Spinal Cord Stimulator - Boston Scientific

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Date Joined Sep 2018
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/2/2018 4:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Due to chronic lower back and legs pain I had a trial lead put in. (Back surgery is not an option). The trial lead was terrific and I was very excited to know that I was going to have the permanent leads etc inserted. However, the manager/rep is not able to program me. We have had two sessions plus X-rays and there is no relief. In fact, there is intolerable stimulation/vibration just under my front left ribs! I have been trying many different 'controls' from the remote without any success. I even telephoned Boston Scientific in Sydney but received no new information. Why did my trial work but my permanents not work? Why is the unacceptable stimulation on my left hand side only and nothing on my right? Is the trial lead made of a different composition to the permanent leads? Any ideas? I have had to leave my job, I cannot drive and I cannot walk without huge pain. My husband is an IT expert so understands all that is written in the information that is put out by Boston Scientific. I would have thought that logic would play a big part in this. What do you think?

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 9/2/2018 8:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello & welcome to Healing Well. I am sorry to read that you are having issues with your unit. We have had members in the past to have the exact problem you are having. The techs cannot give a reason why this has happened & they end up having the unit removed. Sadly, these units have their own set of issues once implanted. I often have wondered over the years if drs ever take the time to explain All of the the potential issues can occur after one has been implanted. I say this because of the reactions of so many members that have problems afterwards.

Again, I am sorry that you have found yourself in this situation.
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Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 893
   Posted 9/2/2018 9:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I was a former practicing physical therapist, sidelined myself due to frail health. To be honest, I saw few “success” cases with the Spinal Cord Stimulator in alleviating recalcitrant pain.

The Spinal Cord Srimulator is - at its most basic - an internal TNS unit. It’s success is based on the Gate Theory. That is, providing an evoked sensory input that over-rides competing sensory pain signals coming into the spinal cord thereby blocking awareness of pain at the level of the brain.

It sounds as though your permanent electrode placement may be slightly off from the trial electrodes. Or the waveform selected may be different than the trial. The formation of scar tissue can also off-set expectations. Scar tissue acts as an impedience to the sensory stimulus evoked by the SCS. Electrodes and leads can also migrate or shift.

That you have pain under your left rib cage is likely due to referred pain. That is, the electrodes are stimulating some of the intracostal nerves either directly or via stimulus overflow (stimulus that expands beyond the targeted area, like expanding ripples when a rock is dropped in a calm pool of water).

That you had a favorable trial period would suggest that you would have a more favorable experience than what are actualizing. I would continue to work with your neurosurgeon and Boston Scientific representative to get you and the SCS to a better place.
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Post Edited ((Seashell)) : 9/2/2018 12:29:42 PM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 9/3/2018 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
A, I forgot to ask, how long ago was your unit implanted?
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