Pain in the back 😀 Spinal cord stimulator?

Hi all new here, would really like to here from anyone who has been to St Thomas's hospital Input course for spinal cord stimulator. I've had a really tough time recently are currently being dismissed from my job due to incapacity they are putting me forward for ill health retirement. I'm only in my forties, and my husband of five years recently left me so my main support is my 16 year old daughter and my parents. So I'd like to know the relistic outcome if they go ahead with the scs . I had a flexible stabilisation at L4/5 L5/ S1 in my early 20's due hyper mobile joints in my back, and have bulging discs and some stenosis etc sorry for the lengthy post


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13 Replies

  • i dont know anything about your physical condition so im sorry i cant help in that respect,but i do know how it feels to be left by a partner and have no emotional support so im so glad you have your daughter and your parents,as that is all bad enough with out suffering pain as well. this is a great place to come for support i have had some really nice people to talk to and im sure the same will be for you and people with the same physical conditions. i just want to welcome you to the forum and i wish you all the very best with your health and emotions as emotions have really affected my health and just getting some support and friendship has made an enormous difference. xoxoxo

  • Thank you for your kind reply I'm sorry that you too have been in the position if losing the person who should be their to support you through tough times. Xoxoxo

  • Thank you for taking the time with your kind response , I am sorry that you too have the sad issues of being left by the person who is supposed to be there in the tough times. Xoxoxo

  • Hi Cat, I have recently had my second SCS implanted at Cardiff University hospital. I find it about 25% effective in pain relief, which physicians would rate as "unsuccessful" However, when in severe constant totally debilitating pain, then ANY improvement no matter how slight is welcome! Everybody's body will react differently to this operation, some claim 100% success but I think 50% is more the average. The operation nowadays is much simpler than when I had my first system and the newer stimulators are much more user friendly too! It is normal to implant in 2 phases, firstly implanting the electrodes inside your vertebrae with external power pack etc for a trial of up to a week, then if ok another operation to complete the installation. Things to ask about are, possibility of nerve damage - don't underestimate this possibility! - and recovery times etc. If you need fuller details or advice ask your consulting neurosurgeon first! I can give you a much fuller and detailed description if you wish to write to me at Regards, Moyzle

  • Hi Moyzle, I guess the fact that your on your second gives me hope, thank you for the things to think about I already have some nerve damage due to a screw on my stabilisation not being in quite the right place but not bad enough to be removed . I guess I just need to have a realistic view that it might not be for me and what difference it might make, at least I can fight for my early pension on the grounds that this is not by any means a cure. Thank you Cat xx

  • Absolutely NOT to be considered as a cure, just a different way of attempting pain relief. Talk to your neurosurgeon about it, some trial implant for a week or so and then go for the rest only after successful trial, others implant the whole kaboosh in one hit, as happened with my first (hard work) system back in 2001. The fact that you are even being considered for an SCS should be enough to tell pension people that you are never realistically going to be fit enough to take up further employment, I took my pension (paltry though it was) at the tender age of 37!!

  • Hi cat yes I have been to the input course but I was told on the course not to have the spinal cord stimulator. As with some it works but other it don't so I should not get my hopes up so now I just learning to live with the pain. I'm glad your daughter helps you my daughter is a big help to me too ( my husband and I separate in 2012 ) so my 4 children are my help ( as I lost both my parents in 2011 ) I too have 3 bulging discs and other problems. I hope you get on when you go for your input. Take care xx


  • Thank you for your reply,were you advised before the course that they thought you would be a good candidate for the scs? Are you able to work ? Your really lucky to have 4 children , mind you I was told I would never conceive naturally so I'm very lucky to have my lovely daughter.

  • Hi cat

    Yes I was told I might be a good candidate for the secs b 4 I went but on the course they try and get you to stop all meds and stop looking for things to make the pain go away as they say chronic pain will never go you just have to learn to live with it and pace yourself.

    I had all 4 children b 4 I got this I'll and no I can not work due to the pain and meds I am on ( I also suffer from M.E fibro.) I am very happy you have your lovely daughter.

    Take care of yourself xx


  • Hello there, I can talk of some experience with the Spinal Chord Stimulator as I had one many years ago which only got rid of 20% of the pain, however, after having the SCS, they decided to pt in a Medtronic Synchromed pump which feeds Diamorphine into the spinal chord.

    It depends on how serious your pain is and if the Surgeon would recommend it. However, everyone is different, your stimulator might work for you, it is definitely the first course of action and look forward to hopefully hearing about the success of your operation!

    Good Luck

  • Thank you Del , it feels like the final course of action which sacred me as I'm only in my forties glad to know that there's other options if I need them in the future.

  • Lets prey you don't XXX

  • I have had two SCSs. The first one was a Boston Scientific but I couldn't tolerate the buzzing/tingling sensation. To me it felt like more pain on top of my pain. Four years ago I had a NEVRO SCS implanted and that gives no tingling/buzzing sensation - you are not meant to feel anything. It has been a great success and my pain levels are running an average score of 2. Best of luck to you. I hope it works out. It's definitely worth a try.

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