SCS Precision Plus Spinal Stimulator any feedback on results

SCS Spinal Stimulator before I decide.
Are They Effective? - 0.0%
Do You still need pain meds? - 100.0%

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Mr J
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/7/2011 3:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Friends,

I have been managing my Chronic pain on my lower back, left leg, both knees, and left elbo/arm with Hydrocodone 5/375, methadone 10mg, Lidoderm patches. Then for neurophathy Lyrica 150mg, with topamax 25mg for 8yrs. After my recent 3 series of spinal injections that gave little results and the intervention of family who say I am an addict because I am not the same person that the opiates I take. Yet no one has gone with me to the Dr for over a year if they care. The pressure is put on my wife who made appointments with all my Dr's this last week after I had started to only take 1/2 of the two opiates to start to stop them to prove I am not addicted just depended. Last Monday my pain manager Dr spoke with my wife confirmed I was only depended on the drugs did a drug test before my appointment. She suggested the spinal stimulator he does a lot of the Boston Scientific brand with good results. I have used the Tens units before and they did little for me. My Dr suggested that I continue to get off the methadone 4,3,2,1,0 a week at a time I was up to 8 a day. Then the Hydro to reset the receptors in the brain try the spinal stimulator then if I need the meds after being off a bit they will work better. My concern is the multiple issues I have withe my conditions along with depression and taking Zoloft with Ambilify. any suggestions on anyone using a spinal stimulator implant?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16758
   Posted 2/7/2011 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mr J and welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I am sorry that you have to be here but glad that you found us. At least by coming here and visiting with all of us you will not feel so alone in dealing in with your pain. Every one of of us here have CP and we know what it is like trying to live with it on a daily basis. You know CP has a way of making us feel so isolated at times and it is very important not to let that happen.

I am really sorry to read about the situation with your wife and the others concerns of you being addicted to your pain medication. You would be amazed at the numbers involved from people that truly have no clue about CP and pain medications used to treat CP. This is a very common problem with family members and friends believe it or not. People that have CP rarely ever become addicted to their medications the recent studies have proven this. We may become tolerate of the medications but we are not addicted to them. Addiction comes under the hearing of obtaining drugs for an illegal purpose, things like getting high, not having a medical reason to need pain medication, to sell it and that sort of thing. People can become tolerate of their blood pressure medications, insulin or any medication that is taken over a long period of time, it is not limited to pain medications only either. I am glad that your wife went to the dr appt with you. and the dr gave her a good answer. I am very sorry that you felt compelled to prove to someone that you are not addicted to pain medications, no one should ever be put in that position or even allowed to be put in that situation. Shame on whoever made you feel you needed to prove something. I will say this, the least amount of people that know your business about CP and your medications the better. I do not discuss this with people at all, now I rarely discuss it with my family. But that is just me too.

May I ask why your dr is taking you off of the Methadone. Was it your suggestion or his? Does it not cover your pain or what? If you will look up at the top of this page on the right side you will see a search feature. If you will type in SCS units you will find a lot of information on the units as they have been discussed here a lot by people that have them or were going to have a trial done to see if they are a candidate for the SCS unit. You will find it is a mixed bag on the units, some like them and some don't. Its just one of those things that will either help you or not help you. The units do not take your pain away, all it does is create a new sensation that is suppose to override the pain signals or take your mind away from the pain signals. And people with the units still need oral medication too. If you are not keen on doing a trial for the stimulator then I would not bother with it. I see it was the wife pushing it to begin with, she is not the one living with CP so she should not be making decisions on how you live with it or how to treat it. I would never let anyone take that kind of control over my care.

While you are searching, I do wish you would do a search here at the forum on Methadone. Methadone is a very, very hard drug to get off of. It has to be done slowly. If you start feeling some bad withdrawal symptoms when you are tapering off, get a hold of your drs office ASAP. Since you are on a low dose you may not have any problem with the tapering schedule but if you do, do not hesitate to contact your dr. Methadone can be a very good medication for CP. Most people that have CP also have depression, it seems to go hand in hand for some reason. Many of us here at the forum on a medication to help with the depression. If the Zoloft is not helping much let your dr know so he can try you on something different.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you welcome aboard. Take care and keep us posted on how you are coming along.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Mr J
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/7/2011 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
My thanks for your words of encouragement and the information. I stopped the methadone as of today and am taking the hydro in the am and early evening to take the edge off. My Dr had put me on both as he explained the methadone keeps you feeling better one one line & the Hydro is used to take the edge off.As I stated he suggested I keep tapering off with the Methadone then the Hydro. Try the trial on of the SCS then if I need to go back to the meds or some my receptors would have time to clear up so that if I go back on the meds should work better. I have not had any issues except my pain level is not good and I can hardly walk. I am waiting for a call to see one Dr and a follow up with my Dr the 14th. I was told this morning it will be 2 to 3 weeks to get the trial SCS in. I was added Abilify at night and Zoloft increased another 50mg to 250mg total. Again thanks so much and hope you are feeling well.
Mr J.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 2/7/2011 11:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Probably you'll still need some meds -- usually it is less than pre-SCS. I cut my meds by more than half.
If all you currently need pain meds for is the "take the edge off", then you might be able eliminate them completely with the SCS.
Also, "drug holidays" have mixed results. Sometimes they reset tolerance, other times they don't. Always worth a shot, but don't be discouraged if they don't reset your tolerance.
Also, I wouldn't ever liken an SCS to a TENS unit.

good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 2/8/2011 1:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mr J, and welcome to a wonderful place of support, caring, and help! In the short time I have been here I have found the people to be an unbelieveable resource... from support when I'm having bad days, to helping with knowledge from their own experiences... it's even put me in touch with others who have my rare condition: CRPS.
Awhile back I askd alot of the same questions. You see a year ago I was told really the only way to treat my condition was with narcotics and/or an SCS unit. So after finally getting my insurance on board, I started the trial.
Yes, last Friday I had my temporary BSPP unit surgery. The surgery was no cake walk, I won't lie. I wasn't thrilled with having to be lightly sedated because I needed to be awake. Have they given you the DVD yet to see what it can do? They're not far off.
So far my trial has been annoying, but that's strictly because they do not suture the leads into place. In my case because it's my entire right arm affected they had to insert the leads as high up as C2 in my neck. My rep described it as dangling two strings down a PVC pipe; to much wiggle room. What happens is it causes my levels to be fine one moment, and the next I feel like I'm getting an almost painful jolt. I either use the remote to quickly lower the levels, or, as I'm learning, move my body in simple ways to realign things; that can be anything from twisting my neck, to shifting my posture. However in a week I will have my temporary unit removed (the wires, basically) and I am not looking forward to it. Why? Because as annoying as the wire shifts have been, and the first day post-surgical pain (my neck felt like it had a horrible crick in it, and my mid-back is tender from where the wires come out) I do not relish returning to my normal pain. Normally my pain levels are at a 9. Now I realize someone's 9 could be another's 5, or even another's 20. So please keep that in mind. Still, returning to a 9 from my current 4 is not something I relish, but I know it'll be temporary until I get my permanent unit. And yes, the no showers/baths is annoying, the little unit in it's pouch at my waist, the leads sticking from beneath my bandage leading to it... but again, it's temporary. It is a mild annoyance in the long term to something far better given my condition was getting worse over the last three years and has robbed me of most of my life. You see, I'm a single Mom of an 8 year old, and in my mid/late 30's. I've done alot of things, received training in various careers, and have a closet full of hobbies -- none of which I can enjoy anymore without massive pain that ocassionaly has me passed out.
Yes, I fully intend to get my permanent unit. The rep I have talked to me prior to my surgery, was in the room during, and programmed me afterwards. She's called me every day, and when I needed to receive some extra programming to get the maxim effect from my unit for my pain, they met with me the very next day, and in a matter of moments we had it fixed. Even my doctor has called me nearly every day to make sure I'm okay.
Personally my feeling is if it's even at least a 50% reduction in pain it's a big improvement. And with time I should be able to wean myself off my percoset, or only need it when I need it. Right now I take 15mg of Percoset three to four times a day, but I certainly can't do without it. I've been on Vicoden, as well as Loritab, and now Percoset.
You'll hear some negative things, and everyone's case is different. For me, having a neighbor who has a Medtronics unit was a big help. To be able to sit and talk with her, to email or call her any time I had another question... and believe me, I had a boatload!
At the very least give the trial a shot... you can always say no, and you might find that it'll help give you some reliefe, and that's better then what you have now, isn't it?
If you have any questions, please, don't hesitate to drop me a line. Call the 800 number to the BSPP folks, and talk to them as well.
My thanks to all the folks for their info and help during my "do I try it or not" phase... and a big thanks to Frances for all the positive encouragement!! As annoying as my trial is I know the permanent will be 10 times better, and for the first time in over 3 years my pain isn't so all encompassing that I can look forward to a brighter future, my depression lessened along with my pain.
All my best to you.

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.
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