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Psyc evaluation prior to a spinal cord stimulator test.

hisbeauty4asheshhisbeauty4ashes Posts: 185
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:59 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Hi all yes I am back it has been awhile I am still struggling with pain. I am sensitive to all narcotics and have reactions so now for me what seems like the last resort is a spinal cord Stimulator. I got a call today to have a Psyc evaluation. Why the heck do I have to have that test!?

Does anyone really know the purpose of it is?

Just wanting to know the bottom line in all this. Did any of you have this?



  • P.S I have had tons of injections now they do not work. I just wanted to add that and I also have had PT nothing works and I am n nervous about the stimulator as well.
  • Most Insurance companies require a Phyc evaluation to make sure that the patient can cope with the idea of a object implanted inside of them.
    There have been numerous cases where the insurance companies have paid for operations and only to have the patients change their minds weeks later after the operation and demand the object implanted to be removed at the insurance companies expense. My company did not require me to do this , but it is common practice for them to require this .
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  • It was my understanding that the test is to find out if you suffer from depression. If you do insurance companies want the depression treated before the SCS is implanted.

    The test is easy.....all you do is answer a list of questions and answer a few oral questions. There is really nothing to it.

    Cheers :H
  • I have heard of this. I think it is the norm. I believe it's just to make sure you are able to understand what the system can and cannot do; and your overall state of mind, especially in relation to the pain.

    I have had an SCS since 1996 and could not function without . I did need more help and in 2001 had an intrathecal pump implanted. I even work part time again after over 20 years of no work. My dr had initially said I would need the psych eval but then after meeting me and seeing my records, he said I didn't need one.

    I wouldn't worry too much about getting one, except that it delays things a little more and I'm sure you want relief as soon as possible. The SCS is not without some problems, but still well worth it! Good luck!
  • I think it is worth adding here, since you are senstive to all narcotics, that the SCS will not reduce your need for oral pain meds. It is considered a success if it reducs your pain by 50%.

    Some people get more relief than that and some less. But with the SCS andoral pain meds they get great relief. Lets face it, some relief is better than none.

    Also the SCS does not work for everyone. It did not work for me. I now have a pain pump implant and am off all oral pain meds except when I am having a flair up.

    The SCS is really worth having the trial. And like TML said it can have problems but still worth a try. Just do not over expect. A few people can't take the constant tingling but most do not mind it at all.

    Hope this helps.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
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  • Thanks so much for the comments I so appreciate it. yes I am going to see my spine doctor next week. I still have hardware in the front of my neck, they took the hardware already out of the back of my neck, and lumbar spine. I am wondering if the rods were removed from the front part of my neck then maybe that would help, but man, I sure do not want another cut in the front of my neck. YIKES! I have a great deal of pain and man it is hard to just live some times okay most of the time.I feel like I need to move to a warmer climate. Here in Oregon it is freezing and everything inside me hurts.

    Blessings and Happy New Year!
  • You are right Pat. My neurosurgeon that implanted my first SCS had told me from the get go that it was not a cure all. He knew that due to my condition that I would need it 24 hrs a day and would still need oral pain meds. However, they were greatly reduced and my function level was greatly improved. When it was no longer enough, we added the pump. Somehow, they work together. I still need some oral meds, but much, much less. I remember seeing Jerry Lewis on TV touting how he got an SCS and was pain-free. He showed pics of himself lifting his child, who was about 5 I believe. He showed the same remote I had. I felt he was very misleading. I like when I get the chance to tell someone that's in severe pain about the SCS and pump options. They gave me a life back, even with their imperfections.

    Unfortunately, I've had to car accidents in the past month and am having both neck and back pain. I'm going to see tne neurosurgeon to rule out any new damage. Usually, if the pump is not working I have withdrawal symptoms, so I don't think it's that. I so hope things will settle back down. I work a few hrs a week for a Chiropractor, isn't that a hoot! After over 20 yrs of not working at all, I really enjoy it, but it's been very painful lately. My SCS and pump are for my lower back, so do not help the neck.

    What kind of pump do you have? Both my SCS and pump are Medtronics.
  • I just now read your question to me.

    I also have a Medtronic pump, the largest size made. I only have to have a refill every six months.

    Last June I tripped over a footstool and shattered my hip. It was a very hard fall on my hardwood floor and my pain pump came through the fall just fine.....my hip did not!!LOL

    I am at my 'magic" dose now and the only time I take any oral pain meds is when I am having a flare up.

    I have been having a flare up this week due to weather changes and the pain has been very, very bad. I think the reason for this is because I am due for a refill the 24th. and I believe the meds in my pump has weakned some.

    I LOVE my pain pump and the only way anyone will take it from me is out of my dead body!!

    BTW.....My pump is set at 2.091 ml/day and it has diladuid in it.

    Cheers to All. :H
    Patsy W
  • As long as you dont jump on the table during the shrink visit and flap your arms like a chicken you should be able to pass the test.

    I had 2 previous scs trial in 8 years that failed and ended up seeing the same shrink on my 2 nd trial as the 1 st trial and i was seeing a diferent pain dr at the time,

    1st thing that came to mind when i seen him was hey am i crazy or have we met before in another life,
    The voices in my head tell me i know you,

    Everyone has to meet with the shrink before scs trial or the pain pump trial to get aproved,

    The scs trial is prety simple in my opinion, But my pain pump trial and 6 days of spinal leak was hell, That was seriously worse then my spine surgery,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • the eval is also to assess your expectations. of course we are in an acute depression, my doc knew it and i told him so. If the scs helps "acute"depression that is also taken into consideration. It's not a big deal but like another post noted to have an $80,000 or more implant they need to make sure your expectations are realistic.

    I have had mine 2 1/2yrs now after some complication with infection of the first but look i couldn't sit for dinner with my family and now I can. i can do alot more. also take prn oral meds but added a duragesic patch and wow my leg/back are by far much better controlled on a consistent basis.

    and like many they can have it back over my dead body ;)

    don't be offended by the eval like they said insurance nonsense...good luck
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