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Lead? Poking through skin?

monibmmonib Posts: 102
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Ok...I am going to the doctor tomorrow. I have a small incision on my side about 4 inches away from the IPG. I don't know why it is there. It has been really smooth and healing faster than the other incisions. Today I woke up and noticed a little knot there. I rubbed my finger across it and it feels like a lead. Is this possible? I am 8 weeks post op and today is the first time I noticed this...but it could have been there longer at most 2 week, as this was the last time I saw the doctor and he checked all the incision sites. If this is a lead coming to the surface what do they do to correct it? Will I have to go back to the hospital or is this something they can fix in the office. I am worried about it. I wanted some quick answers before I go to the doctor, just to easy my mind today.


  • It is quite common for scar tissue to develop around anchors and wires creating small nodules just under the skin. Some wires will even be so close to the skin, it will appear as if they broke out of the wire tunnel and you will be able to see and feel the wire.

    It never hurts to have the doc take a look at it to make certain that everything is okay. At 8 weeks post op, you sound like you are healing right on schedule according to what the doc and rep brief.

    So in essence I was told that lumps and bumps come with the territory of having a medical implant.


    P.S. Please let us know what your doc has to say.
  • It is probably the strain relief loop they leave so you don't "pull" the lead anchors loose, I think "C" can attest to the need for these loops or strain reliefs.

    I would suspect if the lead is actually the bump and it is right there with only a bare minimum of scar tissue or skin over it, perhaps they will want to bury it better. I would suspect, just guessing, they can do this pretty easily with a local anesthetic, but just guessing.

    More likely they may want to wait and see what it does as you heal further.

    Oh, it could also be what is known as a keloid scar. Common for a lot of people. Instead of the scar forming flat it forms in a large knot or bump. I have had several sites do that. For me it usually takes a year or two and they will slowly settle back down to skin level. If, that's the case, nothing to worry about at all. Your doctor should be able to tell if mederma or one of the other scar reducing agents will help.

    Sorry for rambling...
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  • I think this is an incesion they used to help tunnel the wires to my pelvic region. This is no other reason I can think for this incision being made. It isn't Keloid...I have dealt with that in the past...this is something totally different it actually sticks out and is smaller than a pencil but looks like a loop towards the IPG. I know what you are talking about, the looped wire around the IPG but this is 4 inches away from the IPG. It doesn't hurt but it bothers me that it is poking out...makes my waist band on my clothes feel like it is rubbing something...which it probably is.
  • I have a lump that worried me too. My Doctor said it was just scar tissue forming around the leads. I thought it was a lead poking through too. Turned out to be just scar tissue.
    Let us know what the Doctor says but I am sure it is just scar tissue.
    Patsy W :H
  • I went to the doctor today and he looked at the spot where it looks like a wire trying to poke out...He studied it and pinched it and told me it is the connector. It has moved to the surface. He wants to wait 4 weeks to see if it will settle back in...if not he will open it up push it further up and close it. Don't know if this is an office visit thing or not.

    Ok on to the tweaking. I learned so much today. Seems they can't get my stim as strong as I would like because of impedance. Seems I am making too much scar tissue. Of course they think some of the scar tissue from past surgeries is causing my pain...so what did they think was going to happen this time. I know they can't tell what will happen and there is nothing they can do to stop scar tissue from forming...and you need scar tissue to settle the leads into place. Rep told me that only time will tell if I can get greater amplitude. For now she has all the leads cross talking to get greater coverage. She spent 1 1/2 hours with me and never acted like she needed to hurry. At one point she had my whole leg tingling...felt great but it wasn't where I needed coverage so i had to give that up. @) Good to know if I ever need coverage to my toes it is possible. :X Thanks to everyone that responded to my post. Everyone have a great day!!!
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  • moni, was your rep able to run any diagnostics to confirm that the connector that's has migrated to the surface isn't causing connection issues in the lead that could result in the higher impedance levels?
  • We know that one lead is very sensitive and can't be turned up to high. So she crossed talk them. If this continues they will do an x-ray to see if there is a problem...but for now it is working better with the cross talking. I know I form an excessive amount of scar tissue and have dealt with incision injections for keloid but this time....cross my fingers no keloid. They say my body just doesn't know how to heal right. Guess we all heal differently. I love the SCS and the freedom and quality of life it has given me. Strange to not have that daily pain because I have dealt with it so long, but thankful for the life I have now.
  • So happy you have found out what the lump is and it settles back down where it belongs. I know it scared the dickens out of me when I first felt my lump. Seems like it was not there one day and the next it was.
    It's wonderful you are getting relief from your pain!! I do hope to get some relief from my 24/7 pain soon. Keep your fingers crossed that a pain pump works for me. This IS my last resort!! If this does not work....sheesh..I will just have to live with it. I have lived with it all these years now and I guess I will make it several more years.
    Here's to pain free days....may they last forever!!
    Patsy W :H
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