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Approval for SCS: Worried about recovery - any advice?

CascaCCasca Posts: 8
edited 01/07/2014 - 12:47 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I have just been given the approval for a trial in the coming weeks (this is the SCS that has been approved for me: St Jude Eon mini rechargeable IPG equipment
My husband has a demanding job which keeps him out of the house for 12 or so hours each day, and we live in a different country to our families. We are worried about the extent of practical support I will require during the trial and following the permanent implant surgery, if the trial is successful. We live in London (no car, public transport my most viable travel option), in a four-storey walk-up. I usually do most of the walking to the store, grocery shopping, carrying bags, cooking, household chores etc. I am mindful of not compromising the trial, so anticipate having to cut back on my usual activities... Please can someone give me an idea of what recovery was like for them - what you could do in what kind of time frame? We are very nervous and face some challenges in trying to plan some time off work for my husband. I would be very grateful to hear about your experiences.

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Post Edited by Liz The Spine-Health Moderator Team


  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
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  • chrelseycchrelsey Posts: 90
    edited 01/07/2014 - 2:50 AM
    I had my trial in mid-December, and received my permanent implant on December 24. I have a Medtronic's unit. During my trial, I had to be very careful in terms of movement - no bending, lifting, twisting - as the leads were just floating, and were very susceptible to movements, and I didn't want them to move out of place. When I had the permanent leads placed, my Medtronic's rep was explaining to me yesterday how my neurosurgeon used an "anchor" and sutured them down. Some people have the paddles, which require laminectomies to better secure them, but my NS wanted to try this way first. After my perm implant surgery, I was told no bending, twisting, stretching, or lifting anything more than 5 lbs. until my two-week post op appointment.

    I just had my staples removed yesterday, and when I asked if I could begin bending, lifting, twisting, etc., and I was told no - I need to continue those restriction for another 4 weeks. Ugh! While that is frustrating on one level, I also know that there needs to be time for scar tissue to form around the leads to prevent lead migration. My husband has been very helpful in pitching in - I can't make the bed, unload the dishwasher, put things in the oven - any activity that causes me to bend, lift, or twist. I have come up with some work-arounds to help him out - for example, if I roll my office chair into the kitchen, I can unload the dishwasher sitting down, which prevents bending. I can also load and run the washing machine, but I still have to have him help with putting the clothes in the dryer, as that involves bending.

    Being unable to do as much as I used to do - in terms of the housework, cooking, etc. - that is frustrating. But I remind myself that the restrictions are not forever, just until my leads scar in. And although I know it has put a greater burden on my husband, that, too, is temporary. What is not temporary, though, will be the pain relief, the increased quality of life, the ability to re-join life and do more with my husband - that is what makes all of this inconvenience right now worth it!

    If you move forward with the trial, I wish you the best of luck! I have noticed about a 75% decrease in pain with my stim. I have also been able to step down from taking Oxycodone, and now only take Hydrocodone. That is HUGE for me, and now when I look at the future, I see hope, whereas before my stim I saw only day after day of pain.

    Good luck!

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  • there is a wealth of detailed information on previous pages. You will need help on perm implant for about 4 days. You should be fine during trail just take it very easy first 24-48 hours
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