What Is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

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These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
I may get the spinal cord stimulator but have no idea of the side effects.  Will this device cause cancer in 10 years? Is that something I need to concern myself with? I would love to have relief but that is a major concern of mine.
On April 9, 2014, Spinal Cord Stimulation Data Show Low Conversion Rate was published at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Neurosurgers (AANS).
Fewer than half of patients given a trial of spinal cord stimulation go on to have the treatment permanently, a new US national survey shows.
The 41.4% conversion rate in the study-that is, conversion from trial to permanent spinal cord stimulation-is much lower than the 63% to 91% rate reported from previous studies.

"We also found significant regional variation, with North-Central and South regions having significantly higher conversion rates to the North East or West," said lead author Gustavo Chagoya, a medical student at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

A total of 21,672 patients had percutaneous trials. Ofthese, 8982 converted, yielding a conversion rate of 41.4%.

The median age of those who converted and those who did not were the same: 54 years. But only 38.3% of those over 65 converted, compared with more than 42% of younger patients. This was statistically significant.

The conversion rate for women, 41.7%, was not statistically different from the rate for men.

Patients with commercial insurance had a 43% conversionrate, compared with the 36.8% rate among those without commercial insurance, astatistically significant difference .

The condition of the patients as measured by the Charlson Comorbidity Index did not significantly differ.

Among them who had never had a trial before, 44% converted, while among them with 1 previous trial, 29% converted; among those with 2 or more trials, 14% converted. These differences were statistically significant

Regional differences were also statistically significant .
I had a stroke 12/13/2008. In 3/12/2009 I started having significant pain in my R Rhomboid and have no relief. I have had FFA, medial nerve block, trigger point injections. I have been prescribed Morphine tabs and Norfolk with no results. I am at the end of the road with pain.
Hello, you may try acupuncture for the pain relief. If you can find a qualified practitioner, acupuncture can be a way to help relieve the pain. Functional exercise is also recommended. More function exercises will make you feel easier.
I am having a spinal cord stimulator put in and im terrified that it will damage my spinal cord. Is this possible? Someone said they had a stroke is this possible? I just want my life back and I'm worried that im going to make it worse. Has anyone had a great result?
Hello Aimee, stroke caused by spinal cord stimulator is rare.
I had one implanted on Dec 21, 2018. When I awoke after surgery, I had abdominal nerve pain that was worse than any pain I've ever experienced. I ended up staying in the hospital for 8 days as they ran tests and tried different medications on me to try to stop the nerve pain. Even the hospital gown touching my lower abdomen set off a reaction of pain that is indescribable. On Feb, 25th 2019, they replaced the stimulator with another model thinking the first model was pushing on nerves setting off the pain. My spine Dr told me the stimulator people actually brought a larger battery to implant. He said they argued over it, but knew he had to insert into me as this was the only thing they had. He wasn't happy, actually he was pissed, when i spoke to him the next day. Because the unit was larger, it created more abdominal pain, and did not help the original nerve pain in my right foot and lower leg. So I shut off the unit and on May 1st, 2019, they removed the leads and the battery pack. I was told feeling so horrible. I had absolutely no strength, I would sleep 12 hours at a time, and they decided that my body was completely rejecting the unit. This was prior to them taking it out on May 1st, but was the final straw. My spine Dr told the stimulator  people that he was going to take it out and they told him they thought he put the leads in the wrong place, but the stimulator people were in the operating room telling him where they wanted the leads to be placed. Anyway, I'm now 12 days post-removel surgery, and I still feel horrible. I still have no strength and all I want to do is sleep. I have my post-op appt tomorrow, but for now, I still have the abdominal pain which the pain is at a constant 8-10 (which was caused my the surgery and which I was told I may have to live with for the rest of my life), my right foot and lower leg still hurt and the pain is always at an 8-10 and I have limited strength which allows me to work maybe 3 hours per day. So before you have any spinal cord stimulator implant, always ask for case studies. I wish I would have done more research into this prior to the permanent implant, because I would have chosen NOT to have the implant done and worked with my spine Dr on another method of pain relief.
Jesus, this entire thing is so so horrible, I'm reading and picturing the pain you've been through, that was just miserable. I do hope your spine Dr. can work out something for you. If you can sleep, do sleep, you need rest, both physcially and mentally.
I've got say, this is not the first failed case I've heard of. Is this spinal cord stimulator actually safe for people? Isn't it a new lie from the manufactuers?
I’ve had my stimulator for almost 4 years and haven’t regretted it for one moment. I’m 75 now thank God every day that I did the trial for a week and the permanent implant done about 10 days  later. I don’t know of anyone who would want to go back to pre-stimulator days. Still use the original settings although I’m going to step it up one notch and check the results.
I had one implanted on June 15, 2016. I have had several issues that have sent me to different doctors, different exrays,and tests. I have thought about it and I don't know if I would be able to do it again,if I had a choice.
I had the spinal stimulator implant on 9/11/18 and developed an infection about a week later. My doctor ignored my complaints but after my incision opened he removed and “washed” the unit and put the same one back in me!! The next day the infection was back. After repeated request for IV antibiotics in November the stimulator was removed. In December I was hospitalized and given the IV antibiotics. I still had an open wound until February. I had no energy or wanted to work until about May. I have a new pain management doctor now in another state. She was mortified at the area my stimulator was placed. She stated it was in a position too low. Now I find there’s still hardware left in me!! Never again. I have an open hole in my spine and the pain is unbearable.
You should sue her. She's being irresponsible.
Aimee, I can't say my results to the spinal cord stimulater were/are great however after 8 back surgeries and living with near debilitating pain for 15 yrs or so. The last 4 yrs taking my mind and thoughts about my future took me to very dark places I didn't think I'd ever visit because I'm not of that mind set which is easier described as suicidal.So the stimulater was ,to me, my last option.
I have only had it 2 MOS and while the pain is not ALL gone,(and they don't promise you that,)I haven't been this comfortable, still needing low levels of meds at times, but IN the 15 years pain has wreaked havoc on my mind, body, spirit, friendships, work, ( I can't) ANYTHING a person needs to have any type of enjoyment or fun or the will to live.
I have had the best 2 months being able to laugh, go to a movie, out to dinner those types of things without having to excuse myself early and go home and who knows when I would go back out. If you are anywhere near the places I've described , you have nothing to lose and everything ,and I mean EVERYTHING, to gain. Good Luck in your decision and should you opt to do it, my prayers and thoughts are that you get the relief I have and can get back to living.
Had an implant for months ago cause me more pain talking about having it removed walking up my spine all my spine fusion neck fusion etc
I had a spinal cord stimulator implant on my back and before I had this surgery done i never had problems with my neck and now im always in pain why is that ? I know the dr. told me when j woke up during the surgery that he was having difficulties but he never told me what kind of difficulties he was having . I know this is three weeks of my surgery and im still hurting and my neck it hurting really back it’s tgat normal?
Hi Mrs. Olmo, you may talk this with your doctor, see if the device needs to reprogram.