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Spinal Cord Stimulators

I am looking for any information on(SCS) i can get . I'm 35 and i have had 3 spinal surgeries, the last 2 have been the worst.i have gotten no lower back relief i am in pain 24/7...... I would like to hear from someone that has the stimulator ,that way i know if its something i should look into


  • backbback Posts: 190
    edited 07/12/2012 - 1:26 AM
    I have a stimulator. Mine is for pain in my legs rather than my back. The best thing you can do is the trial to determine if its something for you. If it helps, then you go for it. It's as simple as that.

    What type of questions do you have?

  • painkillerppainkiller Posts: 346
    edited 07/12/2012 - 3:23 AM
    I have a SCS unit I had it now going on 3 years. For nerve damage to lower back ands legs. It does help along with med.

    Just remenber Its not a cure Jim
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  • Both "Back" and Jim are correct......the only way you will know if the SCS works for you is to have the trial. But you will still have to take pain meds too. The SCS is considered a success if it covers 50% of your pain but a lot of people get better relief than that. The SCS does not work for everyone. It did not for me. There is a section just for questions and answers about the SCS on here. Just go farther down the menu page..to the Treatment secrion and you will find it. You will find a lot of good information there.
    Hope this helps.
    Patsy W
  • Hello,I have had the implant for 5 months it helps along with the meds,however in my case it did not eliminate the pain totally
  • I know this is a little off-subject, sorry. But I recently met with my pain management consultant. During conversations, he indicated that the SCS mainly works on leg pain, and NOT so much for back pain, in his experience. However, he also mentioned that research is currently in progress about a new type of SCS which targets predominantly BACK PAIN and not leg pain. According to him, this machinery will not be approved (in the UK?) for about 12-24 months - but at least it gives people like me a little hope for the future. I am feeling a tiny bit more positive because of this new information. Of course, I do not know if it will definitely get approved, but at least someone is working on it right now.

    I have tried numerous conservative treatments/diagnostic tests and 4 spine operations over many years to try and reduce the back pain I currently experience - all to no avail unfortunately. I am trying a different medication at the moment (Zomorph with oral morphine solution for breakthrough pain), but it's not as effective as the Butrans patches used to be. It's early days yet (as I've only been on this new pain medication since Saturday) so I hope the pain relief improves in the next few days.

    Although I can't answer any of your questions about the current SCS equipment (sorry), at least this new machine MIGHT give hope to other people who feel there is nothing else to help with their back pain, apart from possibly more medications/surgery?

    Do try any diagnostic tests you are offered because, hopefully, one might just do the trick and that's what we are all aiming for. Good luck and perhaps you'll let us know how you get on?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
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  • I have a St Judes Neurostimulator, and have had some relief from it, mostly in my leg ,from sciatic pain. I would say I get 50-70% relief depending on the day and weather.

    However, a set of my leads is broken after less than 2 years and now I have to have surgery again to put in new leads. All out of my pocket of course!

    I am very concerned this is going to an ongoing problem and would like to know if anyone else has had the problem in the forum.

    Also, I have had cascading back problems, and can't have an MRI with the neurostimulator. The myleograms and CAT scans are not a walk in the park. So that is another aspect to consider.

    ANS has come out with big paddles on their leads, which will hopefully help the problem. My insurance company also fought payment, somehow they thought I was having this implanted for fun rather than necessity! I did win that one.

    Would I do it again, yes, probably... but then I am just about at my wits end with this unending pain.

    Best to you, and feel free to email me privately if you have other questions.

  • Is an implanted stimulator like a TENS unit that they surgically implant? Does it stick outside of the skin or is it all under the skin? Is it always on, or do you control it with a remote or something?
  • Yes the SCS(spinal cord stimulator) is all implanted under the skin and it does not protrude. You do controle it with a remote, turn it on and off and change programs. Yes it tingles all the time it is on but you can turn it up and down.
    Hope this helps.

    Patsy W
  • SugarplumsSSugarplums Posts: 77
    edited 07/19/2012 - 4:29 PM
    So I am wondering, how do they do the trial? I currently have a TENS unit that I use on my lumbar spine, but it doesn't seem to help with the sciatica... So is that a sign that a SCS probably won't help for my sciatica either?
  • No, an SCS is not a TENS. They will guide a lead or leads up into the epidural space. The leads are placed using a needle just a little bigger than one used to administer an epidural. The entire procedure is done under the guidance of a fluoroscope. The leads will be stitched where the leads exit your back. They will be connected to an external IPG that will be taped to your back.

    You really should be asking these questions to your doctor so they can sit down and explain how they do it.

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