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the process of getting a SCS.

My NS has recommended a SCS trial. Can anyone explain to me how the process of getting one put in is? Is there a psych evaluation? Will the procedure be done in a hospital or in the pain management doctor's office under the fluoroscope? Are you awake during the placement of the trial stimulator? I am just real curious how the whole process is going to work. Any experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.


  • factoryratffactoryrat Posts: 104
    edited 06/15/2013 - 5:30 AM
    I had the leads put in and connected to an external unit for the trial in his office w/in a week or so of me agreeing to the trial. The leads were put in under anesthesia in a setting very close to getting an epi injection. The trial lasted 3 days. I had the leads removed in an exam room. The rep for Boston Scientific was there when the leads were put in and removed. He also called me during the trial to see if I needed anything. I had heard that you need a 50% reduction in pain to get it put in permanently. This bothered me because I did get pain relief, but could not say it cut my pain by half. I was more than happy to get any relief, and knew I wanted the unit. I told the rep how I felt and he said to be honest w/my PM. I try to be very honest and up front w/my PM. He has helped more than any other doctor so far, so I want to protect our relationship. To my pleasure my PM did not ask me to quantify the relief the trial gave me. He only asked if it helped and if I wanted to get it put in.

    I had to get a psych evaluation for the insurance. It was very easy. I saw a Psychologist who specializes in pain. She said my test results were not perfect, but raised no red flags. The test was a multiple choice test on the computer and a short talk w/her in her office. From that point it was not long until I was scheduled for surgery. I had to have a physical to clear me for surgery. I had 2-3 office visits at the surgeon's office. I had to be fitted w/a brace and they did require me to wear a brace for a few weeks after the surgery.

    The surgery was only a few hours. I had 2 incisions in my back. One was for the control unit and the other was were the lead was placed. I had to have a laminectomy where the lead was placed. I did wake up w/a bit more pain than I thought I would have. I had to stay overnight in the hospital. I was on a IV pain pump and also received a couple of injections of Valium. I was given muscle relaxers orally and got a steroid shot just before I was released to go home. I found the pain to be easy to control at home. I did get a Rx for Percocet to use in addition to my regular pain meds.

    The stitches were removed after a couple of weeks. This was done at the surgeons office. I left the hospital w/only one program in my unit. I was told I could use it as soon as I wanted. At this first follow-up visit I also had 4 programs loaded in my unit. I could call the SCS rep anytime for reprograming, but I am waiting till my next follow-up in 2 weeks hopefully. I have been playing w/the settings and trying to take note of what works and what changes do not help.

    Think that is about it. I typed this out pretty quick, but I think it is pretty accurate. I tried to not get to lengthy, but all my post turn into novellas. If you got anymore questions just let me know.
  • Thank you for your response, it answered some of the questions I had. Thanks!

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
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