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Perm SCS

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Pain Management
I am having the SCS perminently implanted tomorrow, for some reason the Dr is not able to tell me exacly how long I would need to take off from work, does anyone know? Also, I have read pretty good things about the SCS, has anyone
experienced anything different? Thanks! :? :?


  • I'm going to say it depends on what kind of work you do. You really need to NOT be lifting, bending over, reaching, lifting, etc for at least four weeks so that the leads can scar in place and not migrate. It's a bigger deal than I anticipated! It made me feel tired for over a week, plus getting used to the feeling of the stimulation took me a little time to get used to and I had to turn it up a little bit every 24 hrs or so. Something else I might advise you about is to maybe wear an ace bandage around where ever you will have the receiver part implanted so that it will scar in place (in the pocket that's made). I DIDN'T do that and mine sticks out just a touch. The staples made me itch like crazyazy! Overall, not a bad experience! Very glad I did it! Good luck tomorrow!!
  • terrie

    thanks for that info, i've just finished my third day of
    my trial, so far so good, i think get 60 to 70 % pain
    coverage. my ans rep has called every day which i think is
    great. i will remember to get an ace bandage before i hav
    the perm put in.
    jeni333 good luck tomarrow, keep us posted, i would love to
    know how it went.
  • Hey ask anything you want to, any time you want to. I'll tell you whatever I can. I even came up with a few tricks to survive the 'no bathing period'!

    I'm glad its working so well for you. My perm implant works even better than the trial!
  • I've had mine 7 months now. I'm seeing the programmer on the 21 to do some tweaking. It's given my life back. I was out of work for months and was only able to work a couple of months when I did go back.. But remember every case is different. I'm sure you'll do great a it will work well for you. Keep us posted on your progress.
    Good Luck and I will keep you in my prayers.
  • Jeni,

    4 days post op I was riding the subway and in a car and cruising the Potomac. I would do stuff one day and rest the next for about 2 weeks. Then I was able to do pretty much anything. The staples were irritating and I was glad to get them out!

    The generator pocket healed up no problem. I just had to watch the kind of clothes I wore for the first 5 or 6 weeks. Now I can pretty much wear whatever I want to. It feels as if the generator is pretty well settled into it's pocket.

    I have a c-spine SCS so I have another area that had to heal, actually two more areas. An area between my shoulder blades and also the length of my spine on the right side where the extension wires were passed through.

    A little tylenol and celebrex and I survived it all just fine and love this thing!

    I'm not sure how much size difference there is between the ANS that Terrie has or the Medtronic I have, but you really wouldn't know the generator is there if it weren't for the scar. I'm fairly slim too.

    Best of luck to you!

  • Thank you all for your kind words. Well I have made it this far. Must say, the surgery was a lot worse than I expected. I am in tons of pain & taking my meds religously. I will not have the stim turned on until 7/22. Not sure what to do with myself, I go from the bed to the chair and back again. But I have been able to sleep a little bit since leaving the hospital, I did stay over 1 night, they suggested I stay another, but of course I thougth I new better. ( should have stayed. I will stay in touch with my progress.

    Thanks again :(
  • Congratulations on getting your implant. I'm sorry you're having a tough go of it right now. I hope that the pain passes quickly for you.
    Something I don't understand... why hasn't it been turned on yet? When I had mine implanted, they turned it on and checked it before closing me up. I left the OR 'buzzing' right along! What I meant by the ACE bandage was to hopefully have the receiver (whatever it's called) heal in the pocket without sticking out any. It's not unsightly, I just wish it were flat. No big deal though.

    My scs is also a medtronic- I was told it is the Cadillac of implants!!">image
  • HI, me again, just wondering if you had alot of redness and swelling at the generator site. Most of my lower back is bruised and red, feels really hot to the touch, I have a call into the Dr, just wondering if maybe this is normal?

    Thanks for all your help!!!! :(
  • I did have redness while it was healing, not REAL red, but some. If there are red STREAKS, that will indicate infection. Is it seeping fluid that is not clear? If it is seeping a small amount of clear fluid, that should be OK. Any other type of fluid, especially if there is blood in it, GET IT CHECKED! The site was a bit warm, but I wouldn't call it hot. That's part of the healing process. I did have some bruising and swelling... Did you happen to watch the video that is posted on the old forum? It shows the procedure being done, which might explain the bruising and swelling. These things are normal in surgeries, but if you are concerned about it, it won't hurt to have it checked. Only YOU know your body. Do you have to go in for a post-op check?

    Please let me know how you're doing and what you find out about your surgical site(s).
  • Jeni,

    Just checking in on you. What did the doc have to say? I'm sorry that you have been having such a tough time of it. I hope they are able to give you better pain control until things heal up a bit.

    Hang in there,

  • HI,
    I talked to the Dr assistant today, she said pretty much everything I am experiencing is normal. I can not believe how much bruising I have, it extends pretty much over to the side of my hip.
    I do have plenty of meds to get me through until next wk when they turn it on. I think it will just take time and get a little better each day. Also, I can feel where the reciever is sticking out a bit, I think I will try the ACE bandage and see if that will help.

    Thank you for all your kind words and advice!

  • jeni


  • Cindi,

    I waited 3 weeks, but only because I was waiting until I was comfortable enough to travel back to Japan. Waited to get staples removed and one more adjustment before I made the long plane rides home. Went back to work 2 days later.

  • HI,
    The Dr said I would be off for sure until my post op which is 7/23. When I was in the Hosp, his assistant said it would be more like 4 weeks. I was wondering, can anyone tell me what I should and should not be doing? Dr said let pain be your guide, but pretty much everything hurts? I know about not lifting my arms above my shoulder level, but like how much activity should I be doing? I dont know if I am doing too much or too little. My surg was last Thurs. I have tried not to do too many things that I need to bend, like laundry & house stuff, but my family is kinda of expecting me to be back to normal? How much did you all do for activity at this point? I hope I am not suppose to be hiking or anything, cuz I am way off then. Let me know if you can,
  • Hi jeni333,

    I currently am doing the trial, PM will take it out Tues morning. :(

    From the research I've done and information from NS and PM. Recuperation from implant is:

    4-8 weeks.

    First two weeks,
    Do not lift objects of more than five pounds
    Do not engage in rigorous physical activity such as twisting, bending, or climbing.
    Do not raise your arms above your head
    Do not pull on or jiggle the leads.

    Temporarily, there may be some pain in area of the implant as incisions heal. If discomfort continues beyond two weeks, contact physician.

    After the first two weeks limited exercise, lots of walking.
    Off work 4-8 weeks depending on job.

    Physician should clear you to drive, swim, strenuous exercise.

    Please tell your family to help out more. The leads and implant need to "set". First two weeks very important to recovery and lead migration, etc.

    I am so happy for you! I think there's 2 or 3 of us now going through the trial and wanting the implant.

    Please keep us updated, quality of life just around the corner.

  • Jeni,

    I don't know if anyone can really give you a straight answer. I asked my doc and the rep several times what I could and could not do, should and should not do and each time it was a bit different answer. The reason the answer was different, was it was/is based off of my progress and healing.

    I was told the 6 - 8 weeks of no lifting more than 5 lbs, no arms above the head, no stretching yada yada yada.

    I was also told to just go out, be careful and do what I felt I could do. So 4 days post op I was riding the subway, going on a cruise and cruising around in a car. The staples burned and I was tired and sore that evening and rested the next day, but I just started getting out and about right away.

    Not being able to stretch has been the hardest one on me due to my lumbar issues and muscle imbalance issues in my upper body. I have only 3 more days before I can begin to stretch!!! Thank goodness.

    I emailed the doc earlier in the week and his response was "Stretch enough that you need, but not so much to pull the wires!" "Sorry, no good answer. Everybody is different. Start off slow, feel
    your body respond, and limit extreme motions of the neck."

    My SCS is a c-spine one with wires running down the length of my back and the generator is on top of my right "cheek".

    So, I'm sorry I can't help with a better answer.

  • I have had the perm implant for 2 wks now, it was just activated on Wed, so only been using it for 2 days. I am not sure how it should feel. The tech said not to pay attention to the #'s, but I want to be sure I am doing it right. Can anyone tell me in general, what number range you are in? I dont know if I have it too low because I still have pain, but if I go too high than my legs feel like rubber. Also I think I am favoring the side of my body without the battery pack, so now having pain there too. Any one have anything like that happen?
    Thank you so much for all of your help and advise! I dont have much support at home, so it is great to have a place like this where people know what I am talking about!!
    Thanks again,
  • Jeni~
    I have my scs turned on at different levels at different times depending on the intensity of the pain I'm feeling. I was concerned that I wasn't tolerating it well because I didn't think I had it turned up very high and the doctor told me to not concentrate on the number or level, but instead adjust it to control the pain, to the best of it's ability. I always thought it was feeling like rubber legs if I had it turned up very high too.
    I think that the pain you are having where the battery pack is will iron itself out after healing more. It just takes some time. Even after time you may still have occasional spasms there. I do every once in awhile and it just about takes me to my knees! You should, of course, check with your doctor to be sure. Always check with your doctor when you have a concern. You never know!
    Good luck!
  • Hi Jeni,

    I agree with Terrie and the tech, that you shouldn't pay attention to the numbers.

    I have had mine for just over 2 months now and find that I tolerate a lot more than I could at first. However I still have to turn it down at night to sleep and then turn it back up about an hour after getting up.

    Mine's different from yours, since mine is a c-spine SCS, however I do understand what you feel since I stimulate my lower body as well as my upper body. (the neck is a curious place)

    If I know I am getting ready to do certain activities, I will adjust the stim accordingly or even change programs to accomodate. I can say without a doubt that what I use today would have freaked me out 5 or 6 weeks ago.

    The other thing, is that as your leads scar in you may need to increase the amplitude to adjust for that.

    It takes a while for the battery pack to settle into it's permanent home. Once in a while I get wonderful butt aches from the muscle rubbing against the pack when I exert myself or when I sit wrong for more than a couple of minutes.

    Hang in there and enjoy the relief!

  • Hi,

    Wondering if anyone can tell me if they had any problems with the battery pack thing that is implanted sticking out?
    Mine is in right above my left butt cheek. The bottom part seems to be ok, but the top part feels like it is crooked. Some times it gets kind of hooked on the waist band of my pants. I am 5 wks post op,so I am hoping it will settle in better, just curious.

    Take care!
  • jeni333

  • Is your battery actually sticking out from the body? What brand of SCS do you have. One of the concerns with the battery pack is it getting flipped inside the pocket. So when you are messing with it, be careful not to flip it.

    My battery took 2 months to settle fairly firm and I think that it can move back and forth a bit inside the pocket otherwise it would be uncomfotable to sit.

    The top edge of it does tend to push closer to the surface, but doesn't push out where it would be noticeable or catch on clothing.

    Wish I could be of more help

  • My battery does the exact same thing as hag's... I had my doctor to check it out cause I was a bit worried about it and he told me to quit worrying, everything was fine! I also thought I had some knots to come up along the scar line in my spine from the surgery. He explained to me that it was just scar tissue and to quit worrying, everything was fine! I think it is very normal to worry about things that you aren't sure of. I guess maybe I worry just a bit too much!
    Hope all is going well with you and you're adjusting well to your scs and having better and pain-free (or at least less pain) days.
  • HI , cindi
    I have been off work now for 5 wks, will be a total of 6 wks. I wish I could say recovery has been great, but I have had a hard time of it & since I have not had it for that long, I cant say that has made much of a difference. I go back next wk for my next Medtronic session, they will teach me how to control the rest of the buttons on the stim, so maybe that will help. I also had issues with not much help at home so I know that I did way to much during my 1st few wks. I am hoping that in the long run it will pay off like it has on so many of the experts on the forum. They gave me tons of help and support, one thing I learned it there are no stupid questions!!!
    Take care and let us know how it goes!!
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