Questions about SCS unit for a blind person.

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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/2/2012 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 75 year old male with 30 or more years of back pain. Done everything. Am considering neurostimulator but I am blind and cannot see the remote. My wife is maxed out with all that she has to do for me now, with my back pain and my loss of vision for 35 years. I don't want to add anything more to her plate, especially if it won't help me that much. Is there anyone out there who has a stimulator and is not sighted? How much will she have to be involved in the workings of the remote?

Hello, I have made you a heading so it will get more attention from the members here at the forum.

Post Edited By Moderator (straydog) : 5/2/2012 5:09:54 PM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16777
   Posted 5/2/2012 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Chequers and welcome to the chronic pain forum. Have you discussed any of this with your doctor? I would think he would be the one to best answer your questions. The dr should be able to get a hold of a representative from the company and ask these questions on your behalf.

Are you in the process of having the trial scheduled any time soon? I do hope you will do your homework and really do some investigating on the SCS Units as far as the success rate. From what we have seen from people that have had these units implanted it has not been all that great. Sometimes the units do not work at all, or they stop helping shortly after being implanted, the leads migrate and then more surgery is involved. I will be very honest with you, if you were my father, I would advise you not to consider doing this. I just do not think the success rate is all that great and they can come with lots of issues and complications. The recovery from the surgery is a pretty tough one too. I am not trying to rain on your parade, I am just being honest and I can tell you are not sure you areinterested in having this done. At your age this is not a surgery I would want my father doing it.

Anyway, this is just my thoughts and of course the decision is yours to make. You can also use our search feature here at the forum at the top of this page towards the right and type in SCS units and read what others have posted about their experiences with the units for back pain.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you hello and welcome aboard. Take care...Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/2/2012 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Susie. Since I haven't held the remote device yet, I don't know how much input I will have to have to make it work properly. Does anyone out there have a similar problem with eyesight and trying to work the remote? I'm sure, once I feel it in my hand and hear how much I will have to do to make it work, will I know if I can even use it. Any input from a blind person with the unit would be most helpvul.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 5/3/2012 5:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Chequers.

I can only speak for my SCS - as I'm not familiar with the controllers for the other manufacturers stims, but mine - ANS/St Jude - is very simple. As far as what you need for day to day use- it has 'minus' and 'plus' buttons on the top for adjusting the intensity, and six buttons on the front - 'on', 'clear', 'left' & 'right' 'accept' and 'balance mode'. Except selecting a mode or program number, I do everything without looking at the controller - and this would be something you could easily learn to do as it makes a beeping sound each time the mode or program is changed. You don't need to be able to see the the controller screen to manage the intensity or balance, because you select based on what you are feeling.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask. I'm coming up six years with my SCS and although I have had a lot of problems with it I wouldn't not have it.

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, Cipramil, Midodrine, Vit D & C, SCS, baclofen/bupivacaine pump

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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 828
   Posted 5/3/2012 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not blind, but maybe there could be a way to differentiate the buttons so that you could know which was which by feel? Maybe adding stickers or bumps or depressions etc. Especially if your remote did not have many buttons? It might be a good idea to look at your options as far as the different types of units and see which ones could be made the most "blind" friendly. I'm sure the manufacturers could probably give some insight as to what alterations could or maybe even have been done.

It sounds to me like at this point your interest lies more in whether you could even use the device. When it comes to medical devices there are usually representatives who "take on your case" and could probably do some investigating for you higher up.

Good luck!
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