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St. Jude Proclaim Elite implant yesterday

Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and it is good to hear from many other people dealing with the same chronic back issues as me.  I would just like to share my experience with anyone getting ready to have an SCS implant.  I know that it is good to read different experiences and that is why this forum is so helpful.  I had my St. Jude Proclaim Elite, non-rechargeable SCS implanted yesterday afternoon.  The procedure went as planned, laminectomy and two paddle leads inserted and the battery was implanted just below my belt line on the right side.  There was a lot of pain initially waking up but morphine helped ease most of it.  This was an outpatient procedure done at a local surgery center and I believe I was home about 5 hours after arrival.  Last night was not bad but extremely sore all across my back this morning.  I am able to sit up and stand and walk around on my own in small doses.  My wife has been extremely helpful in this process and purchased me a grabber and a between the leg pillow before the surgery.  These two items have already proven to be important purchases.  The device has not been turned on yet, it will be activated and programmed when I have my stitches removed next Thursday.  I am excited to get that process going and see how well this really works. I will keep everyone updated on my recovery but I would like to answer anyone's questions they may have about the procedure or device.  I really want to help as many people through this process and hopefully ease any worries that you have.  Thank you for listening and glad to be a part of the forum!


  • jannamjjannam Tucson ArizonaPosts: 1
    I am very interested to see how your experience goes. I sat down with my new pain management dr today and he recommends I try the st Jude proclaim. I have had 6 spinal surges total of 3 disk levels fused and during the last fusion a screw was misplaced into my nerve root  which sent excruciating pain down my leg and kept me in bed for most of the almost 3 months it took for them for detect it. They then revised that screw and relieved part of that pain however there is permanent nerve damage. I go in next week to tell him my answer and then will be scheduled for the trial. I'm praying this lessens my pain and need for meds. Currently on moriphine er 15 mgs twice a day and Percocet 10/325 4 times a day still at a 7 
  • Tyson1234TTyson1234 Las VegasPosts: 5
    I am sorry to hear about your previous surgical experiences.  I hope you can find relief with this scs system.  I am two weeks post op and doing very well.  Still some pain in the middle back where they did the laminectomy but it is going better than expected.  The device is currently on and working well. I am still working on fine tuning my settings and getting used to adjustments from position changes.  I am still off work and will be for the next three weeks so I will not be able to fully test until then.  I have kept everything light duty so far but I am up and getting around with ease.  Let me know how your trial goes or if you have any other questions.
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  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 745
    Tyson, why did you go with a non-rechargable. I have never heard of that. I will try a temp Nuvectra next Friday. Why did you choose a non-rechargable over the rechargables. How does that one even work? Doesn't everything need recharging these days?
  • Tyson1234TTyson1234 Las VegasPosts: 5
    The St. Jude non rechargeable that I have with the settings that I am currently operating on will last 7 years.  Technology has come a long way with the battery life.  I am Active Duty military and I do not want to have to recharge my battery every week if I am deployed.
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 745
    Just not sure I would  buy an iphone with a battery I could not charge. Good luck to you. 
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  • Tyson1234TTyson1234 Las VegasPosts: 5
    The ipod is rechargeable, it is just the controller.  The internal IPG (pulse generator) battery is non-rechargeable and will need replaced around 7 years.
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 745
    I understand. Perhaps it was a bad analogy on my part. I'm hoping to get much more than 7 years out of my SCS. I don't want one that they have to cut me open to charge. I also would worry about the power that yours puts out to the leads. It must be weaker than the SCS units that charge every few days. Anyway, I'm getting my temp put in this Friday. Not looking forward to wires hanging out of my body for a week. And, also the pain from the surgery. Good luck to us both. Hopefully, lower pain is in both our futures. 
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,270
    hello tyson1234 !
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • How is having the stimulator on active duty? I am also on active duty in the Coast Guard and getting ready to start my trial and I'm worried about having to do PT tests, driving boats, and the other physically demanding aspects of my job. I also think I'm getting the St. Jude
  • Tyson1234TTyson1234 Las VegasPosts: 5

    As of now, I really have not been back to work too much to fully test the device. I just returned to work this week limited duty after 30 days of convalescent leave. As far as PT tests, I'm slowly starting to work on the treadmill but still have some back pain around the laminectomy so I have not attempted pushups or situps. Unfortunately for me in the Air Force, having the implant triggered an automatic med board review. I met with my case manager yesterday for the first time and started the process. It seems like they are going to find me not worldwide qualified. They will then determine if I can be deemed fit for duty with assignment limitations or slotted for separation. I will know that outcome by the end of next month. If found unfit, the process takes a while and they start to review all medical information and work with the VA to determine disability ratings. If the military gives me 30% or more, I will be able to medically retire. Anything under 30% is a lump sum severance pay with no benefits. I have been in almost 13 years so I hope retirement is given so that I can maintain my benefits for the family. After the initial percentage, you can try and fight it legally through the appeal process or just accept the findings. It's going to be a long, nerve wrecking process.
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