Has anyone had the Stimwave 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?

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@ahayes

@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.

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I had Stimwave test for pens— the test was extremely painful and I am now concerned if the permanent implant will be as painful ( I felt like I had a concrete block attached to my back) my issues are sciatic and 5th vertebrae — I have had major back fusion several RFA-s and injections into sacral joint with little results- I was so excited about the implant until I had the test – now I feel apprehensive

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@miles1037

I had Stimwave test for pens— the test was extremely painful and I am now concerned if the permanent implant will be as painful ( I felt like I had a concrete block attached to my back) my issues are sciatic and 5th vertebrae — I have had major back fusion several RFA-s and injections into sacral joint with little results- I was so excited about the implant until I had the test – now I feel apprehensive

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Oops I meant PNS

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No to Stimwave, but I can tell you about Nevro SCS. I had wires and device implanted in October and it was the best decision I ever made! I finally feel fantastic. I did the trial and it was outstanding. I have 2 small scars on my back, one where the 2 leads were placed in (around?) my spine. The second is on my left flank where the device is implanted. I use a charger (looks like a drink coaster with a wire tail) placed over the unit, and when I'm not using it, it stays plugged into the wall I've had Harrington Rods, fusions, 6 screws, you name it. Today? I haven't felt this good since I was 15. I'm 63 F.

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Congratulations! I’ve had a Medtronics one for 11 months now. It’s made a huge difference. I am beginning to have a bit of discomfort in my R upper posterior thigh when walking which is making me need to increase my level of stimulation. I am going to talk to the rep about programming it. I think my back is likely getting worse in there but I’m able to walk 2+ miles most days whereas before, I was occ using a cane and not walking much at all. I was able to work in my garden all summer too! Miracles! I’m 70.

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@lifetimepain

No to Stimwave, but I can tell you about Nevro SCS. I had wires and device implanted in October and it was the best decision I ever made! I finally feel fantastic. I did the trial and it was outstanding. I have 2 small scars on my back, one where the 2 leads were placed in (around?) my spine. The second is on my left flank where the device is implanted. I use a charger (looks like a drink coaster with a wire tail) placed over the unit, and when I'm not using it, it stays plugged into the wall I've had Harrington Rods, fusions, 6 screws, you name it. Today? I haven't felt this good since I was 15. I'm 63 F.

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Thank you for your your response – I also have rods and screws etc — the Stimwave test took away 90% of the pain but as I said it was painful mainly at the incision sites— so tell me if you feel any pain from the implant. I’m sure I will still go through with the implant and I’m so looking forward to feeling myself again — I live on a golf course and haven’t touched my clubs in 5 years! I just want to be able to walk without fear that my back will go out and leave me unable to move- fingers crossed that it works as well as yours. Merry Christmas and thanks so much

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Hi Wisco—are you in Wisconsin? Just wondering cause my back went out when I was in Wisconsin and went to orthopedics in Pewaukee where they found on the mri just how horrible my back was and suggested starting the procedure requirement for PNS however I had to come back to Florida to find another doctor — I always wished I could have it done in Wisconsin— there are Medtronic and nevro that seem to have positive results but my dr. Only does Stimwave —I
like my dr. And the rep from stimwave and I can only pray it works as well on me

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@miles1037

Thank you for your your response – I also have rods and screws etc — the Stimwave test took away 90% of the pain but as I said it was painful mainly at the incision sites— so tell me if you feel any pain from the implant. I’m sure I will still go through with the implant and I’m so looking forward to feeling myself again — I live on a golf course and haven’t touched my clubs in 5 years! I just want to be able to walk without fear that my back will go out and leave me unable to move- fingers crossed that it works as well as yours. Merry Christmas and thanks so much

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Just as an FYI – check out whatever info you can find about what brand(s) are recommended. Some of what I’m reading is confusing! My Medtronics had two implant options – one with a permanent battery that would need replacing in X number of years (likely depending on how much you “need”) or one that you charge externally – that’s the kind I have. I have what looks like a flat doughnut with wires, that I place over my implant (high in my buttock, below my waist) – it plugs into what I call my remote aka transmitter. This will charge my implanted battery. It is also the device I carry or keep near me at all times. It allows me to adjust the settings/intensity of my stimulation to block my pain sensation from my spine. It’s about the size of a cell phone but a little thicker.
I see pros and cons of this vs a permanent battery. This is easy to use and I usually recharge it when watching tv or even sleeping at night (I wear leggings at night so it doesn’t shift around, works great!). The down side is I like to travel and would love another trip to Africa, safari style. Going to have to look into that very carefully for ability to get to a power source (to recharge the battery in my remote which then in turn can recharge my implant). Hope this makes sense.

Just as an FYI, I’ve had a multi level lumbar fusion, now have “moderate to severe” stenosis at other levels. It was strongly suggested I have more fusion levels added to my current one. I just didn’t want that to be my only option and the idea of another major back surgery now, age 70, wasn’t feeling good to me. :<(. I hope this stimulator works long time or long enough that less invasive surgical methods or some drug come along to give me relief. It’s like a waiting game, I guess?! 🤔

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@miles1037

Hi Wisco—are you in Wisconsin? Just wondering cause my back went out when I was in Wisconsin and went to orthopedics in Pewaukee where they found on the mri just how horrible my back was and suggested starting the procedure requirement for PNS however I had to come back to Florida to find another doctor — I always wished I could have it done in Wisconsin— there are Medtronic and nevro that seem to have positive results but my dr. Only does Stimwave —I
like my dr. And the rep from stimwave and I can only pray it works as well on me

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Hi, yes, I am in Wisconsin. I live within a half hour of Madison and am a retired RN who worked at one of the Madison hospitals.
I was not happy with the Pain Management doctor I was seeing – once Neurosurgery suggested surgery it was like she just gave up on suggesting any other options. I had asked about ablation but because it was my sciatic nerve, was told it wasn’t possible. So I sought a second opinion at a place called Advanced Pain Management. They tried a few other things but when that didn’t work they suggested a spinal cord stimulator. The MD I saw worked mostly with Medtronics but there were several brands they had reps for and that they would work with.
I think you should do more asking around to see what you can find out about what’s available to you. If your insurance allows you that freedom great, if you have Medicare, even better!
Don’t give up, call around, look up stuff online, ask by word of mouth!

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Wow! I feel great now that I have found a place with information from real users of the Stimwave product. After 12 years of a progressively worsening pain problem in my right scapula that travels up my neck and into my head, I have exhausted the limits of my pain management team and my neurologist. So the new attempt is a suggestion to do a Stimwave test at $4,500. If the test works, the permanent is $30,000, all out of pocket. Money aside, my concern is whether this thing will work for what my Dr. has diagnosed as “Central Sensitization”. In short, I have an open nerve in my right scalp that sends a pain signal ALL of the time. I live on a low “10” pain score with meds, and usually a high “10”+ daily. All of the comments I have read center around more common, though very painful and serious, problems for which there seems to be some measure of treatment. There is nothing for this problem I have developed. There was no injury that caused it. It just started hurting one day and after the slightest strain like carrying a half gallon of milk 10’, the pain rockets off the scale instantly. So if anyone has any knowledge of how the Stimwave works for central sensitization at all, I would really appreciate it. I should mention that every measure of ablation and pain block did nothing! I really don’t want to throw away money as a test-patient. I read someone comment that they felt the company should pay for testing and I must agree. I’m also concerned about some of the comments about the battery. Once COVID is resolved I have to go back to traveling a lot not to mention cruising around the world. Does anyone have anything to offer. I would truly appreciate help. There is one doctor I heard on an NPR TED TALK named Elliot Krane that had success with one young girl, but those therapies have all failed for me.

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@mamabear62

I had Stimwave device placed in July 2019 and then had to have one lead replaced in dec2019 due to it migration into my chest that was shocking me so bad took 3 months for them to believe me that something was wrong . Now I’m dealing with constant program changes because it’s over stimulating other areas of my back and causing even more pain then I originally had . It’s been a nightmare . I live in Florida and as far as I have been told insurance and Medicare only pay for 1 unless you can prove device is malfunctioning or infection. If I could do it again I wouldn’t go with Stimwave . Having to wear this device on a belt 24/7 is like being on a leash it’s uncomfortable it moves around while your sleeping, if you take it off your not getting stimulation at least with the implantable battery your not tied to a leash you can go swimming and still get stimulation . I wish I had found this site before I went through with my decision . So please research ask questions . I didn’t want the implantable battery at first but I wish I had now . And went with a company that puts patients first over the almighty dollar .

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I live in Houston and I am having the same problem. What part of the country do you live? It is like they don’t believe me,

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