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Feb 1, 2018 · Has anybody had an implantable neurostimulator for chronic pain? in Spine Health

Beckie, are you certain that you can’t use the spinal cord stimulator with a-fib? An ER doc will tell you to turn it off just so it won’t interfere with any tests they do while you are being seen. You need to follow up with your caerdiologist to make certain that the SCS is causing heart problems. Get a real solid no before giving up on the SCS. Your cardiolodost will know and so will the pain doctors if that is a problem with heart issues.. Might be a long shot but you need to discuss this in an office visit with a cardiologist or at least the pain doctor. I do know that my brother in law has an irregular heart beat and he is a candidate for a SCS.

Jan 20, 2018 · Has anybody had an implantable neurostimulator for chronic pain? in Spine Health

Please please don’t listen to advice by unqualified people regarding hives and allergies or on anything else that requires a medical opinion. My brother is a physician (anesthesiologist) and he just told me that hives are also caused by stress. Surgery is enough stress to cause an outbreak of hives. It also could be caused by the medicines you were given during the surgery or afterwards. Some pain drugs have caused hives for me. To have their spinal cord stimulator removed on the advice from someone who is not qualified medically is ludicrous. The hives in time will probably resolve themselves on their own. If not see an allergist, dermatologist, or someone who specializes in this type of problem. When the spinal cord stimulators work they are incredible and well worth the sometimes hassle that arise. Don’t give up a chance to live a better life based on an uneducated opinion by well meaning but wrong minded people. Pease check with your doctors before making any medical decision., it’s just basic common sense. Cathy

Dec 1, 2017 · Has anybody had an implantable neurostimulator for chronic pain? in Spine Health

My trial for the Nevro implant lasted about 7 days and the surgery was done at the pain clinic. The anesthesia or sedation is given intravenously and the medication is typically is one that offers a quick recovery. I believe someone told me they may want to talk to you during the procedure so they can bring you to consciousness quickly. The other thing I remember is that you don’t remember much after the sedation so have someone with you take notes. Bathing is tough as you absolutely cannot get the device wet. The nurses said it was a sponge bath situation. I put a stool in my bathtub and washed carefully with my hand held shower head. My hair was washed bending over kitchen sink using the sprayer to rinse. I put a plastic bag over my shoulders to protect the device. We are an extremely clean culture but bathing used to be every Saturday night. I don’t think th nurses approved of all of my methods but no harm was done. Pretend your camping and roughing it.

As to why the trial can be better than the implanted device? I don’t know. I am going through that now-great trial, not there yet with the implant. The programmer said In the first months your nervous system is getting used to the signal so changes to the program aren’t unusual. Sometimes scar tissue may change the lead positioning. She said a difference of a millimeter in the leads positions can change the programming so with such a small margin for error the programs used in the trial are not going to work the same. That sweet spot is still there but needs to be found again. There is the slight chance that the leads moved during the healing stage. My device is in the cervical area serving the head, shoulders and arms and may be more difficult to program than the lower back implant.

The only other thing I can offer here is pay attention to the type of device you’re getting. Google the different devices and see what they have to offer for your type of problem. My brother in law is an anesthesiologist and his partners like the Nevro. (Pain doctors start out typically as anathesiologists and pain treatment is a speciality.). The nevro SCS affects a larger area, is radicular in its coverage or follows the nerve path through the limbs. It may be better for neuropathic pain according to him. Make sure your doctor is at least using it, some doctors are very conservative about newer medicine not a bad thing but these devices can last 10 years so do your homework and ask the doctor why this device he selects is best for you. I wasn’t offered the Nevro at one clinic because the doctor hadn’t looked in to it yet. The Nevro is a high speed signal and the Medtronic and St. Jude are a lower signal strength. Nevro has patented their signal so no other device can do that speed legally. The Nevro doesn’t have to be turned off while driving or sleeping because you never feel the signal. The lower speed devices can give you a tingling sensation when bending your body or turning your head, a distraction while driving and disruptive during sleep. Good luck, Cathy

Nov 24, 2017 · Has anybody had an implantable neurostimulator for chronic pain? in Spine Health

The reprogramming is done by the Nevro tech with a wifi connection from her laptop. She places a small transmitter next to you near your implanted device. The more information you can give her about what worked or didn’t work with the program you were using will help these techs pinpoint that sweet spot that gives maximum pain relief. It takes a couple of days for the changes to be absorbed by your nervous system and feel its effect. You can after a couple of days increase the frequency or power to see how that feels. I found it interesting that more power is not always more better when it comes to these implants, Too much power can sometimes cause pain. It is important though to try higher settings just to see how it affects you. It really can feel too high I have found out; it was an odd sensation of just being a little buzzed but not in a good way. I was advised to go back to a lower setting. My implant is in the cervical area or neck and have been told that is bit more sensitive than the lower back. Generally they give you two new programs and keep one that stays the same when changing the leads programming.

Nov 23, 2017 · Has anybody had an implantable neurostimulator for chronic pain? in Spine Health

I recently had Nevro spinal cord neurostimulator implanted and one thing that concerns me is that some patients don’t realize that the spinal cord neurostimulators are not all the same. My implant was to treat chronic pain from a neck injury that happened some 20 years ago. Some of the neurostimulators use a low frequency stimulator, some a high frequency signal and others a burst signal. I have a high frequency signal from the Nevro implant and I chose this one after researching everything I could find online and talking to pain doctors. Also my brother-in-law is an anesthesiologist MD (which is the general field for pain doctors with pain doctor as a sub specialty) and he also helped me navigate this decision. I chose the Nevro because it affected a larger area for pain relief, had fewer side effects and it is the latest technology. The Medtronic which uses a low frequency signal did not cover pain down my arms and it’s pain target area is a more local to the leads location. From what I have read I believe the St. Judes is similar in its pain target coverage. The Nevro SCS (spinal cord stimulator) covers typically both sides of the body, both of my arms and shoulders. A doctor might tell you that the Nevro SCS is radicular in its coverage of pain meaning that the pain that radiates through the nerve path down the arms and legs is covered. The lower back implant from Nevro is also supposed to be better for covering pain down both legs than the other implants (if they do at all). The Nevro SCS does not have the side effect of paresthesia or tingling when the wires get crimped like when turning the head to look behind you when driving to change lanes. The Medtronic and the St. Jude have this side effect and you are not supposed to drive with these implants turned on. The Nevro SCS uses a high frequency signal that is patented and according to my pain doctors is leaving the other SCS implants in the dust. The Nevro currently has one drawback and that is you can’t have a MRI with this implant. They are other tests that can be done for diagnostic purposes so it was not a deal breaker for me. The Nevro SCS also needs to be recharged usually every day but it is easy, pain free and now part of my routine. It may be that the other SCS devices may meet specific needs that the Nevro doesn’t but your doctor will know best in any case because I don’t have the knowledge or expertise to comment about all of the applications of these devices. If the pain specialist you are seeing is not using the Nevro find a doctor who does at least to get a comparison. I have seen some MDs that have not used the Nevro device yet since it is newer and they were not early adapters to the new technologies. Sometimes caution is good but not in this case in my opinion.

The relief I had from the trial was incredible even with the wires sticking out my back. The surgery recovery wasn’t fun but surgery never is and this really was a minor issue when I looked at the big picture of the possible pain relief. Keeping from bending and twisting was a trial after the implant for me but at about six weeks I was back to most things I had done before. (My dogs too suffered as I couldn’t boost them up on my bed and they were quite put out by that new development.) The reason for the restrictions is to keep the leads in place and also to keep the leads stable. The leads need to heal into the flesh or almost scar in and this prevents them from moving later on. I had at least 80% relief with the trial and currently I am still having the implant program adjusted to get the best possible pain relief.

I now realize that the trial isn’t always duplicated entirely with the implant. A slight change in positioning of the leads of a millimeter can change the effectiveness of the program so said the technician I am seeing. She said sometimes with time and healing the program that you are using may need changes. The body can change its response to a signal and since it can take awhile before things settle down post surgery, adjustments will probably be needed. My Nevro technician said not to fear however since the leads cover all of the spine in the area selected and it was a matter of changing the program to compensate for any changes. So patience is my post surgery motto. When I read about implant patients who give up right away I am saddened that they may not have reached their pain relief goals because they didn’t stick with it. It’s the old adage of don’t throw the baby out with the bath water when things get a bit bumpy. The reality check here is expect that SCS implants probably will need programming changes. It just doesn’t go in and work without some tinkering of the program. My Nevro tech also said your response to your SCS can change through out the SCS’s residence in your body but once again the program can be changed to better address your pain so contact your Nevro tech and get it adjusted. The programming does depend on your input as each of us is unique in our response to the SCS so it is a trial and error process but an educated one with the technicians expertise and training.
Currently I am trying out my second reprogramming of my device. It isn’t at the same relief levels as the trial but I am keeping the faith that it will get better. The trial I have kidded was like a religious experience. It was like lifting off the forty pound knapsack I had been forever carrying from my injuries from severe whiplash. I am not quite there yet but I have just started. Hope this helped some of you and I will keep you posted.