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

SCS surgery questions

I am having a SCS trial next month. If it all goes well and I go for the permanent implant, how long do I have to wait for the permanent implant after the trial? After the permanent implant surgery, should I have some help with me? I would plan on having the surgery on spring break so my husband is out of school for the week and on vacation from work. How painful is it going to be afterwards? I hear it pretty painful, so I am a little nervous. Was it an inpatient or outpatient surgery? How long was recovery and what were your restrictions?

Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.


  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 11/14/2013 - 8:51 PM
    From my experience you have your trial. Normally four or five days to really try it out.
    Implant can be done has soon has insurance approves it and doctors have time in there schedule..My insurance company took about six weeks for the approval. They fought me on
    Every thing we tried to do. I have a great surgeon and he worked me in five days after approval. For me it's a life changer. Due to scar tissues and my multiple spine issues I am getting a second one installed very soon.
    Implant can be done with perc leads or a paddle lead. Perc leads are just like the leads you will have for your trial. Simple very little pain. A paddle lead takes a laminectomy, meaning they cut one or two holes into the vertebrae and attach the paddle in one or two places.
    This is where the differences come in to play. Perc leads are faster less pain but can migrate more then a paddle that is attached with less chance of migration.
    I strongly believe for the best long term out come a paddle lead is used.
    My first unit is with a paddle and my second unit will be with a paddle.

    Now for pain and recovery
    Perc leads almost no recovery time but the implant will be very sore for a few days to a week. A paddle with laminectomys is very much different. I have had six spine surgeries.
    The laminectomys for the paddle were the worst pain I had but it was over in five days.
    The site for the unit was not bad after a few days and completely done in two weeks.
    The incision and pocket they make does take some time to heal but it really isn't bad.
    In my opinion if you get perc leads you will need help two maybe there days.
    If you get a paddle you will most likely be in bed five days asking yourself why did I do this.
    Depending on how quick you heal you may be down the five days or so and then still need help a few more days. Surgeons down play the pain of this procedure a lot. Just be prepared and have help or a back up ready. There is always the.chance you may sail right through this but that would not be the norm.
    Several members here now have them too I hope they give there time lines for you to compare
    One more question for your doctor would be where he prefers to place the unit. You do not want it near a belt line or strap line. That could be uncomfortable.

    Good Luck and I hope the trial works for you. Some of us get help from it and some do not.
    Feel free to ask anything you need

  • Thank you for your reply. I have already been told that the permanent unit I will get a paddle instead of leads. I really hope this works out for me, sure would be nice to have a little less pain. I am just not looking forward to the pain.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • If the trail works good it should be a great help.
    It's not a cure but a good took to help reduce pain.
    In the beginning I was able to cut meds way down for years.
    Now three years later I have new issues and a trial for a.second I it did great so I hope to get it soon.

    Good Luck I hope this helps you
  • It's not as bad as the lami but those leads are looped and sutured and secured big time. Mine is in what the surgeon calls "the gutter" of the spinal cord. They are not attached to bone. There was PAIN! AND I would have taken a good 10 days off work. Ricki, when done correct the leads are surgery. I had 12 inches of stables and all the same tissue destruction. A good 10 days. I live alone so had home health help and the restrictions are longer to help scar in. Because my neck is so curved and messed up they would not do a paddle. I was lucky to get the leads.
  • in the cervical area there are more things to consider. Ricki, the perm implant for leads in the cervical area please dont tell people 2-3 days of pain. Thats grossly inaccurate and will leave people unprepared post op. Had I thought that, I would have damaged those leads day 3
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 11/24/2013 - 1:59 PM
    I was comparing perc leads and laminectomys for a paddle. No comparison.
    I had perc leads placed for a trial and they were placed from my lumbar to C2 with no pain.
    Yes there will be pain if a incision is done in the neck. That's a no brainier and any incision to run and place the leads will have pain. I was stressing and trying to separate the pain from having the laminectomys which are way more painful. Did not mean to come across that there would be no pain. My scs cervical leads were going to be placed inside the canal from the lumbar area no cervical incisions. Later information showed that was dangerous for me
    and.should not be done because of cord damage leads would pass.

    I strongly believe a paddle is the best way to go when it can be done. I strongly believe paddles cause so much more pain then perc leads but for the outcome the short term pain is worth it
    If it all works out I will be getting a second.scs unit with a paddle in a lower position very soon and that might happen this week..
  • I know the Paddle placement is the most painful aspect of this surgery, I would never dispute that. I also know it is the most effective for precise coverage. All of us who had a trial had perc leads. My point is the perc lead placement is completely different when it comes to surgery (versus the trial). The attachment of the leads to the epidural sac is much less invasive and painful than the paddle, of course! The rest is the same. There is so much misinformation given by doctors and surgeons re: recovery from this surgery to begin with. If you have the leads and you over do it you will cause the leads to migrate or break as they are not secured like the paddle is. Im still dealing with programing 3 months latter. But getting there. Good luck on your surgery!!!! It's today or tomorrow right?
  • Just want to let you all know that I have one of the first trials for neck pain done by Medtronics and it has been a life saver. It has been 10 years and am now looking into changing my battery.
  • Thats GREAT! My regret is I didnt go with my instincts and get a paddle. My Medtronics people didnt advise it. My PM doesn't use Boston Sci. A pain Management dr does the surgery for neck no paddle. So....I think it's worth the painful surgery to get it done right and working the first time.
  • Nashj18NNashj18 Posts: 1
    edited 10/22/2014 - 2:32 PM
    This site has been a huge help. I just had my trial SCS (Boston Scientific) taken out yesterday and am waiting to meet with the neurosurgeon and get perm surgery scheduled. I'm having to get the SCS, because of nerve damage caused by my hysterectomy that I had two years ago. This will be my 5th surgery trying to fix all that was messed up. The SCS trial worked, so I can't wait to get the perm surgery over with!! I'm thankful for theses who actually admit that this is not an easy surgery, like the doctors and reps make it out to be.
    Do most patients spend the night at the hospital the first day? I know my own bed would be much more comfortable, but I'm so concerned that because I have been on pain patches and strong pain meds for almost two years, I am going to have a hard time with pain management. The patch and meds have merely dulled my pain, so the thought of going home the first night and my pain getting out of control, just scares me!!!!! Thoughts and advise would be greatly appreciated!!!
    I welcome any advise so I can make this as "easy" as it can be. We have 12 year old twins, that are so ready to have their mom back!!!
Sign In or Register to comment.