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pain after trial

Is it normal to experience pain from where the leads entered my back all the way to the ended at T8. Ever since the doctor pulled the leads I have had quite a bit of pain down my spinal column. It isn't a muscular feeling. It feels like it is in my spine. Is this normal or should I be concerned?

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.


  • Jennifer,

    I experienced a LOT of pain in my back - definitely where the leads entered, but the worst pain I had was right in the middle of my back, which the nurse said she thought was where one of the leads was placed. That particular spot hurt SO bad during the trial, as well as about a week afterwards. My perm implant was scheduled for one week after my trial, and I almost didn't move forward with it - I didn't know if that pain would be permanent, or it it would go away. I'm happy to say that the pain did go away, and I didn't experience the same pain with my perm implant.

    I would say, though, that if you're concerned, give your doctor a call - just to rule out infection, and also to let them know what you're experiencing, so that if you do move forward with the perm implant, they can be aware of any issues you might have had with the trial.

    Aside from the pain from the leads, how did the trial go? Did it help with your pain?

  • My trial went great! The doctor had me take it easy for 3 days to make sure my pain was covered and the leads didn't move. Then he told me to pretty do what I wanted within reason. I still followed my restrictions though. I did some light house hold chores and I walked all over the place. I was walking a hundred times better. I can't wait to get the perm implant. Should be in the next couple of weeks.

    How was the pain after the perm implant? I know the NS uses paddle leads. The pain doctor showed me about where my incisions would be. The upper incision would be right about my bra line. What type of unit do you have? Mine will be a medtronics.
    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.
  • I'm glad to hear that the trial went so well for you! It is amazing, isn't it? The way it works, that is. To be able to walk without limping . . . function without excruciating pain. Awesomeness!

    I have a Medtronic's unit, as well, but I don't have paddles, thus requiring the laminectomy - I only have leads anchored in place. My NS wanted to have somewhere to go if the leads didn't work. So my recovery experience will be a little different from yours. I was sore from the incisions for a good couple of weeks, but it got better as time went on. I have had a laminectomy before, and I don't remember it being really any different than this in terms of recovery pain, but I can see where it could add a different level to the pain and healing time.

    My greatest pain has been the "pocket" where the battery is implanted. It is still slightly tender, but those first few weeks it really hurt. I was able to lay on my back at night by keeping a rolled up hand towel just under my left hip to keep some of the pressure off of the pocket. I can tell that it is getting better, but I've heard it takes the longest to heal, and I believe it!

    I'm still on "no bending, lifting, twisting" restrictions for another week-and-a-half (6 weeks total), and I'll be glad when I can begin doing a little bit more.

    Good luck with your upcoming surgery! Keep us posted on how it goes for you and how you are doing. Getting my life back is nothing short of amazing, and I wish the same for you!


  • to expect pain as it aggravates the nerve. And boy did it. Two really bad days of extreme pain. Then sore for a while. How long has it been?
  • They pulled it on the 22nd.
    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.
  • it's swollen or red? Thats over a week..too long I think. They really fear infection. Have primary check for infection and call the Dr who did the trial. They shouldnt go further till they know whats up. Did you over do it at all that you may have pulled a muscle????
  • Im confused...you had the perm medtronic surgery w/o the paddle correct?? Was this for neck? or lumbar??? I had leads only perm in Sept. Cervical. I wish I had the paddle.
  • Correct - I only have the leads, not the paddles, and it is for lumbar. My NS wanted to try the easiest way first - if it works, great. If not, then he can do the paddles with the laminectomy.

    I'm beginning to wish he had just done the paddles while he was in there - I think that eventually we are going to end up there anyway. Just hate the thought of another surgery down the road. But who knows - this may work just fine. Crossing my fingers!

  • how will your leads be secured??? Mine go in at bra line (just above) then up to C2 and float in epidural sac. A pain management dr (who teaches the surgery around the county) did mine. I wish they just did the lami. Make sure you read up on old posts for post op. The recovery is less painful I hear...but still same restrictions. It takes a couple months to get a great program..I still trying.
  • My leads aren't floating - at least not to the extent that they did during the trial. Medtronics has an anchoring system to keep the leads secure until scar tissue more permanently secures the leads in place. However, with this method, they can become dislodged - or migrate - easier than with the paddles. My leads were inserted just under where the waistline of my jeans hit me, and they run up into my thoracic area.

    I understand what you mean about getting a good program. So much trial and error. And error. And error. ;-) After having both my rep and her associate do some programming, I have discovered that the skill-set of the programmer is key.

    I hope you find good coverage soon. Heck, I hope we all do!

    = Becky
  • actually she said she just cant spend anymore time with me. She gave me the ability to program my leads on my device the same as she can do. The thing is,,,,,the leads are VERY restrictive in where they can go. I cannot get the stim to grab the nerve that makes the muscles so dang hard and painful. My PM Doctor only uses Medtronic. Im on my own to call Boston Scientific for a trial. We cant get the trial results to duplicate. Im own my own!!!!
  • That is just unacceptable, in my opinion, for the rep just to throw her hands in the air and basically say, "Here - you deal with it."

    I think you should call Medtronic and find out about other reps in your area. In just the short time I've had mine, I've had three different reps program me at different times. I can honestly say that they all three programmed me VERY differently, and only one of them - the last one I saw - seemed to grab the nerves that give me the most trouble.

    I would definitely be calling Medtronic, though. The attitude your rep expressed is - in my opinion - not only unprofessional, but I would venture to say it is not how Medtronic's would like to see themselves being represented.

    Keep me posted!

  • TerriPTTerriP Posts: 303
    edited 02/05/2014 - 9:40 AM
    I just started a new thread with a longer version. This thread isnt the right place. But thanks! keep me posted your progress!
  • Anyone having problems like Terri is call Medtronics this is not right.
  • TerriPTTerriP Posts: 303
    edited 02/09/2014 - 7:13 AM
    There is 1 other rep I did ask to see him. When programming day came they showed up together and she still did the programming. Sadley, Medtronic is still a public company on the stock exchange and about PROFIT. The only other rep is in Orlando which is 3 hours. She was in town once. I am going to call Medtronic to ask them how to work the thing. Then tell my pain Dr. Im in the middle of PT, just to see if that helps, then I need to buy new insurance as COBRA is up April 1st. Im most disappointed that I got a sales job before surgery. I wanted a consult with a NS for a Bos Sci, the reps said "we are #1 in our territory." Ricky, my PM didnt do the surgery. The rep told my PM there wasnt enough room in my cervical area to put a Medtronic paddle, and unlike B.S, Medtronic does more than one Lami (spell?) All felt the paddle would be too painful for me and the leads would work just as well. The surgeon, a PM Dr. they choose (my PM didnt even know him) teaches the procedure to other surgeons all over the SE part of the US. BUT! I think I needed the Boston Sci. It is so difficult to get good coverage for the cervical area from neck to upper back and arms, shoulders, figures.....BUT I JUST NEED THE 2 inches on my trap muscles!!!!! And someone who cares. Im afraid Medtronic will say "well sorry it didnt work for you!" Then Im up a creek and they are off the hook! Oh what to do??
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 02/09/2014 - 8:40 PM
    I had a trial with a medtronics unit for my cervical and it worked fine. I was not able to get the implant because of my cord damage. Sooo I know they can get the coverage if everything is in place. I had coverage in my neck shoulders, arm pits ,arms and hands.It is my personal feeling that the BS unit is easier to program or they just got very lucky with me twice which would be rare.
    Medtronics is a large company and they have great help at the 800 number I think I would try there.I can't get a handle on a PM training a surgeon to do implants when they can't do a paddle. A good PM can place perc leads probally better then anyone. A surgeon is needed for the laminectomys. They do have different size paddles also for small tight areas and I think they even have a Childs paddle if room is limited. In some cases a perc lead could even be better for the patients.I don't see much migration issues at the C1/2 area because the motion isn't very much. Whiplash could be a issue. Perc leads can be moved and reset which might help.

    Any way sorry your having so much trouble. I feel that this is getting so big that there is just to much help being hired and tossed out there to sink or swim.
    Medtronics sales the most of these and BS is next then St Jude and all are publicly traded
    So money will.always be a.factor but bad results is not good for business. Keep pushing.
    If you get a new insurance company you might be able to try a BS but the same company will most likely say no. Mine did until I had new coverage.

    Good Luck
  • With a new insurance co. Unless BCBS approves the paddle?? I will say before surgery my goal was to just go out to dinner. It had been years since I good and not be in so much pain. So Sat was may B-day and I went out to dinner with discomfort, but I made it! So, I get a few hours before I need the heating pad and that is more than I had before, Now, I want more than a couple of hours I'll keep you posted
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