    I have three reps to use and one is way better then the other two. Ask the doctor for help with a experienced programmer. Again I do not know what unit you have but my medtronics last for about two weeks with 24 hour a day use before recharge. It also has aprox 44,000,000 combinations of settings the rep has to work with it may take awhile.
    Catch you later
  • I have a Medtronic stimulator for my lower lumbar L4L5 area! Before they changed my stem off my rib it felt a lot like pressure more than a vibration feeling. I think I will have to ask for another rep because it still just doesn't feel right. I'm still in a lot of pain and can't do anything because its just not working. I use it when I get up in the morning and leave it on through out the day until about 5:00 or so and then I have to charge it because it loses about half to three quarters of a charge. I know that's not normal so I don't what's going on. I also can't sleep with it on because no matter what level I put it on it hurts to bad when I'm in bed. I'm hoping they can get it right soon because I don't know how much more I can deal with this thing! I will be back on soon so thanks for listnening!
  • I agree, that charging daily soo doesn't sound right. I have to charge mine once every other week, and that is only because it at .25. I also had to see different medtronic rep before I finally got the results I wanted. Do you have the adapt stim? What number are you running at? How may programs at once? I also know that if I wouldn't have asked to see a different representative, I wouldn't be as happy as I am now with my unit. I have back pain at around the same area, my paddle was placed at the same place. I wish I could help you, I cannot imagine how frustrated you must be. Please let me know, or Rick, hes been through it all, if there is anything we can do.
  • I've not been on here in a while but, I finally got a rep that could program my stem somewhat right! I was recharging every day and now it's more like once every week and a half when I leave the stem on all day! It's still not working on my pain in my back or foot yet but, I'm gonna give it a chance and see if it does work. It's been five weeks and it just now is working so we will see. The girl rep I had she had the stem set way out of wack this rep said! He said that its the reason why it wasn't working and why I had to recharge every day. So it is feeling better than it did for now but, I'm not gonna get happy yet. I set my stem at 4.2 and that's as high as I can go to feel comfortable while I'm standing but, when I'm laying its like 3.8 that's the way he set my group setting! I'm giving it a chance and we will see so I only hope it helps with my pain even though it doesn't help with my numbness.
  • Backpainsucks
    See what one person can do when they know what there doing.
    It will get better over time yet. Six months it starts working even better with a good rep.
    I am afraid that so many people are getting these now there is not enough well trained reps.

    Good Luck
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