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zjandre (@zjandre)

Implantable neurostimulator for chronic pain

Spine Health | Last Active: 3 days ago | Replies (329)

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I have a Medtronic with paddle leads since 2015. I should have asked more questions about the procedure and what would happen if I changed my mind after I had the permanent placed. I assumed it would be flexible wire leads and it wasn't so when I went in for my trial, I had to have another laminectomy while I was awake so that they could put in my paddle leads. I then went home the same day and returned 3 days later. If I wanted the permanent, then they would put me to sleep and implant the rest. If I didn't want it, then they would put me to sleep and take out the paddles. I didn't have to wait or go through all that surgery over again but I could have done without another laminectomy since it was only a few months after my first one. It did help my pain for about half my nerve pain in my leg but did nothing for my back pain that is getting worse every day. I thought it was for both but it wasn't. I have a regular stim not the hf kind so it is a bit too intense sometimes with the buzzing. I wish I had waited since my nerve pain became manageable over time and my surgeon says he will not take my paddles out since it was small inside my spinal canal so I have to keep it even though I don't use it much anymore. Also, if you get paddle leads, you can't have an MRI even to the head. I wasn't told that before hand. Good luck hope that helps answer some questions.

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Replies to "I have a Medtronic with paddle leads since 2015. I should have asked more questions about..."

@ursweetpam, I sit hearing drinking tea while I do my morning battery charge and it irritates me so much to read these posts where patients are not properly informed. One should always ask the doctor if he/she or the franchise has a financial relationship with the company whose product he is recommending. First, I went to a dinner sponsored by BostSci and listened to their speaker, and then I talked to my doctor, but red flags were already up when he and his associate were introducing the speaker.. Then I asked him what other products were out there. Then he got to Nevro, which sounded better for ME. I went home and talked to my neighbor, an engineer!, whom I knew had a stimulator. He is 80+ yr. old and could not walk up the steps to his office over the garage – that was for 2.5 yr. before getting the stimulator, a Nevro it turns out. Now he walks wherever he wants to, pain free. He just got back from a 2-week cruise in the Med. and Adriatic and explored everything. All, please ask about the leads and how reversible they are, if you can get an MRI. Remember, that pain you feels pales in comparison to someday being able to have an MRI detect cancer!!!! Ask about the battery life: how long before it'll require surgery to replace it. What's the latest model? When will the newest technology be approved. Maybe you should wait a few months for the newest: the difference usually being smaller size with same or better battery. How many programs does the stimulator hold and how many are available that can be introduced to your device if suddenly you're not getting the same relief. There have already been 2 programs stripped out electronically – only takes a few painless minutes – and replaced with two different ones in attempt to get relief for my neuropathy, in addition to my back. Treat it with the same skepticism you would buying a used car. Ask ALL of the question you can think of AFTER having done research. Remember, minimally invasive surgery is when someone else is getting it. They are implanting a device that may or may not exactly equal the trial results. These can be a savior, like mine, or a total bust. Don't jump into it. PLEASE

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