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Difference between trial and perm

Tammyanne01TTammyanne01 Posts: 3
edited 01/10/2015 - 10:17 PM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Hi all! I had my trial stimulator put in on Tuesday, January 6th. I had been having so much discomfort with the incisions (I DO NOT have a high pain tolerance) that I couldn't tell is the SCS was working on my lower back pain. I had my SCS reprogrammed on Friday, January 9th. The problem is that I can't mimic what my normal day usually is because I am out of work. It's after about 4 hours sitting in my chair when my back starts to flair up so much. After talking with the rep, we decided that I am going to shut it off for the rest of the day today. I'm going to sit at the kitchen table for 4-5 hours tomorrow. When the pain starts, I will then turn the SCS on and see if I can tell if the pain lessens. Is there anyone who did NOT go with the perm, and if so, why? As of right now, I have no idea either way. ALSO, when you have the stimulator off, can you still feel the tingles randomly?

Thanks :)
Discectomy, L5/S1 on right 12/2009; now L4/L5 on right and L5/S1 on left disc herniations and disc impingements


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • fpgt72ffpgt72 Posts: 4
    edited 01/11/2015 - 2:10 PM
    I had mine put in on 1/7/15 so I am a few days into my trial as well. I can tell you that it 100% helps with the nerve pain that I have been having, the post op pain has been pretty rough however. My back gets tight, the muscles get tight. A warm bath would feel SO good but that is a no no.

    What I would suggest is see if you can find some of those rice packs you put in the microwave and warm up. They really help me.

    I also have not been back to work yet....post op pain is a downer, but the stimulator thingy works great.
  • I had to have my trial cut short (I was going to do 10 days) because a guy rear-ended me. So, my leeds were pulled the next day. I couldn't get over my post-op pain to get a REAL feeling for the SCS. And, I kept having problems everyday with it only working on one side when I woke up in the morning. My rep re-programmed 3 times. My doctor is now showing me the one with the paddle that Saint Jude makes. I just don't know if I want something foreign in my body that is going to "scar" into it.
    Discectomy, L5/S1 on right 12/2009; now L4/L5 on right and L5/S1 on left disc herniations and disc impingements
  • Hi, I did my trial back in November and had my perminate stimulator implanted 2 weeks ago today. My experience with the actual trial was not great. I think the long wires, the actual procedure and lack of actual trail time did not work for me. I too have a high pain tolerance. I felt like there was something wrong with me until I read about others that felt the same.
    I decided to just do the I actual implant just by research and speaking to a really good neurosurgeon. I am 2 weeks in and feel pretty good! I actually have woken up 2 mornings in a row without pain! I am optimistic that I made the right choice.
    The recovery has been ok, I am listening to the dr and taking my time. Remember, it is a surgery with 2 incisions with staples.
    I understand why they do a trial, but for me, it wasn't worth my time or expense.
    Oh, and when my stimulator is off, I don't feel anything. For me, the stimulation is much better with the actual implanted stimulator than the trail.
    Good luck!!!
  • Hi, I had my trial with st. Jude and while the trial was with the percutaneous leads the actual implant will be the paddle. I too didn't really have a super successful trial because of how senitive to positional changes it was, however I decided to go ahead with the actual implant because I was basicaly told this would be my only option right now and I did have good pain relief while sitting, just not so much walking or standing.
    Anyway, I am nervous as well about the whole scaring in thing, but I figure if it will spare me having to have a huge fusion for even a couple years I will be happy. I am a bit worried about the surgery it self, and the fact that this SCS is really a "band aid" which is only masking the issue by blocking the pain and not fixing any problems. I am also now having numbness in my right butt amd upper leg that my surgeon is 'watching' but it makes me feel like my buldges and/or scarring are now impeading on my nerves.
    I have posted other stuff with no response so maybe I will get something here.
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