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

TWO SCS permanents implant this Friday 8/23/13

I had 2 trials done, one with leads for my leg pain. My leg pain really isn't that bad since a fusion surgery of l3-5 back in '07. The trial didn't seem to work very well, until they removed the trial, then the pain was back, and I realized I still had the leg pain, but had learned to ignore it. The 2nd trial was paddles, one on either side of my lumbar region.

So on Friday they're going to implant both. I've read almost every page of posts, and am curious why paddle implantation is so much worse? Any idea what kind of recovery I'm looking at?

Is there anyone here who had had 2 types/locations of implants at the same time?


  • So no one else has had 2 stimulators at the same time?
  • what you mean by two stimulators at once? Do you mean that they are going to use both paddle leads and wire leads? Or are they implanting two separate spinal cord stimulators, each with separate lead types?
    If this is being done solely for back or leg pain, then it would make no sense to use both type of leads if you got adequate coverage with the paddle leads or the wire leads, and it would not make sense to implant both types for the same condition.
  • yasminayyasmina Posts: 166
    edited 08/22/2013 - 9:03 AM
    They will be implanting leads for my leg pain, and paddles for my lumbar pain. I had 2 trials done, and found some relief with both. So yes, I'm having 2 SCS implanted in different regions for different reasons. I'm nervous because it seems that no one else on any of the boards I'm on have ever had this type of implant done. I'm very nervous about the recovery period. I have to be at the surgical center tomorrow at 6:15, thank god, because I'm not good at no food or drink after midnight! Food's no problem, but I always have a beverage by my side. :(
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 08/23/2013 - 2:40 AM
    First I wanted to wish you good luck with the implant this morning, but I have to admit that I am really still confused as to why they are implanting two different batteries, two different types of leads in the same area of the lumbar spine?? My understanding of scs is that it is used to treat primarily neuropathic pain, and it sometimes also gives relief to low back pain but they are not made to treat mechanical pain ( low back pain).......if it does, it is a bonus, but that is not the purpose of scs.
    It is really unusual to use two systems to treat one area of the spine.
    To get better coverage, they could have used the paddle leads, and doing that allows coverage in more areas, and different options as far as programs used to manage the pain.
    Anyway, I hope that this helps to manage your pain and gives you long term relief.
  • I hope so as we need a monitor with some knowledge of the device. I had read here, someone had or was to have a lumbar and
    cervical SCS. Two units but 2 surgeries. Sometimes I get concerned they will put 1 in anyone for any reason. I hope it doesnt turn into a pain management bubble that bursts. FYI: mine (just waiting for a date) is for constant, maddening, muscle pain and spasm in upper back. Nerve pain has improved over time, muscle pain gets worse. So although nerve related it's not the primary reason for surgery. And yes, the last day of the trial those muscles felt fantastic!
    Well glad you are here to help us. Good luck yasmina! Please be in touch when you feel well enough.
  • We all are the mods for all of the forums. I just have a bit of knowledge about the units because I was sent for a consult for one some time ago. I didn't go ahead with the implant for many reasons but did some heavy duty research into them, the various models, leads and companies involved in them and like to see what is upcoming with them.
    I had many reasons at the time for not going ahead with it, but have kept the option open for later, along with the pain pump implant.
    I also tend to think that they offer them far too early and for the wrong reasons in some cases, but for others, after you have exhausted the other options, they offer some real pain relief for the first time in years.
    Using two units in two different areas of the spine makes sense to me, but not using two models in the same area. I hope Yasmina comes back to let us know how she's doing and how it is working for her. I hope that her doctors explain their reasoning for using two units with different leads as well. I am always interested in learning more.
    I hope that you get your date soon. That has to be the worst part of it is the wait for someone to give you a day when you are finally going to have some relief. I will keep watching to see how you make out too.
  • Hi all, I'm back! Having significant pain right now. There was a lot of confusion at first, I was to have leads for my leg pain, and paddles for my peripheral lumbar pain. The dr. didn't remember this from our discussion at my last appt., and when he went through my files realized he was wrong. He was just going to implant the leads for my leg pain. So my 7:30 surgery time turned out to be after 10, as they had to get approval from the ins. co. I finally went in for surgery, and they woke me up 1/2 way through to check on placement of the leads and paddles. Then they put me back to sleep, and I woke up in recovery. The St. Jude rep came in and went through some of the settings, but ask me today what they are, and I couldn't tell you! It's one battery pack and one remote for both, so I don't have to play which is which. I'll keep you posted along the way how everything is going.
  • Glad that you are out the other side now. I hope that as you recover, things will improve as far as your pain levels go. Just make sure to follow the restrictions put in place, until the leads and pocket are healed and scarred in place.
    I was pretty sure that implanting two devices in the same area would be rather unusual, but one device with two different types of leads makes a bit more sense.
    Speedy healing.
  • yasminayyasmina Posts: 166
    edited 08/24/2013 - 6:59 AM
    Thank you Sandi. I myself wasn't even sure about how it was all going to work! But now that it's over, and I remember a bit of what the rep said, it makes total sense. I slept 12 hours last night (I can't even remember the last time that happened :) ) and am still really tired. I'm not even going to try to turn on the stim until at least tomorrow. But I guess I should read my discharge papers first! LOL! Every movement is an exercise in pain. I have 2 dogs laying on me right now, and I hate to disturb them just to go to the bathroom. :)
  • Hope your recovery goes well. I am like 7-10 days away so Im interested in your progress over the next week. I know you are hurting but, you just got the legs done or both? PLEASE remember to ICE! Everyone says it's 5 bad, bad days. Hang in...Im thinking about you!!!!!! Keep in touch when able
  • Hi Terri, I'm doing ok. I had the legs and the lumbar area done. It's very unusual to have 2 areas done at once, but my first trial was for my legs. I didn't think it worked until they removed it, and I realized how much pain I really had in my legs. Then I had the 2nd trial for my lower back, and it really worked. So I decided to have implants in both areas. I've been icing, but it doesn't seem to help. Both implants are attached to the same battery, now in my butt. :) So when I recharge, I only have to do it in one place. Good luck with yours. Where region are you having it done? Are you having the trial, or the implant?
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 08/24/2013 - 7:02 PM
    Just remember to use the ice as often as you need to, 15-20 minutes on, then off for the same amount of time. A frozen bag of peas or corn works really well and conforms to the areas where you need it , much better than an old ice bag. Or a frozen gel pack is also good.
    Hopefully, the pain will subside quickly. Some doctors allow you to turn on the stim right away and others want you to wait until they see you a week or so post op to make sure that things are healing well before turning it on.........hopefully, he wrote the instructions for you in your discharge paperwork.
    Rest as much as you need to, surgery is surgery and your body has gone through alot already to get where you are, so take things as you need to. I have a little shitzu-maltese ( all 3.6 lbs of her) and I know what you mean about not wanting to make our pet kids move just so we can do things.......she always gives me this look, like Mom, you woke me up for that????? LOL
  • My husband is being such an ass now. He's angry about everything, and hates everything and anything he has to do. I'm not going to let him get to me though. I need to focus on healing. It's so hard without his support.
  • 1st. You are one of the bravest people on here getting 2 at once.
    2nd. MEN! He needs to get over himself! This is about you. Man up and help your wife MISTER!
    3. If he will, have him get you the ice packs (peas or beads) CVS brand. They stay cold for about an hour.
    LAST.....you have a lot of important healing. FOLLOW the orders or your going thu this for not. Read back at Kathy's story last year.....she's doing good but over did it.
  • yasminayyasmina Posts: 166
    edited 08/25/2013 - 5:34 AM

    Many thanks! I don't feel very brave. But I'm glad I'm here, both for the support, and in case anyone else is thinking of doing this. As for my husband, he knew this was coming, so I don't understand why he's acting the way he is. I know he has to run the girls back and forth to work, both on different schedules. That must be tiring. I really think if I get out of the house for awhile this afternoon, it will help both of us.
  • Oh, and I have several reusable cold packs that I've been using off and on.
  • If you feel like getting out of the house 2-3 after surgery, I am impressed! I live alone and am going to have some home health care for the first??????? Everybody is different but, let me know (if you were alone) when you think you could get thru the night without help. Whenever that happens. Where is your battery? Does the lumbar (paddles) hurt a bit more than the leads in the legs? I wonder how many inches of incision you have altogether? OK....hang in and take it easy! Be honest ok?
  • By getting out of the house, I simply meant going down to the pool with my sister and my pg niece. I wouldn't worry about the nights, as long as there's a bathroom nearby! I would love actually to sleep in my recliner, but my dogs make it impossible. The battery is buried in my butt. I haven't turned on the stim yet, so I couldn't tell you if one hurts worse than the other. But from my trials, I don't remember any difference in once hurting more than another. I haven't looked at my incisions yet, so IDK how long they are. I do get tired very quickly. If you're going to be alone, I would suggest cooking and freezing meals in single portion sizes. For breakfast, bagels and cream cheese are easy.
  • I'm feeling much better today. Still have pain, but not nearly as bad as over the weekend. I get to take the dressings off today and can shower (yippee!). I'm finally going to turn on the stim today and play around with it, see what all it does.
  • So glad to hear you're a bit better Let us know how is the stim????????
  • I didn't have any luck yesterday with the stim. When I got up this am, I tried again, and I was able to get some stim in my legs. I played around, but wasn't about to get any in my lumbar area. I'll try again later today and see what I can do. Definitely a shower later!
  • I have no idea? The leads may be ok but the paddle may be early. How you feeling otherwise? Your regular pain and surgery pain combined puts you at a what on the pain scale?
  • My pain level depends on what I'm doing. When I'm just sitting in my lounge chair, it's a 0. When I get up, the surgical pain is around a 7. When I walk or stand in one place for long, it's off the chart. I tried the stim again not too long ago, just sitting, and got it going. It felt similar to the trial, where when I moved, the intensity of the stim increased or decreased, depending on what I was doing, so obviously the leads and paddles aren't in one place yet. I'll try it tomorrow walking around.
  • TerriPTTerriP Posts: 303
    edited 08/27/2013 - 9:34 AM
    Sorry it's still "off the chart" when you move/walk. It is what it is. You had 2 big ones at the same time. I dont know many people who would sign up for that. So if Im going in next Tuesday late afternoon, I would know if there is something serious wrong by Friday before Labor Day weekend, hopefully? Just pace yourself, ok?
  • I can't believe how tired I am today! Actually Terri, the was I count it, it's 4 days out. I went to pick a script from my pm, my husband drove (since I'm restricted right now) and just the walking to and from the car, and to and from the office, was an exercise in pain (I didn't have my stim on). I guess I just need to take it easy on myself and not expect miracles. :(
  • did you get a chance to read Kathy's Journal from a year ago. You can follow by day. I remember she wore herself out loading the dishwasher for like two days, right about day where you are. So you can PM me but whats happening with your post op meds. Stronger and helping? Are you taking an anti inflammatory? Remember, every person on here that I have read their recovery said 2 weeks back to work was too early. Just pain and tired. I will pm you my email as we are the only ones on this thread
  • Yes, I did read Kathy's journal. It was an amazing and informative read! Today it is my upper thoracic area that hurts so bad. Almost every breath I take it hurts. I'm not sure why, but it's very tender to the touch. Plus I'm still very tired, in spite of sleeping well.

    PS. I sent you a pm and an email
  • They didnt tell you much did they? The paddles require (I cant spell this) a Lamectamy (sounding it out) They cut the bone to attache the paddle. Thats a major surgery in and of itself and part of a fusion I believe. To get those wires to the battery they make those side cuts in the t-spine. EVERYBODY says that hurts and will hurt going forward from time to time. Your leg just has leads, no bone shaving. I am not having paddles as dr feels too invasive we think we can get the pain with leads, BUT they can move as not attached to the bone. Pros and cons. People put the lidoderm patch on that t-spine incision or near it to help numb it. Re read Kathy and Mel's journals about those incisions. Dont know why dr's didnt tell you about this part. It hurts and honestly is the reason I postponed. (is it in the scapula area?) Then found out My surgeon wont use paddles for neck. Im sorry hope it doesnt last long but all have it.
  • yasminayyasmina Posts: 166
    edited 08/29/2013 - 3:47 AM
    Yes Terri,

    It's above the scar and under the scapula.
  • you may want to do a search for scapula pain and scs surgery on this site
Sign In or Register to comment.