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Worried about scs trial movement restrictions! Holy macaroni!

kathyykkathyy Posts: 586
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:03 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I have my trial scheduled for the 13th - this upcoming Wed. My doc has asked me to keep working and going about my daily activities in as normal a way as possible during the trial. But when I looked up the movement restrictions on the internet, I came up with.....

•Do not drive. Limit riding in the car to those trips that are absolutely necessary.
•Do not raise your arms above your head.
•Do not twist, bend, or stretch your body at the waist. When rolling over, keep your body straight. Sitting in a chair is fine as long as you are careful.
•Do not make any sudden movements.
•Do not lift items weighing more than 5 pounds.
•Do not strain when moving your bowels. Take laxatives if needed

Yikes! Is this a really "conservative" list or is this really what I have to look forward to for a week?

What's really true? I had planned on driving to work every day. Did anyone else drive? Go to work daily? Were you in alot of pain the day after the test unit was installed? What happens if you do make the lead move?

Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for me? Warnings? Things that might have taken you by surprise - that you weren't anticipating? Thanks for your help. Kathy
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1

Comments

  • have a look at the medtronics site i should imagine you will be getting a medtronic unit ..personally i would not have a SCS as i know too many people with
    too many problems with them .good luck anyway
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Thanks Tony! Yes, the medtronics warnings are not quite that adamant and strict but I have learned that the truth lives somewhere between! I always appreciate the advise I get on this website as I know that my "spiney" friends have a more down-to-earth perspective.
    backache99 said:
    have a look at the medtronics site i should imagine you will be getting a medtronic unit ..personally i would not have a SCS as i know too many people with
    too many problems with them .good luck anyway
    tony {UK}
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  • I have a Medtronic SCS. Regardless of what Bachache99 says, I am very pleased with my stimulator. If you have no first hand knowledge about something, you should hold your comments to yourself. When I had my trial, I went about my normal life to include driving to and from work everyday. As a matter of fact, I went to work after I got my trial taped to my back in the morning. I wouldn't worry about it to much. If the leads move, they'll just have to put them back. The whole purpose of the trial is to find out if its going to help.

    Good luck with the trial.

    B.
  • That is what my doc told me BUT I have learned that the information I get from you and other "spineys" has been irreplaceable and generally right on target! I have called and spoken with several "ambassadors" with Medtronics and have found that they have been very candid and forthcoming. I don't worry too much because I know that the object to the test is to see if it helps and to try it out "in advance" of the real implant.

    May I ask, how did your relief during the test compare with your relief with the "real" implant?? How long have you had yours and what is your pain relief in percentages? Thanks so much for your help. Kathy
    back said:
    I have a Medtronic SCS. Regardless of what Bachache99 says, I am very pleased with my stimulator. If you have no first hand knowledge about something, you should hold your comments to yourself. When I had my trial, I went about my normal life to include driving to and from work everyday. As a matter of fact, I went to work after I got my trial taped to my back in the morning. I wouldn't worry about it to much. If the leads move, they'll just have to put them back. The whole purpose of the trial is to find out if its going to help.

    Good luck with the trial.

    B.
  • I had about the same coverage during my trial as I have now. I've had my stimulator 2 1/2 years now. My programming is much better now cause we have had time to fine tune things to my body. I will make one suggestion when you get your implant if it happens to work for you, have your rep create a generic program where you can control the amplitude, pulse width, rate, and can change the contacts being used. I don't use this program all the time, but when I need to fine tune things for a change in pain it works great.

    Good luck with the trial.

    B.
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  • I really hate to comment on my trial and perm implants because I happen to be one of those unlikely horror stories, but I do want to agree with Back about trying to do things during your trial that are a part of your everyday life. Otherwise how will you know if it's working or not??? Because of my experiences, I followed all the restrictions 100% to prevent ANY likelihood of having to go through it again. Today I am seven weeks post perm implant, and my coverage still needs tweaking. I have yet to attempt to pick my chair up because it's 27 lbs. and if holding off one more week would prevent having a revision well, you better bet I'm going to do so! I have anywhere from 10-50% pain relief, it just depends on whether I'm having a flare or not. It takes 50% of the average day to day suffering away, and I am very pleased with the results.

    Oh and my trial and perm are different in coverage, as I believe I am one of the lucky ones and got better relief (in a bigger area I mean) from the perm implant. I have tailbone coverage even, and it goes from my lower back to my feet. It's marvelous! Good luck on your trial!!!
  • Don't worry too much, just be yourself and try your best to adhere to the restrictions. Also be careful to keep the cord from the external unit to your trial leads tucked in so that you don't snag it and yank on the leads. Also be cognizant of the external unit when using the bathroom. There have been others in the past who accidentally let them fall in the toilet or smack the ground. I placed mine on an over sized belt that I brought with me.

    The key is to do what you feel you can do and see if the trial stimulator helps with battling your normal pain.

    My permanent stim has far better coverage than my trial did. I've had mine 4 years now and love it!

    "C"
  • [I wear my tens unit a good bit and I have had a few incidents in the bathroom so I can totally believe your advice! I am so very happy for your pain relief. My tens help a good bit so I hope that is a portender of future success with the implant. I will definately keep the leads tucked in - can't wait to see if it helps!
    chagland said:
    Don't worry too much, just be yourself and try your best to adhere to the restrictions. Also be careful to keep the cord from the external unit to your trial leads tucked in so that you don't snag it and yank on the leads. Also be cognizant of the external unit when using the bathroom. There have been others in the past who accidentally let them fall in the toilet or smack the ground. I placed mine on an over sized belt that I brought with me.

    The key is to do what you feel you can do and see if the trial stimulator helps with battling your normal pain.

    My permanent stim has far better coverage than my trial did. I've had mine 4 years now and love it!

    "C"
  • Hi Kathy
    I had a test on both cervical and lumbar medtronic SCS. My only limits that I was told about was no quick turning, jumping, twisting and bending over very far. The reason for this is because the test leads are placed in the spinal canal and are floating free and any bad motion could pull them from where they were placed. This changes what area of treatment is covered. My cervical test had the leads placed all the way from my lower back up into the cervcal area. To much scar tissue to get in at a higher location. I felt so good with the test that I mowed my yard just to see if I could do it. For years I could not mow. I felt great. Then a problem came up LOL I got hot and the sweat let the tape on the unit get loose and it slid down a few inches pulling the leads down to another area that effected my heart and chest area and had to shut it off.. Thank god it was the last day of the test and didn't skew the test results. I caught hell for doing something in the dirt as I had two leads going through the skin and it would be easy to get a infection that way with the leads going into the spinal canal. Looking back it wasn't smart on my part but it gave me so much pain relief I had to try LOL. Its very important to keep clean and dry.
    If you understand the remote and how to use it ask the SCS programmer to give a couple of programs that you can change too and play with the unit to show you the adjustment you can make. Not to push a brand but I have a'Medtronic unit and I have four techs from medtronic that I can call and get a reprogram anytime I need it. One time it took her hours to get me dialed in but It has changed my life for the best. For insurance you need a fifty percent reduction in pain to make it worth it and I surpassed that.

    Just be safe and smart when you get your test and the implanted one works better then the test. Good luck on your test and I hope it helps you.
    One last thought. Large dogs that jump on people can pull the leads loose so be careful there. Wish you luck. Last thought it is best to turn off while driving as a bumb can cause a surge of power that my cause a problem.


    Rick
  • Actually Kathy, the restrictions are not hard to follow and they are there for a reason. You do not want the leads to move. That would cause you not to get the stinulation where you need it and would ruin your trial. The leads are held in place with just one tiny stitch.
    If you do not already have one of those reacher/grabber tools do get one. You can pick things up or reach over head without bending over or stretching any. I also bought a aid to help put on socks without bending over. I still use both tools today.
    During your trial the leads are very positional, just turning your head can cause a sudden surge in stimulation which may startle you causing you to jump. That is why they tell you not to dri
    ve. A lot of people turn theirs off when they drive just to be safe.
    Do not lay down with the stimulator turned high. It will cause a huge surge in the stimulation. I made that mistaske when I had my trial. It was such a strong surge it was painfull. I thought I had blown my head off!!LOL
    I am sure your trial will be a success. Please do as "C" said and do try to follow the restrictions. Actually they are rather easy to follow. As for the twisting....my Doctor told me not to twist like I was swinging a golf club.
    BTW....the permanent implant will not be as positional as during the trial. The leads are better anchored.
    Best of luck to you Kathy. I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
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