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Pocket/IPG Question

davedave Posts: 860
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
OK, got interesting question for you pros out there. My pocket/IPG has been burning the past couple of days, very similar to the burn I feel when charging. I've also been getting a pinching feeling around the IPG like its grabbing on something. The pocket is also a little more tender than usual. When I feel the skin around the area, at the top corner of the pocket, it feels like I have a broken plastic cable tie by the IPG at the top on the outside corner. Is the IPG anchored to anything or does it just float in its pocket?

I plan on contacting my Doctor on Monday to make sure everything is OK, just curious right now. Curiosity killed the cat and I'm not ready to die yet (only have 1 life).



  • One other thing, did I mention that the pocket itches?

  • The IPG is anchored inside the pocket. It is very possible to tear those attachment points loose. Just don't push on your IPG or touch it much until you see your doc. If it flips in the pocket you won't be able to charge or communicate with it until it has been surgically straightened out.

    The itching and burning can quite easily be from the irritation of tearing it loose.

    Let us know what the doc has to say.

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  • Thanks C. I'll be giving my Doctor a call Monday morning. It's a little uncomfortable but it doesn't hurt. It definitely feels like the IPG is just a hair lower. It might be my imagination. If I did tear something loose, I can't imagine when I did it. It just started to feel uncomfortable last night and hasn't let up since.

    Thanks for the input.

  • Here's a quote from the implant manual
    Medtronic said:
    2. Use the suture holes in the connector block to secure the neurostimulator to the muscle
    fascia with nonabsorbable silk.
    I have torn things loose by simply turning or moving wrong. I've heard of people tearing the IPG loose in the pocket by sitting incorrectly for how the IPG is placed. So any number of things could cause it to rip loose.

    The nice thing is that a revision on the IPG isn't nearly as bad as the initial implant. Sure it's a bit sore for a few days, but not any of the intense burning that accompanies the new implant. The biggest irritant was charging through the swollen incision. I learned to always have everything fully charged before calling or seeing the doc.

  • haglandc said:

    I learned to always have everything fully charged before calling or seeing the doc.

    That's a suggestion that everyone should follow.
    I always charge before an appt. Programming can pull half the charge out of mine if he has to do it more than once or twice, which he has done in the past.
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  • Just checking to see if you were able to get in to see the doc today or not.

    Hope you are feeling better.

  • No I haven't got in yet. It's complicated and frankly I'm not pleased with the situation. My PM only does the trials, therefore I have to go back to the one who did the implant. I left a message, but have not received a call back yet. I'm still pretty peeved at them from my release visit on Christmas Eve. They required me to do a drug test prior to the exam. No test, have a nice day and you still have to pay for everything. Insurance did not pick up the entire tab, so the test is costing me 220 dollars. Enough venting.

    It's a little better today, but after feeling myself up good, it appears one of the anchors (stitches) has broken. I can feel it under the skin. The IPG has shifted a little which I believe is causing the additional tenderness.

    Never a dull moment.

  • Have you contacted your rep yet? I found it very useful to get the rep involved, they tend to have a better line of communication with the docs and can generally get results quickly.

    Vent all you need to.

  • Got in to see the the Doc that did the implant and the Rep. No damage done except to my ego. Seems I stressed everything around the pocket to much. The cable tie I felt is actually where the leads go into the IPG.

    Thanks for the feedback C.

  • Well it's good that you know what did or did not happen and now you have entered into the "discovered my limit zone". That's kind of how I figure out how much I can and cannot do. If the activity I do irritates the IPG or the anchors, I know to moderate or back off.

    It is better to know than not. So don't let this hit your ego, just be grateful to know everything is still intact and now you know what you are feeling. Docs like to see that their work is holding up. So I guarantee that your doc was not put out by you being concerned and needing to find out if things were still in order.

    Hope you are feeling better.

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