Has anyone any had the STim Wave spine stimulator installed?

Posted by WS4K @ws4k, Dec 12, 2018

Hello to ALL! I have a severe back injury and even after three surgeries and several fusions, I am still experiencing severe and chronic pain. My pain management specialist is talking about a spine stimulator. After some research I located the Stim Wave. With this unit, only the leads are implanted. No wires come through. The antenna is worn like a pager on your belt.

Has anyone tried one of the Stim Wave stimulators yet? Any feed back on them?

Hello @ws4k, welcome to Connect. Although members have not talked about this spine stimulator in particular, we do have a lot of members who have talked about having a stimulator implanted. I would like to invite @cbrackle, @bekie, @scruffy1, @bonnieh218, @nebma, to share their experiences with varying spinal cord stimulators. @ws4k, you could also read through this discussion to see what people have written about different nerve stimulators, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/has-anybody-had-an-implantable-neurostimulator-for-chronic-pain/.

@ws4k, did you do the research with your medical provider, or was this on your own? Is there a particular device that was recommended?

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Hello @ws4k , I had a Nevro stimulator implanted in August of 2017 because of general lower back pain that couldn't be relieved through any conventional means. I've had basically ZERO pain since then. Every month or so the last 5 bones in my back get misaligned and I need about a 2-3 minute adjustment by my chiropractor, and then: good as new! I charge my stimulator through induction every day for so – sometimes I forget for a few days but it doesn't matter. They tell me the effect doesn't "wash out" for a few days after the battery depletes. I live a normal life, virtually free of pain for the first time in 27 years. I've travelled to Europe several times and even to S. America and the Galapagos. I pack my charger in carry-on so as not to lose it. I even played 3 rounds of golf for 3 consecutive days just 8 weeks after the device was implanted. I do wear a back support when I play but only because my bad swing puts undue pressure on my back…and entire body 🙂 Since I've had the implant, Nevro had developed and had approved a newer model that is smaller. I think they just developed a smaller battery. Oh, and no parathesia with either device.

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ws4k@ I forgot to mention that it's important to know about whether you can get an MRI with a device you get. With Nevro and leads and electrodes up the spine (as opposed to paddle leads, not sure about them) I could get an MRI of my hip. I just met with my rep, sat close to her and her computer and she read the impedance on all 16. They all were within proper function. When I went to the Imaging/MRI center, I was required to turn the stimulator off (via remote control) before entering the imaging area. After that, it was an MRI, as usual, and no ill-effects or harm to the stimulator or leads/electrodes.

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @ws4k, welcome to Connect. Although members have not talked about this spine stimulator in particular, we do have a lot of members who have talked about having a stimulator implanted. I would like to invite @cbrackle, @bekie, @scruffy1, @bonnieh218, @nebma, to share their experiences with varying spinal cord stimulators. @ws4k, you could also read through this discussion to see what people have written about different nerve stimulators, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/has-anybody-had-an-implantable-neurostimulator-for-chronic-pain/.

@ws4k, did you do the research with your medical provider, or was this on your own? Is there a particular device that was recommended?

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The holidays slowed my response.

Fall of 2012 I was severely injured making a felony arrest. I needed immediate surgery but workers comp wasn't interested. 15 months later, I lost the use of my left leg completely. I couldnt drive and had to use a Walker. I sold my house so I could have surgery. I had L4, L5, and S1 fused, a rod installed, and screwed together.

I regained leg use and am able to drive again. My physical activity has been cut back to almost none. Anything I do sends pain levels sky high. epidurals haven't worked. Several different kinds of therapy has helped but not cured the pain. My doctor suggested a spinal stimulator and gave five brochures to review. The Stim Wave was one of the five. I had found it in my own research as well.it interests be because of the new technology.

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In the fall I did talk to the Stimwave rep that is in my area (southwest Ontario) and to date they didn’t have anyone in my area signed on to deliver this system. The primary benefit is that the leads are placed through a needle so no big surgery as there is with the SCS units. The battery back is kept externally so it sounds like an interesting system. I can’t lay flat on my stomach to have the SCS inserted as my legs go into spasm in that position. The dr won’t even try it for me due to this. In talking to them I thought this could work for me as I only need to lay flat for 10-15 minutes. My pain dr is checking it out since it is new to Ontario. They have several drs in another Canadian province of Quebec and it is working well. I am trying the RFA next as my pain is very severe and not much helps me with the pain.

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@scruffy1

Hello @ws4k , I had a Nevro stimulator implanted in August of 2017 because of general lower back pain that couldn't be relieved through any conventional means. I've had basically ZERO pain since then. Every month or so the last 5 bones in my back get misaligned and I need about a 2-3 minute adjustment by my chiropractor, and then: good as new! I charge my stimulator through induction every day for so – sometimes I forget for a few days but it doesn't matter. They tell me the effect doesn't "wash out" for a few days after the battery depletes. I live a normal life, virtually free of pain for the first time in 27 years. I've travelled to Europe several times and even to S. America and the Galapagos. I pack my charger in carry-on so as not to lose it. I even played 3 rounds of golf for 3 consecutive days just 8 weeks after the device was implanted. I do wear a back support when I play but only because my bad swing puts undue pressure on my back…and entire body 🙂 Since I've had the implant, Nevro had developed and had approved a newer model that is smaller. I think they just developed a smaller battery. Oh, and no parathesia with either device.

Jump to this post

I've posted about my success with a Nevro stimulator several times on this site. Since those posts, very recently, I've invested in Nevro by buying shares of their stock. I feel that it's important to be transparent about that transaction so you can properly weigh future posts.

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@ws4k I did have Stimwave implanted. If you are considering it for application at spine, it is worth considering. It is very high frequency, up to 1500, and higher than my Medtronic now can go.

The stimwave worked like a charm for my pain. However, I was having it implanted as a PERIPHERAL stimulator for my sciatic nerve in back of knee, to help my lower leg. The stimwave lead is very flexible, and this made me have problems with lead migration. I had 2 trials and 2 permanents. The reps for this company were working closely with my doc to determine best approach to stabilize the lead. Ultimately for me bc it was a peripheral application. and not a scs, it didnt work bc the lead was too flexible and unstable and they couldn't anchor the lead well. In an SCS application Stimwave is very stable from what my doctor told me and he uses it often.

Due to migration, lead breakage issues, and newness of the product and application for peripheral nerves we took stimwave out after the 2nd permanent system had a lead break or had a lead problem. I would say talk w ur doc closely to determine if this is right for you and your needs. Ask him how stable the lead will be and bring up lead migration. You'll know after the trial if it helps you. It helped me a lot but just wasnt right bc the company had not done many or any sciatic nerve peripheral cases. They do tons of scs cases so you would be having an approach that they vetted and tested more thoroughly.

As an aside, my case was so unique the CEO of the company was talking to my doc to give ideas in how to put in and anchor it to make it stay. This company is amazing and really supported me through the trials and difficulties I had making it work. One rep even stayed on the phone with me for hours as I was crying bc the lead moved and I could tell it wasn't working anymore. Kind people and they really care about patients and the product.

Liked by marychapman

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@ahayes @ws4k @marychapman Leads can really be a problem. My neighbor has a Nevro. The leads/electrodes on one side of his spine had so much scar tissue form around them that they had too much impedance. (Apparently some scar tissue is expected in order to hold the lead in place but not excess amounts.) He didn't know how much or when this occurred because the lead on the opposite side was working and still gave him relief. It was when he had them tested in order to get an MRI that it was discovered. He had an operation to take everything out in order to get the MRI. At 84, he still hasn't replaced the leads/electrodes/unit. We both find it unusual that the electrodes on one side were ALL not working while on the other side, all 8 were.

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I'm on the fourth day of a Stimwave "Freedom" trial implanted in my upper back for lower leg sciatic pain. Two days to go.

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yes—are you still interested?

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I am definitely still interested and I would love to hear your take on it.

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