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SCS Removed 3 years ago Anchor left in

I am seeing a Dr at Cleveland Clinic I and after a routine x ray found out why I have so much pain at the incision site of my paddles. When the Neurosurgeon removed my Stimulator he left behind the anchor showing as a piece of metal in my back without my knowledge. I had lead migration and the wires broke and actually stuck up under my skin. I'm amazed he never mentioned leaving the anchor in.  Has anyone heard of this happening?  I have terrible pain on top of my original lumbar pain. Thank you 


  • I can comment on a closely related issue that happened to me.  I had a spinal cord implant about 6 years ago.  About 2 years after the implant my wires just came apart so I had to have a scs revision.  After the revision - about 3 months later, a knot began to protrude from the surgical site and was palpable from the outside of my back. I began to have thoracic pain that radiated around my side to underneath my breast.  I couldn't wear bras because they made the pain so much worse!  At 65, I was not happy with the inability to wear "foundation" garments.  At the same time, my battery shifted so that I could no longer sleep on my back at all so I scheduled to have the scs removed. As it turned out, it was discovered that I also had to have an emergency laminectomy L3-L4! Long story short-----I had both procedures (3 big incisions) done at the same time.  The paddle anchors had apparently created a good bit of scar tissue which eventually caused the thoracic pain.  Post surgery, my mid-back pain is so much better!  It still gets dicey late in the afternoon after working at the computer all day but it is so much improved.  My surgeon also teaches at a local university and he has documented the issues with paddles/anchors/scar tissue which is great for the next generation of scs's!  My situation is not exactly like yours but I can absolutely back you up on the pain that paddles and especially anchors can cause.  Hope this helps!  Best regards.  Kathy Y.

  • Kathy, thank you so so much for validation!  I am looking at surgery at Cleveland Clinic for herniated disc, so c compression and hope one of these surgeons can remove the anchor plate. It hurts to the size shape of a football on and off but can be awful!  I hope it's removable. I also had dislodged paddles, my site looked as a quiver of a bow drawing in. In. Then poor wires you could see and touch under my skin. I have a lot going on but really appreciate your reply. Good luck. Marcie

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  • I wonder if they usually don't mention leaving the metal in and also it's the scarring that causes pain?  Sorry for typos. My scs was in FL. I'm OH now

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