Spinal Cord Stimulator

All of a sudden things are progressing with my Spinal Cord Stimulator. I have an appointment on Feb 3rd to complete all the paperwork. On Feb 8th I will have a trial implant which will remain in place for about a week. Hopefully things will go well and I can have the permanent implant shortly after. Anybody have any experience with an implant?

30 Replies

  • I am actually waiting for my spinal stimulation procedure, when you do have it done please share would be interested how you got on with it

  • I have my consent and introduction on Friday 3rd of February. I have my implant on Wednesday 8th of February. I have an outpatients appointment on the 12th of February to have the wound checked. I didn't even know I was having it done! A letter arrived telling me I was being admitted for surgery! I had to ring my consultants secretary to ask what I was being admitted for.

  • Cant help with your question but it sounds very positive so i hope the procedure goes well for you and gives the results you want.


  • After a failed Laminectomy numerous MRI scan, nerve route block injections, facet joint injections and nerve ablation my only other option at this stage is fusion at 4/5 levels. Thanks for your support.

  • I had the trial one fitted about 10years ago now.

    It was in for about 10 days. The results re leg pain was very good. But the pain where it was installed was very distracting. I decided not to go ahead with the full install due to the size of the receiver unit and as my mobility would be reduced.

    They didn't recommend any stretches or leaning over for too long.

    I decidec as I was always stretching due to hobbies etc I decided against the full installation.

    I might just be soft but id recommend some sort of anesthetic for the trial implant.... bloody hell it makes your eyes water.


  • Thank you for replying. My Orthopaedic surgeon won't do the fusion surgery as according to him I'm too young, I'm 55! So this is my only hope of getting off some of the drugs I've been on for years and getting some sort of quality of life back. My pain consultant is really good and so far he's only made my eyes water once!

  • Hi lucky you no unfortunately I am are have been on a very long hold iv had to have decompression surgery before I go too the next step to see if that gives me any improvement first.wish you lots of luck with your trial x

  • Thanks for replying. At the first meeting with my pain consultant we talked about the possibility of having a Stimulator but he wanted to try several things first, as I left he gave me a booklet on the process of having a Stimulator implanted. I had a nerve root block and Facet joint injections. I had to have an interview with my pain consultant, His senior registrar, a psychologist, a physiotherapist and the senior nurse. They all had to agree that I was a suitable case for a Stimulator before I could go on the program. I can understand why they do this with the high cost to the NHS (I'm in the UK) Finally I had a nerve ablation procedure to try to kill off some nerves. The whole process has only taken 16 months from being told the Orthopaedic surgeon had changed his opinion and referred me to the pain consultant to having the procedure on February the 8th.

  • Hi, reading your post about a spinal cord simulator I found very interesting, as I had surgery 5 years ago for a prolapse disc of L4/L5 S1sadly my consultant had to open up my back twice in a space of 6 days and ended up staying in 13 days, so now I am on 3 different types of pain relief which I hate taking. I've been told there is nothing more they can do surgery wise. So i would like to say Good luck with your pending procedure.

    Keep me posted on how you are doing.

  • Thanks for replying. I know at some point in the future I will have to have my Lumbar spine fused from S1 to L4/5. Until then I want as much quality of life as I can get. I was addicted to morphine after taking it for three years, I'm back on 10mg twice a day. I also take Pregabalin, Duloxetine, Diazepam and Amitryptoline so I'll be glad to get rid of as many drugs as possible.

  • Hi, only just looked at my reply you sent back. Have you had any more news about Spinal cord Stimulator? Myself I've pushed my GP to refer me back to the pain team and now I have a date to see them on the 16/2/17, so fingers crossed they sort out my meds and maybe try something else. I don't sleep probably with the pain my medication where's off after about 7 hrs, it makes me feel so low.xx

  • I had my trial Stimulator fitted on Wednesday 8th of Feb. They did it under general anaesthetic for some reason but who am I to argue. The company rep from Nevro the device supplier came to see me as soon as I was awake and lucid. Took her only minutes to program the unit and explain how to use the functions. I had to remain in hospital overnight so I could have x-rays and intravenous antibiotics on the Thursday morning once that was it ok to go home. Straight away on the Thursday morning my pain levels dropped dramatically by the Friday morning I had virtually no pain at all in my lumbar spine or my right leg. The only thing I can feel is discomfort from the location where the wires go into my back. I go back on the 15th to have my wound checked. After that I have to have the wires out then hopefully 8-10 weeks time a permanent implant.

    Any questions please feel free to ask

  • I have had my stimulator for 25 years I am surprised that someone would make a decision not to proceed due to pain and discomfort locally over the area of the generator I still have pain and take several different medications I have the generator planted at just below waist level over my hip It is a little bulky but I am so used to it My implant was put in by a Neurosurgeon so was a fixed electrode I had a general anaesthetic for the procedure The generator has been replaced 4 times ? I think Initially I was not able to sleep with it on but now I have it on 24 hrs I can lie on my back although this increases the strength of the current I can't say it is the most pleasant sensation but you do become accustomed to it. It has reduced my pain by about 50% on a good day On bad days I increase the strength of the current All in all after suffering pain for 46 years following damage during the forceps delivery of my son I am in a better place I would say give it your best shot At my trial it looked as though it was going to be unsuccessful but my surgeon made a decision to move the electrode by 1 mm Said trying to hit an area like the tip of a biro pen I can remember it like yesterday Good luck and let us know how you get on

  • Thank you for replying. As the big day comes near I must admit the procedure is a worry but the units are very small these days and my bum is big enough to hide the unit.

  • very interesting information on this thread, as I am also waiting for this procedure as my last resort of solving my unbearable pain. I am being very pessimistic about it and holding on to it.

  • Thanks for your reply I think one of the most important things is to go into this with a very positive attitude I knew I would never be pain free so that was never in the picture What they hoped to do was to make me pain tolerable. My pain is in my perineum as I had a lot of tearing and scaring and my pain is neuropathic Today I had a bad day but I use a lot of ice on days like this Being careful of course that I don't cause ice burns. I can understand that Jaybrody you being pessimistic but do try to look at this as it has helped many people and consider that they would not offer you this if they didn't think you had a reasonable chance of it being successful You may be like me and never be pain free but if your pain is more tolerable and gives you a better quality of life then it is worth it, I know that I have numberous things done over the years before I got to this I suffered so many disappointments but I am a pretty optomistic person and bounced back I became very depressed when my Son was 2 This went on for a few years and I eventually had ECT which is not much in vogue these days but it did lift my depression All I know now is that I do have a better quality of life and for this I am grateful. I would not know what it was to be pain free and I suppose over the years my pain threshold has gone up. I wish both of you good luck for your trial Just give it your best shot and come back and let us know.

  • Strangely they have given me a date to complete the paperwork and meet the nurse who will be looking after me long term, a date for the surgery and a date to have my wound checked. No mention of removing the wires or anything like that! I suppose i'll find out on February 3rd.

    You are completely right about having a positive attitude towards pain clinics and any procedure they suggest. My pain consultant is a very pleasant man who explains everything in plain language and how much its going to hurt!

  • The sensation was something I was not prepared Nobody had explained what it would feel like I kept saying it is in my legs and it is in my feet My surgeon said that's right Despite being a midwife it had not dawned on me that everything below the level of my pain would be effected I am a little bit clumsy at times as I don't always quite know where my feet are Sounds like they are planning to.put the generator in They have to make a little pocket to hold it and that is where your wound will be Because I.had an electrode fixed in I had the wound at my bra level so the stimulation starts at my buttocks so everything below this level has the current When I had mine done I switched it on and off with a very strong magnet My surgeon didn't give me the magnet for about 4 weeks so it was on.all the time Now I have the remote which means I can adjust the current Mine is a Medtronic device but there are other companies making them I now just go once a year for a check The reading is very vague says there is between 35-70% power left I only know it needs replacing when it stops working Best I have had is 7 years although they say this current one has been in for about 4 yrs I understand that there are rechargable units out there Maybe I have this wrong If they are arranging all this sounds pretty hopeful that it will be suitable for you Do.let me know

  • I found a video on youtube which was pretty good at explaining and showing the whole process. Thanks for replying.

  • The main issue I was concerned about was the lack of stretching too much after having the implant fully fitted and running the risk of moving the implant.

    Perhaps they can affix it more permanently than 10 years ago when I had the trial.

    I love classic cars and all that comes with them.. grinding, welding etc... so that is or was a no no with the reciever pack.

  • Thanks for replying. I'm an amateur photographer so movement of my arms is one of my main concerns. I'm also a Motorsport fan so I often end up parking in muddy fields so I'm always cleaning my car. I have so many questions I think I'm going to have to make a list.

  • Good idea with the list. Remember to verify where the control unit will be fitted etc.... that put me off.... However if I was more seditarty I'd probably have gone for it.

    But as I get older I still put myself in situations where a doctor would probably be shocked at what I was doing... like last week's TV aerial adjusting..... whilst straddled over the ridge tiles.

    The effect of having doing something constructive outweighs the pain I'll get later.... but that's me.

  • I had a vertebra out of place in my neck that put pressure on my spinal cord also trapping a nerve in my arm, the pain was unbearable at times. I was laid under a rally car refitting the sump guard when the hospital rang to say I had to go straight there for surgery the next day. I never did really do as that consultant told me.

  • I always believe your body knows best regarding pain. And the thing is you have to push yourself otherwise you'd stop doing anything over time.

  • Well i have signed the paperwork, had my blood and mrsa swabs done and my stimulator will be trial fitted next Wednesday. Hospital overnight then home with the unit on a belt for the trial period of around 7 to 10 days. If it works to reduce my pain it will be implanted permanently a couple of weeks later. Battery life of around 5 to 10 years depending on how much you use it.

  • Paperwork all completed last Friday and the big day is tomorrow. Procedure is Wednesday then I'll be kept in hospital overnight then given lots of antibiotics before I'm released on Thursday morning. A week with the Stimulator on a belt doing nothing much and certainly nothing strenuous then back to the hospital on the 15th. Provided it's been of benefit I should have the permanent implant shortly after. One change though due to the planned site for the implant I'll be in for 2-3 days as I have to have a general anaesthetic. The implant will be in my tummy with the wires going back to front.

  • Update. I had the trial Stimulator fitted on Wednesday 8th. For some reason they decided to do the procedure under general anaesthetic. I don't know how long I was in theatre. Once I was awake the pain team looking after me and the representative from Nevro came to program the box. She was really only felt any sort of sensation once, she showed me how it all works and how to change the settings etc. My back is still sore from the procedure so I can't give a true pain figure for my back but the pain figure for my leg was 8 on Wednesday morning today it's 2. The wires and the box are only a small problem when trying to get to sleep. During the day it's on a belt around my waist. The amount of things I can do are restricted no gardening, washing the car. No lifting anything heavy, no walking the dog and unfortunately no getting in the shower!! It's only been two days since the op so it's early days but the very early indications are that it's a success.



    If anyone has any questions please ask.

  • My trial stimulator was removed on February 15th after a weeks trial and it's been a complete success. The incision at the base of my spine, the site where the wires are fixed, is healing nicely. My permanent implant is scheduled for March 27th.

  • I had my implant yesterday 19th I got bumped up the waiting list by the consultant. In the operating theatre for 2 hours and all went well. Just erring on the side of caution it's not turned on yet, in case of infection or even my body rejecting it wires and unit I suppose. Once recovering from the anaesthetic I was taken back to the ward and an angel brought me a cup of tea and some toast. Shortly after I was allowed home. I can't feel my back at all and the site where the stimulator has been implanted, below my ribs on my left side is uncomfortable but not painful unless something catches it. From now until April 12 I just have to take it easy.

  • Sorry for no updates. I acquired an infection in both of my wounds which meant I was on oral antibiotics for 10 weeks as it refused to clear up. I ended up being rushed into theatre from an outpatients appointment in early June to have my spinal wound reopened and washed out right down to my spine. It's now all working and I have 100% nerve pain relief. I no longer take any medication at all.

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