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Feeling Depresesed

Had the final stimulator implanted a week ago. During the trial they did not have the leads in the correct place to cover both the lower back and my toes. My toes have been numb since my back surgery in April of 2013. I was told those nerves would come back but they never have. After a year of waiting for the nerves to come back my spinal surgeon decided a stimulator was my best option. I had the trial stimulator and like the results it had in my low back but was frustrated that it did not cover the toes that are causing the most problems. I was told time and time again that with moving the leads for the final that they would and could get coverage in the toes.

When they placed the final I was told that they tried and tried and ran out of anthesia meds twice trying to get coverage in my toes but they were unable to do so. They mentioned that they thought those nerves were dead and that is why they couldn't get coverage to my toes.

Now here I sit healing very slowly and having complications and my doctor is too busy to see me or to answer the many questions I have about the "dead nerves"

I suposedly have the unit turned on this Tuesday but I am not holding my breath as they have cancelled many appointments or arrive and the doctor has to leave to have his teeth cleaned, etc. So why bother even having the unit turned on if it can't cover the area that need coverage the most?

I have been home just crying and stewing this entire week. I was so hopefull that I would feel my feet again and be able to walk without falling.

Has anyone else ever had dead nerves that they could just not get coverage to?


  • I'm sorry that this has been such a frustrating time for you. It is very disappointing - depressing even - to hold hope so closely, and then to be met with disappointment. I hope tht you are able to get some answers from your doctor soon.

    I'm confused, though. I had my SCS implanted in December to help with the pain - I thought that the "buzzing" gave the brain something else to process instead of the pain signals it constantly receives. I have never heard of SCS being used to "awaken" dead nerves and make them function again. Is that something that an SCS can accomplish? Or, is it that although the nerves are dead they are causing you a lot of pain, and that is what the SCS was hoping to help with?

    My SCS does reach my toes, but it has not been very effective with my lower back pain. I think a lot of times scar tissue and such can prevent coverage in certain areas. I know, too, that after surgery there is a lot of swelling and such that effects coverage, and as swelling goes down, coverage can change. I hope that once your unit is turned on that you are able to get the coverage you need.


  • The medtronic unit that I received has been able to make paralyzed people walk again. With that being said the hope was that if they could make these people walk again they could help me stop falling due to the lack of feeling in the toes. The toes also cause alot of pain and it is almost unbearable to wear a sock on that foot. So it was not only going to help the toes work properly it was to block the pain signals.

    I am not very optimistic as every time I call into the doctor's office I am told they never dealt with any of the side effects I am having and overal the doctor is too busy.

    I have the unit turned on this coming Tuesday, but surprise, surprise the doctor won't be there as he is too busy again. So I won't know if the wounds are healing properly and I can shower again or discuss the side effects I am having.

    I am too the point with why bother to turn it on when you know it doesn't cover the areas and in need and I continue to have intense burning in the pocket area that the battery pack was inserted.

    At this point I just want to throw in the towel. Trying to find another doctor in the area that works with medtronics but no one seems to want to help me find another provider.
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  • Wow! I had no idea that the unit could do that! I googled and found some stories referencing what you are talking about. What an amazing medical breakthrough that is!

    I hope that when your unit is turned on, that you will have good results. Just remember that as the swelling goes down, the results can get significantly better. I'm sorry you're having trouble with your doctor - his behavior is just unacceptable and unprofessional in my opinion. As far as finding another doctor, keep looking - there has to be someone out there who can help you.

    About the pocket pain - I say to give it time. I've had my unit five months now, and my pocket still bothers me - hurting, burning, etc. - but not as much as it did the first few months. I sometimes wonder if the pocket will ever be totally pain free - that is frustrating - but I take comfort in the fact that it has gotten better.

    I'm wishing the best for you on Tuesday!

  • I did the trial SCS and had coverage on my toes and back, but I did do some of my own tweaking and it is a Boston Sci model. I was able to walk much better too.

    I do know that I had a numb outer calf and dead spot after a laminectomy in 2005. The dead spot in my foot lasted at least five years, but did go away. Nerves can take a lot longer than 1 year to heal.
    L4-L5 fused at birth (congenital malformity). L-5-S1 bulge/degeneration, L3-L4 bulge/degeneration. Permanent nerve damage L5-S1 and L3-L4. Fused C5-C7.
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