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SCS stopped covering my pain

gemyorkggemyork Posts: 43
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Pain Management
Hi. I got my permanent SCS for sciatic leg pain in April '09. After the first few weeks of healing I loved it. I had very little leg pain when I had the stimulator on. I had a ACDF on level C6-7 of my neck in July which went well. I am still healing some from that but over all it's ok. Starting the end of August I started noticing more sciatic pain poking through and not being covered by the SCS. I met with the rep and had adjustments made that would hopefully help. I can feel the stimuation in all the areas that hurt, but the pain is not being masked. It has gotten to the point that driving more than 5 minutes is very, very painful. I will make another appointment with the pain management doctor in November when I am back home to Maine from my Florida vacation. But wondered if anyone had any suggestions or ideas in the mean time. Sitting at all is awful! I even turn it up to "rivet" power as I say to my husband and it doesn't help. I am so hoping that this is not going to mean that the level below the lumbar fusion that I had about 5 years ago is having problems now. Thanks for your help.


  • What type of adjustments have you tried to make yourself via your patient programmer? What brand and model of SCS do you have? Knowing what brand and model can make it easier for the rest of us to offer up suggestions.

    Are you only making amplitude adjustments, does your patient programmer allow you to modify the pulse width or repetition?

    Have you contacted your company rep? Some reps will put you in contact with a rep in another location if need be. Since you aren't at home right now, it might be worth contacting your rep to see if there's someone he can put you in touch with.

    Have you tried shutting your SCS off for a few hours or over night and then back on again? It has been reported that some folks get used to the stimulation and that by removing it for a few hours, it allows their body to "reset" how it senses the stimulation.

    I hope we can help you.

  • It's a shame this had to crop up while you are on vacation.
    Do you have the number for your rep with you? Call them and they can put you in touch with someone where you now are.
    You are scarring in good now and that can change the stimulation.
    Call the main office for help amd to get a rep to work with you right now.
    If you do not have any of these numbers with you check your patient ID card that you carry with you and see if it has a number on it to call for customer service.
    You can get a rep any place you are to help you. It will not be the rep you are use to working with but most all of them are very good.
    That is the only advice I can think of but perhaps someone can come up with a better idea.
    I am so sorry this had to come up while you are on vacation.
    Best of luck to you and I hope you get back to pain relief soon.
    Patsy W :H
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  • Diane, I am sorry your sciatica has returned. What brand of SCS do you have? Paddle or percutaneous leads? As C has already asked, how much programming control did your rep give you?
  • This is not happy news. My rep told me that the best way to prevent one'sa brain from figuring out the "scam" is to leave the stimulator on for four days and off for three. Yeah. Right. The other advice I got was to change my programs fairly frequently. But it seems way to early for that kind of thing to be happening to you. Maybe some of the scar tissue is creating "impedence" so that the signal either can't get through or can't get through as strongly. They should be able to work abound that so don't give up hope. And like everyone else said, don't wait until you get home if you're planning on spending the winter. Keep the faith. I'm sure this can be figured out.
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