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Trial week - activity levels?

So Im about to get the Boston Scientific trial for cervical radiculopathy.
For you guys who have gone through the trial, what was your experience of it? Did you go all out that week and pushed your limits to see how the scs could help you in peak type of situations, or were you just too sore from the procedure and had to take it easy?
I dont know yet if my trial will be one week, almost hoping it will be longer so I can really try it, but I guess up to insurance company, and one week fairly common.
Would love to test my limits that week and see what the device can do for me but maybe not possible in such a short time? I see myself that week working full time and more, driving for hours on end, doing yardwork and weight training and wiping myself out. Just kiddin, that would set me up for failure Im sure.
From what I understand, the doctor is looking for confirmation that I feel 50% or more relief from pain with the device?

Would love to hear your experience from trial week!

Cause: car accident & genetics
Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
Moving Forward: SCS


  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 05/03/2013 - 7:00 PM
    You will have limits because your leads will just be laying in the spinal canal and only attached where they enter the skin on your back. Most trials are five days and generally Monday through Friday so if there is a problem some body is available. Bending twisting and lifting are probally the worst things to do. Don't worry you can do some just be very careful. I had to laugh because my lumbar test went great and I did walking and sitting in chairs that I could not do before the trial then the cervical trial I went a bit crazy and wanted to see what I could get away with. I did yard work and it was working great. The last day of my trail I mowed my yard worked good first time in about a year I could do it. Then came the sweat that released the tape holding the SCS unit on my back. The unit dropped about six inches and pulled the leads about six inches down inside which changes the coverage BIGTIME.
    I thought I was having a heart attack until I figured out what was wrong. I was able to shut it off and was already going in later that day to have it removed. When you get the trial you will see that a quarter of a inch can change the coverage. The PM doc was more upset that I was mowing and having the dirt and dust fly around. The most important safety issue is keep the leads and the area they enter you clean and dry. If infection gets on the leads and gets through your skin they have a free route to your spinal canal.
    Remember clean and dry.

    Now on the other side use the hell ot of t make changes see what they do make notes on what works and what doesn't. When you get programed for the test make sure you feel the sensations in the areas that are causing your pain. If your lower back hurts and the sensations stop at the knees going up you need more programing. Do not be afraid to have them reprogram anytime during your trial if it changes.
    This is your one and only test drive to see if this will help you.

    Oh on the 50% they look for be careful try to be honest but if not 50% or more pain reduction insurance will not cover the cost most of the time. This is why the reps say its good at 50% because that's a sale.

    Any more question just ask. There are several of us with the implants some good stories and some bad.
    It is not a fix its a tool to help. Are you in good health otherwise? I ask because once implanted no more MRIs which I didn't think would be a issue then I had a small stroke several CTs done then my spine needed more help and several more CTs now I have to wait because of to much radiation.
    On the plus side the CT mylograms showed way more detail of spine issues than MRIs did.
    MRIs missed three nerve root compressions for me.
    Some SCS units will allow a brain MRI on certain rare MRI units. My hospital did not have the right MRI

    Have fun with it and hope it works.
  • Ms PixieMMs Pixie Posts: 154
    edited 05/04/2013 - 5:55 PM
    I cannot thank you enough for always coming up with detailed info and experience! I didnt think about the leads like that and yeah that would be stupid if they start moving around and I mess up the coverage or the unit moves.
    And yes, I remember that from one of your previous posts, that you got that dirt and stuff by the incision site and how mad your doc was. Once we get going, we dont stop, haha. They see it differently and an infection in the spinal canal, not good...

    I am very healthy except for my upper spine. 40 year old, low bp, non smoker, no other illness. On my last mri a month ago they did found an abnormal artery next to C3. It is enlarged and if I ever have to have surgery on C3, the doc said I have to mention to the surgeon that I have this condition and that the artery is close to the disc. I asked about stroke risk but he said I am fine with it if no one nicks it?

    My C4 is going bad but Im leaving it for now. My pain doc and his team think that the SCS will be benefitial to me (more even pain and flare control and hopefully cut back on the meds) but my surgeon said he'd rather remove another disc. I want to keep any disc that is not beyond repair or is giving me h, and most of my symptoms are still neuropathy from the levels they removed, as well as facet and stenosis flares. Everyone is pretty sure that I wont wake up one day and have a healthy C spine, its pretty messy. I understand that I will most likely have more surgery in the future and meds and injections I have to live with and I can. But if I can have less of them and get a chance to go back to work full time again? Yes please.

    Its hard to predict if we will ever have mri's again, but I understand what you mean. It can be more or less ideally to put in.

    Feel free not to answer if too private, but before your stroke, had they pinpointed any stroke risk for you? Or did it just happen out of the blue? My condition with the abnormal artery means a higher stroke risk but still a rather low one if I understand it right? And the doc said its not really anything that I can do to prevent it from acting up in the future (burst), like take meds etc. If C3 starts deteriorating they will have to monitor the artery, but since its in my records I guess they know this. Maybe I'll ask about it specifically at my appt with the doc and the SCS rep. With your first hand experience of stroke, if it was you, would you be satisfied knowing that or should I seak out a stroke specialist to look at my scans? I am so sorry you had a stroke and that you have had to deal with that on top of your spinal conditions. I hope your turn comes soon for the scs!

    I hope to hear from the Boston Sci rep this week and Im anxious to at least try the thing.

    My sincere thanks for your input! It helps me so much.
    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 05/05/2013 - 1:08 AM
    They never found the source of the stroke so I did not know if it was from any of the surgeries or just a fluke. Some thought it may have started with a blood clot from laying around so much. Sometimes I go to bed for three days or more which is not good for us but I do what I have to do. I now do a pool PT twice a week and other days I do get up, shower and maybe go eat somewhere or get fast food and bring it home. I had another surgery for two nerve root compressions after the stroke and the surgeon had me go to a stroke neurologist for clearance to have surgery. They cleared me and I had no problem with that surgery which went very well. One more interesting point is that this surgery was after my SCS and the MRI for the SCS did not show these nerve root compression. Because of no more MRIs they did a CT mylogram which very clearly showed the nerve root issues. There was a payoff anyway.

    Yes I would make sure anyone doing anything with you knows that you have a issue with the artery at c3.
    I would not worry about it unless you have surgery in that area. The SCS leads for the trial will come from below there and run up to that area. If you have a SCS implanted they may do a laminectomy in that area so yes remind them that its there and may be a issue. Its easy to say its in the chart but its interesting that not all the docs read the chart and that is where a problem can start.
    If I was in your shoes I would not worry about it stroke wise unless its got a bulge. It sounds like its just closer then normal. If that's the case they just need to use good judgement when they work in the area.
    Ask your BS rep how much a replacement remote will cost when you see them next. Just for info.

    I will get a cervical scs during my next cervical surgery. My surgeon will not do it until then because my leads will be harder to place because they can not be placed past my cord damaged area. They will come in from the top and go down. Maybe in the next year or two when the next levels deteriorate. He did say in the next year or two over two years ago and I am still waiting so I guess I am lucky the next levels are still good. Just a small catch 22 I guess.

    Good luck with your trial. Its late tonight I hope I covered your questions if not or you have any more please ask. I will answer anything I know from my experience if it helps.

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