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Question about spinal cord stimulator

ellineellin Posts: 188
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Pain Management
Ok need to know how this works please. What does it do and does it work on the neck too? Does it only work in the area where the put it in at. Where do they put it in at? Does the battery pack go to another area? Is this done under sleep of just some IV meds??? I was told that I need to get one a month or so ago and the feeling of a cut on my back freaked me out. I am too the point know of thinking of making the appt. that I canceled. Also does the battery go dead?? If so how does this get changed? How do you charge this like I just heard if this is inside you. I know I am full of questions. You guys are great so please be kind to fill me in. Tomorrow I am going for another injection facet 2 levels and the shots and changing Dr's has to stop. I have had way way too many injections, have done the nerve burn on the lower back and neck so, I guess I need to really start thing of this Stimulator. I am just scared which is normal I think. Thanks so much


  • These pages answer all of the basic questions of how it works, show the different types of stimulators and explain the procedure. There's also a video link on the page that interviews patients and shows more information about the procedure. :)))


  • hi ellin, your doc will give you a bunch of dvd's to watch and they answer almost all of your questions.It's really exciting and a helpful tool for most people.I have a stim and it's helping me some.Not as much as I would like but that's how it goes sometimes.Good luck with it and keep us up to date.
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  • I had an SCS spinal cord stimulator implanted in May of 2007. Prior to the implant I had to be tested with a portable unit for a week to make sure that it would interface with my body without creating any problems. After I had no problems the real implant was done. The stimulator gives off electrical impulses inside your body. It intercepts the pain waves to the brain with these impulses. It has helped me quite a bit and cut my pain level by about 50%. I did go through the injections and stopped after three. The stimulator was the next step. The stimulator has many programs to choose from. Its primarly covers the leg area and the back. I have a very bad back with neck issues and it really cuts my pain. I suggest that you get info from your PMD. Good luck
  • my SCS, but my problem nerve is S1 in the lumbar area. My pulse generator is implanted in my upper right hip, but I don't know where they put it for cervical issues? Maybe the same or maybe in the abdomen?

    The SCS is like a pacemaker for nerves. The pulse generator sends tiny little electrical pulses to the leads and those electrical pulses block the pain signals coming from your damaged nerves. See, the meds just can't help the nerve pain. They really just numb our minds. The SCS is ideally for people who suffer the radiating nerve pain, rather than axial/muscular pain.

    You will be awake for the majority of the procedure BUT you won't feel anything but pressure. They give you local anesthetic, place the leads, turn it on and ask you where you feel the buzzing/tingling. Proper placement of the leads is the KEY to the success. Once the leads are in the right place, they will put your down into a deeper light anesthesia and then they will cut the pocket for the pulse generator and get the implanted.

    I just got the ANS Eon Mini and my pulse generator is slightly larger than a silver dollar, so really really small. I can't feel it in my hip (which has shocked me - it's only been a week of healing) and if I push around, I can feel it, but it is really small. Haven't worn jeans yet - just elastic waist sweats so far. Just had my staples out yesterday and doc is really pleased with my progress so far.

    You will have a programmer assigned to you for the duration, and this programmer will be with you for the trial, for the permanent placement and then forever if you need program tweaking. Depending on the brand you get, most leads have 8 contact points and the programmer can use any combination of those contact points to come up with a buzzing sensation that works for you, covers your pain. The buzzing can be faster, slower, soft and fluttery to hard and pounding sensation, higher or lower power usage. Really incredible.

    I have the rechargeable pulse generator, and just put my belt on yesterday to recharge. My battery was down to less then 1/4 left and it took me just over an hour to charge fully. I was SHOCKED. I thought it would take 3 or 4 hours or something. Programmer told me to just pick one day each way, same time each day, and keep myself charged. I keep my unit turned on 24 hours a day, so I will use more power than someone who can turn theirs off much more than me. Still, using it 24 hours a day for 7 days, I only used 3/4 battery. (I couldn't recharge until I got my staples out.)

    It's been almost 2 months - what did you decide? I think people turn to this option when they have no others. When the pain is seriously impeding their life. I recline in a chair 23 hours a day - any activity over 20 to 30 minutes puts me in a nerve flare I don't want. It takes days and sometimes weeks to recover. The SCS was my best hope. Should this eventually not work, the only other option I have is the implanted pain pump.

    I have high hopes for the SCS and it is working great for me so far. Good luck to everyone considering this!!

    Take Care,

  • I think you need to reschedule your appointment and ask these questions of your medical team. We will be here to support you all the way. Please don't reject a possibility for relief for your pain becuase you don't understand it. The process for getting a stimulator takes a few months. You will have plenty of time to decide "no". But your doctor should be your first place to go with questions. (We will be here to support you.) Reschedule your appointment. Your questions will be answered. Best, Susan.
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