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Trial over - Decision on which SCS had to be made

I just finished my St. Jude Trial (Ipod) and had very good luck with it. The main issue, was that it was very intermittent in buzzing my body (lower back to feet). I could look down, and it'd stop, look back up, and it'd work. I had to conclude that it was probably both that the leads were just floating in there, not tied down, and that they came out the surface, in which my body bends. I asked my Pain Dr. and the St. Jude rep about it, and they had the same thoughts, along with the Dr. recommending that I get paddles (T2).

Now, I had to decide which SCS. The Dr. didn't care which (suggestions were St. Jude, Boston Scientific and Medtronics). I was mainly interested in battery life and convenience. I wasn't fond of the attach-wire-to-skin charging/changing settings, or big ugly remotes to carry around, so I decided to stick with St. Jude and get their Proclaim Elite, which uses the Ipod as the Trial did. Next question, which type of battery? If I wanted the rechargeable, the Elite was out the picture and I had to use the Prodigy (wire and tail). Rechargeable battery was supposed to last 10 years. The non-rechargeable was good for 7. The rep did some calculation, setting changes, on her Ipad programmer, to see how long I could get, based upon my usage. I needed it 24/7 at setting 9of21. She said that I might get 5 years between battery replacements. 10 yrs rechargeable vrs 5 yrs non-rechargeable ? Remembering that I'm the type that likes convenience (and being a tech), I went with the Ipod/non-rechargeable route. I'm 63, so I won't have the generator replaced 'that' many times. They may improve the battery life in the future too.

Next step, waiting to see a neurosurgeon for a pre-visit and then set up the implant surgery.

I'm glad to had found this site. Lotsa nice people and a bunch of information to learn.

IMaBird @ jacksbanana.com


  • imabirdiimabird Posts: 8
    edited 12/13/2016 - 1:12 PM
    I'm back, and with the permanent implant. I have the St. Jude Medical Proclaim Elite model with the non-rechargeable battery and paddle. I wanted the one with the Ipod (more advanced remote control than the other manufacturers at the time). It 'required' the non-rechargeable.  It turns out that the non-rechargeable, with my setup of previous laminectomy scars, are not compatible. The 9(?) yr  battery turns out to be a 1.8yr battery with the power cranked up to handle the pain. I will switch to the rechargeable version when it comes time for replacement. (ANYONE!, how long has the rechargeable version last?).

    STJ now has released both a BURST mode program as well as making the SCS MRI compatible, not just head/feet/hands. I had the BURST mode added, but it didn't do anything for me. I had it reprogrammed and it's now working. Had to get used to pain relief with no buzzing!  They didn't make the MRI program available to me yet.

    The BURST mode not only removes the Paresthesia, but it is supposed to increase the battery life tremendously!

    IE, from what I've been gathered, get the rechargeable, even though I dread having to belt up every day or so for an hour (I don't know the specs of that charging system). Use the BURST mode if you can get it.

    Removed link to blog..... Liz, Spine-health moderator

    One other mention about the chargeable versus non-rechargeable batteries, the non-rechargeable is bigger and fatter. I lost a lot of weight and am now skinny. The battery sticks out quite a bit on my lower back.


    IMaBird @ jacksbanana.com
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 745
    I charge my algovita 2 times a week. 
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  •  I also have the St. Jude Proclaim with paddle leads. I really like the simplicity of using the iPhone as a patient controller, and really don't mind it being changed out in 7 years. The revision surgery is a whole lot easier from what I experienced with my second pump. 
    Ol' Spiney..Micro-D L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central HNP L4-S1,stenosis, retrolisthesis, EF, facet arthropathy, lumbar& cervical DDD. FBSS- Medtronic pain pump & SCS
  • I too am looking at the St Jude elite with the Burst mode.  Not only do you not have paresthesia, I have read that it has better pain relief.  The rep also said they could give me a battery life estimate after the trial.  Can you put the program / app on your own iPhone so you wouldn't need the iPod, or is that a security risk for St. Jude?  My target is neuropathy in both feet, with some back issues.  Hopefully I can get coverage In these two areas.  Any feedback is certainly appreciated.  It's nice to have as much information as possible and to know what to expect from first hand experience. 
  • I'm back to follow up. I have had the SJM Elite in my lower right back (just above belt line) since March 2016. They added the BURSTDR mode a few months ago, but the parathesia mode works better for me. Unfortunately, it is so cranked up, to help me, that I'm already down to 1/3 power left. I estimate that it will die around August of this year, 2017, not even 2 years worth. I switched Pain Dr.'s as well, now going to Durham, North Carolina. The med's and SCS aren't enough. My lowest pain level is 5 out of 10, with the average of 6-7 as my pain level. I just switched over to Marinol as well, as I'd lost 85lbs (now 150 and skinny). Marinol has given me an appetite again. Not getting a full dose yet, so I don't know how well the max dosage will help with the pain, but from what I've read about it, as well as being well experienced with THC, in the past, it 'should' help me.

    On the IPOD question, you are limited to that, no Android, no IPHONE. I'm considering either switching to the SJM's rechargeable version for a longer battery life, or better yet, switching all the way and trying the Nevro (HF10) as that is supposedly better for back pain than the others. I'm not crazy about any of the other SCS unit's programmer or charger. I'd have to have the SJM's paddle pulled out too. My entire right arm/hand now has a bummer tingling, and I don't think an SCS works on arms, anybody know about that?

    Not crazy about having to charge the unit every day (or two) with the Nevro, but it would only be about 30-45 minutes a day. carrying around (anyone's but the SJM Elite) charger or programmer either, after having a non-rechargeable in me and only needing the IPOD to change programs when I need it. Those things are bulky and look like ancient technology. I can only hope that my insurance company will allow me to switch out to a different product and another trial again.
    IMaBird @ jacksbanana.com
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  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 745
    I charge my Algovita 2 times a week. 
  • I just had the St Judes Proclaim SCS implanted almost two weeks ago.  It is non re-chargeable and has the BURST technology.  It is also completely MRI compatible.  It works from the waist down and will help with my severe and chronic back pain and neuropathy in my feet.  Right now it appears to be helping me but I am not doing anything due to the tight restrictions I am under for the next 6-8 weeks.  Once that time is up and I start doing shopping or housework (when I can) it will be interesting to see how much pain medications I will require to hold my pain down to a low roar with the SCS and pain meds together.  

    To get therapy for my hands, arms and neck my St Judes rep told me I would need an additional SCS implanted to cover the upper torso.  My pain clinic doctor told me that he has seven patients with dual SCS implants.  I hope that helps answer your question IMABIRD about your arm pain.  
  • Hi.
    I have broken neck  C1 to C 5. 26 yrs ago.
     Nevro trial  with my usual level of drugs gave Zero pain the full 10 day trial.

    Had full install 13 days ago.   and system set on 2 till next appt, (1 month) to give surgery time to stabilise.
     go, reduce swelling.

    If this is as good as Trial. I should be able to reduce drug intake a lot. while reducing or removing most of pain.
    Set on 2 this gives me a 35+% of the permanent pain as is. and as soon.

    Pain. Yes.. it hurt. but they've implanted something foreign into you.
    12 days most gone and it itching like mad.

    Battery charging.
    Sit on lounge watching news with pad t'ween your hip and cushion for 25 min's. Beep.
     It's done till news tomorrow.
    Not a problem.
     WITH.. Advantage of smaller power pack. =  LESS physical intrusion.
    and easier to heal from.

    With the trial there was no Tingling. No pain  just "Nothing".
    Wife was asking me "what's up?. You sitting there strange".
    Me. I said   "Nothing.  I'm just sitting here, waiting for the pain"

    1\2 hr charge a day. 10 yr battery life. and NO pain,

     Nor side effects, according to people I've spoken to with it. for up to 5 yrs.
    and on Internet.
    In comparison to other systems on the market. 

     And. Just Maybe.  I MAY get one battery swap. (75 yrs).   Chuckle.

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