Medtronic Neurostimulator

Problems with Medtronic Neurostimulator
It has malfunctioned - 33.3%
It has just quit working - 0.0%
It over shocks me all the time - 33.3%
I have had it removed because of malfunction - 22.2%
No problem yet - 11.1%

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/24/2010 9:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone here have a Medtronic Neurostimulator implant?  Is it working as designed? 
Here is the deal I have one implanted since 2006.  It has failed twice since then.  Medtronic has not offered one reason why it failed.  Gee so nice of them.  I am on several narcotics currently trying to combat the pain that the stim is not covering.  The last occurance was that they told me that the leads have some kind of short and that the device reconized this and shut down.  So they replaced the battery and now only one of two leads are working as designed.  My doc does not want to remove the leads because of the possibility of doing more damage to the spine and or spinal cord itself.  I have done alot of research out there, and the US Sepreme Court has ruled that we as patients that devices have failed cannot go after Medtronic because the FDA has approved it.  Yep they did back in 1976 and since have not looked at them, and it only took 1 month to make that decision, when it takes years for a drug.  What is wrong here!!  That is why I would like to know if other people are experiencing the same problem with Neurostimulators by Medtronic?  If so please let me know.  Thanks. confused

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/25/2011 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I had the Medtronic Neurostimulator implanted a few months ago. After a few adjustments, it seemed to work well and I felt fine. However, my symptoms have returned (burning in my feet, legs, lower body plus urinary urgency and frequency) and I continue to adjust the settings. My doctor told me he thinks I have nerve damage that causes the pain and I wonder if the stimulator is just masking the problem; I don't know if a neurologist could help diagnose it. My regular doctor wouldn't discuss it with me. I hate to keep going to different doctors for help and don't know what kind of doctor I need. I believe the leads may have migrated, but will that always be a problem?
Too many questions!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15151
   Posted 2/25/2011 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Peejay and welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I am sorry that you have to be here but glad that you found us.

I am going to ask you to start your own intro thread here at the forym so the other members will see your post and be able to give you a proper welcome aboard. By posting on this old thread I am afraid not many of them will see your post. All you have to do is look to the left and click Post New Topic and type something in the heading like SCS leads migrating and I am new and that will get everyone's attention.
When you say your regular dr will not discuss this with you, what kind of a dr is he and was he the one that recommended you get the unit? Is he your orthopedic, neurosurgeon or PM dr? I would be terribly upset if my dr refused to discuss a matter like this with me. Have you considered getting another dr to look into this matter for you since your dr is doing nothing? That is just wrong nd I am afraid I would be finding myself a new dr and them I would be filing a complaint with the medical board, he is not doing his job.

I do not have an SCS unit, I have a pain pump. But, I have read about the leads migrating that seems to be something normal to happen and that should have been explained to you. On the other side of the coin I do know they can go in and move the leads too. If you decide to get another dr to look at this be sure he is a surgeon, no point in going to a neurologist they cannot do surgery. A neurosurgeon does surgery. The stimulators do not take the pain away, the create another sensation that is suppose to over ride the pain signal if it is working or going to work for a person. Another thought would be searching for a teaching hospital close to your home, many times they are able to help people. I would urge you to keep on with your search for help, there is someone out there that can help you. If you are wanting the unit taken out then perhaps a general surgeon who specializes in vascular surgery could help you. You may want to contact your insurance company and get the names & numbers of some specialists in your area to call that is covered under your insurance.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you welcome aboard and ask that you start your own intro post.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 2/26/2011 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
StrayDog commented: I do not have an SCS unit, I have a pain pump. But, I have read about the leads migrating that seems to be something normal to happen and that should have been explained to you. On the other side of the coin I do know they can go in and move the leads too.

I know one of the things they do now is suture the leads into place to help deal with the migrating issue. Also there's a new type of "paddle" lead, though I'm unsure if that's strictly for the Percision Plus unit or if Medtronics has one as well.

It's been proven that lead migration can cause changes in stimulation and reduction in pain reliefe. Also during the surgical process for doing the permanent implant they can cause additional nerve damage: Paralysis, altered sensation and loss of bowel and bladder function can occur.

I did alot of research during my trial period, needless to say, though I am not looking at having the Medtronics unit, but the other one, the Percision Plus. Same thing, different company.

Also remember the Spinal Cord Stimulator isn't used to "cure" or "fix" our pain. It's used to mask our pain, to confuse our bodies into feeling something else. It doesn't address the actual source of the pain at all, and at best most people get a 50% reduction in their pain.

The one gal I do know (my neighbor) who has her Medtronics unit absolutely loves it, and has no issues what so ever with it.

Best of luck to you, MikeyD, and you too PeeJay.
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Spent next year seeing specialist after specialist; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 I was finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled and on Percoset for pain.
Hoping 2011 will see my spinal cord stimulator unit finally implanted.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 10/16/2012 2:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I had Neurostim put in 2010.  I started having dry heaves called my Pain mgmnt dr ofc they said not an issue they deal with.  I have now lost over 70#'s and the battery is just below the skin I can now feel the lead frm battery to spine.  I have constant pain where battery is.  I now have additional medical issues so many that i have to keep files in my purse.  I want to be pain free less medication would be GREAT! I have a high tolerance for pain but constant pain is really getting to me.  The Neurostim lt also aggrevated nerves causing more pain.  It was not good for me  shakehead    

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 10/16/2012 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dottie,

I'm so sorry for the problems you've had with your stim.

This thread is quite an old one, so I'm going to lock it - and I'll ask you to introduce yourself in a new one :-)

Many Thanks

Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

Full body CRPS with spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bursitis, CTS, osteoporosis, multiple compression fx, disc bulges.

Oxycodone ER/IR, Topamax, Mobic, Somac, Cymbalta, Lorazepam, Midodrine, Vit D & C, SCS, baclofen/bupivacaine pump
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