Posted 9/2/2018 7:49 AM (GMT -7)
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.