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Currently doing medtronic trial and have questions

I am currently on day 4 of my trial with the medtronics unit. I am looking to have coverage for my low back, SI joint, and all the way down to my toes. After the leads were placed my rep said that they cannot get coverage to my toes. Now he calls me everyday to check to see how I am doing and I again asked about getting coverage to my toes and he said that they can indeed get coverage to my toes. Is this just him trying to sell me the unit or can they truly get coverage all 3 places?

I love the way the unit is working on my low back pain but it is not covering my SI joint or the three toes that I am having problems with. I also currently have coverage in the groin area and my left leg. I have no pain or issues with my left leg. If I could get coverage in my lower back, right SI joint and 3 toes on the right foot I would say yes to the permanent unit, but am on the fence with the coverage I am getting.


  • chrelseycchrelsey Posts: 90
    edited 04/13/2014 - 5:37 AM
    My permanent unit was implanted on Christmas Eve, so I've had it almost four months. I do get coverage in my toes, feet, and legs VERY well, but have difficulty getting good lower back coverage. So much depends on where your leads are actually placed, as well as how good your programmer is.

    Is your surgeon suggesting percutaneous leads, or paddle leads, which involves a laminectomy? The reason I ask is that I had the percutaneous leads, and they have already migrated. I am now scheduled for surgery in June to have the laminectomy and paddle leads. I had asked my surgeon to do this in the first place, but as the paddle leads/laminectomy is a more intensive surgery, he wanted to do the perc leads first. All of my research, however, indicates that lead migration is perhaps more common than what I was led to believe.

    Before my lead migration, though - during the first month after my surgery - my pain relief was 60-75%, and my toes, feet, and legs got GREAT coverage. As I said earlier, though, my lower back coverage wasn't as good, but I'm hoping that with the laminectomy and paddle leads, I will get back to my 60-75% pain relief.

    Everyone has different experiences with their SCS, and the decision on whether or not to get one is a decision only you can make. Keep asking your doctor and rep questions, and don't move forward until YOU feel right about it.

    Best of luck in whatever decision you make!

  • Hi
    Placement of your paddle or your leads and the programming will have a effect on what coverage you can get. I had good coverage with a medtronics unit for years from the lower back down. Has things have changed I lost coverage in one foot and had a second unit added to just cover the foot. We are all different and our coverage will be different. Saying that they should be able to get to most of what you need but it may not be perfect. I think it would be safe to say what coverage you do get with the trial will be similar to what the implant will.do IF the paddle or leads are placed at the same place.
    In addition the skill of the progamer is very important and some times a second programmer is needed to get the right coverage.

    The programmer should be able to get the coverage during your trial if it's possible.
    Coverage may be different also with the implant because of lead placement.
    It's not a perfect science but a tool to help in the pain department.
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