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Question about the procedure

scottosscotto Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I have a failed L5-S1 fusion and need C3-C4-C5 fusion soon but my Surgeon said to try this first. My concerns. I have a very bad phobia with needles. I went into shock during an injection once that they had to stop. Does anyone know if they can totally knock you out for the trial and the second procedure. My Drs' PA was very vague and I forgot to press the issue. I know they said we can do it at the hospital but the only way I can do this is if I am totally out. Anyone that has had this please let me know. Thanks


  • They can knock you out to insert the needle, but will have to wake you up at some point in time to determine if you are getting coverage from the stimulator.

  • One thing about it is that you won't see the needle because you will be face down for the whole procedure. Would that make a difference? I think you have to be awake for the trial for the reason Dave stated. My trial was done in the doctor's office and I think they gave me something by iv to make me relax, but I was awake the entire time.

    My SCS is for cervical issues and my neurosurgeon said that with that particular surgery, the patient cannot be awake for the permanent implant. Would you be getting your SCS for your cervical problem or the lumbar?

    Hope you can get past the nervousness over the needle so you can see if the SCS will work for you if it is the next step.
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  • I am not sure if they are doing both locations at the same time. I sure hope so but I am not 100%. I know, believe me. At 43 I have fallen of roofs, played full contact hockey, worked 100' up on beams, broke limbs..you name it, I fear nothing... but a needle LOL It is my downfall. The stress and panic before is too much. They gave me 6 xanax last time to help calm me and I still freaked out. My mom says I had a bad spinal tap as a child and she thinks that is why I have such a fear of needles. It is totally a mental thing I have tried my entire life to get over. ( the one good thing is I never tried iv drug use lol). I appreciate your answers from both of you, very helpful. It sounds to me I have to wake up at some point so I will have to really figure out how bad I want this done and see if I can find a way to beat this fear, as dumb as it sounds.
  • i scotto,

    No worries friend, the gave me a twilight sleep and as I was awake I didn't know I was awake.I felt no pain(that I know of) and when the doc "woke me up" it was basically over.They asked me how I felt and I said it needs to be a bit lower,they said, you just said it felt wonderful,that I don't remember..lol

    Anyway, my point is you will not know what is going on except to get the initian iv to administer drugs.That was my experience anyway, I hope yours goes the same way but will better results.
  • My Mother uses an emla patch which numbs her hand r arm wherever they're putting the IV or drawing blood one hour before needle insertion.

    I hope your trial works well for you. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • Versed is the anesthetic that stops you from forming new memories during surgery.
    I was out when the cut my back. They "woke me up" to get placement and coverage.
    They put me back to sleep for the ipg and wire "tunnel".

    I remember nothing, ask your doc if the trial can be done under such conditions as sometimes they will allow it to be placed at a hospital under "twilight" sedation.

    If they can do that, just tell yourself you will remember NONE of it. That alone kept my stress levels down.

    They've used the same drug for colonoscopys here too. Now that is something I don't want to remember!
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