Unsuccessful SCS Implant Experiences?


 
Posted by nopainrelief (5 posts)
Jun 24, 2016 4:15 AM

Hello, My name is Jon, and I had a SCS Precision Spectra implanted in December of 2014 to help mask moderate to severe pain in my lumbar spine and pain/numbness in my left leg due to advanced degenerative disc disorder, lumbar facet hypertrophy, and 3 bulging discs, 2 of which are impinging on nerve roots and the other which has all but collapsed to bone on bone. I was promised that I would be back to work within 4-6 weeks after surgery by my pain management doctor who sold me on this system. After about 8 weeks I was told these usually take 4-6 months before return to work is possible. After 6 months and I was only able to return to work on a restricted duty position, I was told that it could take a year or two before I could be 100% available for the work I do. (Industrial maintenance in a production facility). I have never had a program for my stimulator that covered my pain center (lumbar spine), and any programs that were installed would migrate to other locations on my body within days or weeks. Needless to say I am getting desperate. I have since lost my job since I was automatically terminated after not returning to 100% capacity within 1 year (well longer than what was originally promised me by the doctors). I have been on disability which can't cover the bills so I ended up going through bankruptcy and losing my home as well. This after leading a very dedicated, professional career with a great reputation. I guess I didn't do the due diligence before the procedure. I called and spoke with the patient advocates who were all very enthusiastic about the process. I guess that should have sent out alarms telling me to dig deeper. I have had 25-30 programming sessions by different technicians and one field engineer who was very distracted by his phone and rushed through a 20-30 minute session without finding a good program. I am now trying to find a surgeon who will remove this device and do a spinal laminectomy or other procedure to relieve pressure on the nerves from the damaged discs, or possibly disc replacement surgery/fusion. Anyone else out there who has had difficulty with their implant and what have you done to find a solution? I'm just getting serious about taking drastic measures and removing the device and getting proper spine surgery which I believe was the proper thing to do in my case. Please tell me your story.

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Posted by nopainrelief (5 posts)
Jun 26, 2016 12:47 AM

Well, I had another reprogramming session, this time with a new technician who did not introduce himself. He spent about 20 minutes creating a program that causes tingling from my ribs to my toes, with a strong tingling in my right short rib. Most of the stimulation is on the front side of my body, not the back, where I need it. I told him this and he said that I was getting stimulation in the back, I probably just didn't notice it. At that point he started wrapping up his equipment and told me to try that program out for a few weeks and see how it goes. Well, after 15 minutes I have to turn it off, not just down. Turning it down just stimulates the right rib and abdomen area, not pleasant. Also, I can't walk without losing my balance when this program is on. I contacted Boston Scientific again and asked/begged them to escalate my case. I was told there was nothing else to to, just try scheduling another appointment with a tech, or she would be happy to do it for me. I told her I've seen every tech multiple times without success and need a field engineer. I was told she couldn't authorize that but if I want I could travel to a different region and have a different tech try to program me. I can't travel. I drove to Atlanta and back for a visit to the Emory Clinic and am, and will be, bedridden for a week or two after the 6 hours of driving. I have another programming scheduled for Friday. I may try placing my chair in front of the door and refuse to leave until I get a few good programs, or the police drag me out. It has come to that, sadly. I called my doctor's office and left another message for the doctor's physician's assistant, and will continue to after every failed programming as the techs and doctors do not seem to coordinate. If you live in the upstate area of South Carolina I highly recommend avoiding all pain management clinics in this area, They are all owned by the same corporation and have the same "patient comes last" mentality. I've tried 2 other clinics for second opinions and after very lengthy intake processing, urine sample, and interview all with non medical staff, I saw a doctor for a very brief visit where they berated me for trying to "doctor shop" and that my current doctor is a very well respected physician in his field. I should mention that in these clinics every wall in the office has the same poster for the Boston Scientific Precision Spectra. These types of posters have always rung warning bells for me, but I have no other options in my region. Problem is I never see him, and I never ask for pills, I ask for what fixes are available, what procedures. The doctors both left the exam room within 2 minutes followed by an embarrassed assistant. End of second opinion. Average charge for the visit? $2000 including the $900+ urinalysis. I've reported this to my insurance company and never heard back. If anyone knows a GOOD, ethical specialist in either southern North Carolina or northern Georgia I'd be happy to try them out. Greenville Health Systems has a monopoly on all pain management clinics and almost all orthopedic and neurosurgeon practices in my region.

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Posted by nopainrelief (5 posts)
Jul 15, 2016 9:47 PM

No one at all? Am I alone here? Every one of you have had perfect results from the implant?

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Posted by londa61 (1 posts)
Jul 28, 2016 1:11 PM

Hello nopainrelief, I read your post and I see that nobody has responded to your post about your implant I just got home from the pain clinic because I'm having problems with my implant I've had them for over 10 years and I haven't had very much success with this when they program it doesn't go in the right spot or doesn't work at all I haven't used mine for over 5 years and the last two weeks I've been hurting real bad like pressure in my spinal cord or golden sword and my implant is on my left hip right where your underwear is that and it is bulging out like it's trying to slip and there's a lot of pressure to pain clinic says it needs to be taken out I'm being referred to the pain specialist or the spine clinic in Springfield Missouri because that's where I live to see what his suggestions are on taking it out and what I might be looking at it I will still be able to walk cuz I some day when you have it removed you have her arm paralysis I feel your pain I know how you been what you what you're going through I had my first put it in 2004 six months later they had to take it out because I got a staph infection itch healed from that I had it replaced again they forgot to hook up the battery into the implant so they had to go back and then hooked it back up and then third time was it didn't work at all after surgery so that should have been my first inkling that something wasn't right with this I believe it's a foreign object in the in your body and your body just I don't know some people love it I did it first but now I've had knee replacement surgery and I do have paralysis down my left leg numbness like half of my leg on a female is numb and half of it isn't from degenerative disc problems that I'm having also I wish you the best of luck we'll keep in touch on here so I'll let you know what my spine clinic says here you may have to travel here down here in Missouri to get it taken out maybe I can refer you to the pain clinic here

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Posted by Kathyw (1 posts)
Feb 07, 2019 3:29 AM

Hi from Corpus Christi Texas. I am 9 months out from scs implant. I had no relief from beginning, Felt tingling in areas not any where near back . Actually got a little help with hip area. Now tech Is thinking paddles in spine have moved, like maybe a suture broke. She is checking x-rays and consulting The surgeon. I believe the paddles were not placed correctly in first place. I remember Saying hand and foot during surgery and that's what I got. What's wrong with doctor shopping? I am looking for another surgeon, mine has bad reputation ( physical therapy grapeline). Ifor he Didn't get it right the first time, why not try another with better reviews?

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