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Help with SCS

Geez, where do I begin... My trial SCS is coming out tomorrow. This will have been my second trial, first one was about two years ago......it was not successful. That was a Medtronic unit, the current one is some top of the line unit that Boston Scientific makes. It's been better overall, but I don't know how to decide if I should have it permanently implanted. I'm fused from L4 to S1 and had a kyphoplasty procedure done on T12.... Two separate injuries and I hurt in both places. After meeting with the rep to readjust the unit today the sensation has changed. It's almost like pressure instead of tingling in my mid back. He worked with me for an hour and frankly seemed a little baffled. Said "your back has really been messed up." Basically it took a long time to get the unit working right and lots of energy (current) in some areas and very little in others. Has anyone else had a hard time getting their units programmed right? How different was the permanent unit from the trial?


  • pandqmamappandqmama Posts: 175
    edited 05/13/2013 - 12:03 PM
    I worried and often wonder if the medtronic (or Boston Scientific or St. Judes) representatives may not be the reason why some people do not have successful trials. My experience has been with that one person really struggled, told me things that were 'not possible' yet, when I asked to see the other rep, all of these things were possible and I was able to get better coverage too.

    I would call and ask to work with a different representative and see what they can do before calling it quits.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 05/13/2013 - 12:51 PM
    I agree with pandqmama the rep can make a large difference in a successful trial and even a implant.
    It doesn't take much research on three companies to see who started this treatment first and who came into later and made enough changes to not infringe on the others copy rights. You can read many boards saying one is better then the other but who can really say that unless you have one of each.

    I believe the units do the same basic job in slightly different ways. Some say one is better then another in leg pain but the other one is better for lower back pain.
    I have one and it covers both my leg pain and my lower back pain. What I do think the difference is
    THE EXPERIENCE OF THE PROGRAMING REP. I had some issues in the beginning that my original
    rep could not take care of. Then when they were not available I had another rep that dropped in from another area. She did a great job and it covered everything I needed. I now have three reps that I can use.
    There is a large difference in their ability and what they will try.
    I do have a problem with one ankle not getting coverage and I know which one to call.

    You say they worked with you for a hour and could not get it. In some cases a hour is not enough time.
    My unit has aprox 44,000,000 combinations. It could take time. Its to bad your at the end of the trial. You might ask the doctor for a couple of days and another programmer to try.
    One problem I see is that these use to be rare now its HOT and many more people are getting them.
    There are many new employees working in this field and do not have experience. They can not even tell you what it will feels like.
    One of my reps could not even say what a tens unit felt like.

    By the way which ever company they use its always the new state of the art one they will use on you.
    I wonder where all the other units go?
    The implant does normally work better for you but insurance will not cover them unless a min 50% pain reduction has been made during your trial. Be careful what you say when asked how much help you had from it if you think it will help you.
    And you do not have to look very far to find people that it does not help. I wonder how many of them would have worked with a more experienced rep?

    In addition the doctor had to place the leads at the right place also. So you need a skilled doctor and rep for this to work.
    Maybe if this unit doesn't work ask for a trial with the medtronics again.

    Good Luck
  • Thanks for the information guys. Frankly, I don't know if I could tolerate another trial.....it's all or nothing this time. The strangest thing to me is that the sensation is more "pressure" in the main part of my back instead of "tingling." The Boston rep said I could have some nerve damage in that area that is making the sensation different. How much worse is the procedure to perm install the unit? How long was the recovery to get back to your "normal" pain level?
  • My implant consisted of four laminectomys in the lower T spine.
    Five days of hell and by the second week everything was better.
    It depends on where the leads or paddle is placed. Mime wasn't normal
    which made it some what worse.
    Hope this helps
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