Re: Medtronic Spinal Stimulator - This Is My Partner's 9th Back Surgery, Arrgh!!

Hey Deb!

I forget, was it today you were seeing your Dr. or next week? If it was
today, what did you find out? If not today, disregard this post. :o)


"Debs" <YOURFOOTdebs02114@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
MJ, I have a SCS too and I love it except for my defective battery but
that's another story. I have two questions about your mother's surgery.
1) Was she awake when they placed the leads so they could be sure they
were in the right place? This is a MUST. 2) When they swapped out the
battery did they re-do the leads? They shouldn't. They should just
unscrew the leads from the stim and then screw the leads to the new
stim. They shouldn't re-seat them in the spine. They should leave that
end of the leads alone. Also one other thing that I don't remember if
Scott mentioned, the leads can migrate sometimes and end up in the wrong
place. If that happens they need to be re-implanted.


Scott wrote:

"MJ" <Rebelyowl@xxxxxxx> wrote in message
Hello everyone,
I am new to this group; I subscribed to it so that my partner and I
might be able to hear what other people's experiences with the
Medtronic Stimulator have been like. A little history on her:

She's had chronic back problems for over 15 years and as a result has
been through nine back surgeries, including the one she just had this
past Wednesday at Northern Westchester Hospital (GREAT staff there, by
the way, truly). She had the non-rechargeable stimulator implanted
five years ago; the battery had to be replaced after two and a half
years, and now they have just put a new rechargeable system in her
this past week.
(Her surgeon did tell her the battery would probably not last five
years because she needed the setting at a very high level in order for
it give her relief.)

So, she had the new unit installed. They put it back exactly where
the previous one was: the battery is in her abdomen and the leads are
connected to her thoracic spine in the same place the other unit was
connected. Prior to replacing this unit, she had only been feeling
the stimulator in her ribcage, when it's supposed to be going all the
way down her left leg and all of her lower back. We thought this was
due to the battery dying (that's what the Medtronic tech told us a
couple of weeks ago.)

So, she's just gone through this again, and when the Medtronic tech
came to her hospital room yesterday to program the new unit, Lori is
getting the same coverage, only in her ribcage. The tech was
excellent; she tried for over an hour to get some feeling down her leg
and lower back and had no success. So she is now left with incisions
front and back and the same pain previous to the surgery.

She has an appointment to see her original surgeon next week (not
thrilled with the one who did this surgery), but we are curious as to
if anyone else has had problems with the replacement of a unit. She
never had a problem with the thing working post-op on the previous two
surgeries. When she woke up, they already had it programmed and it
was working where she needed it. On this last one, she's getting the
same freaky ribcage-only coverage, and this with a brand new unit!

Any suggestions, or positive feedback is greatly appreciated; as I am
sure all of you have been through it, she is going through hell right
now. Thanks in advance,


Hi Meredith,

I've got a stimulator too. Was a miracle device for me! It sounds to me
like a lead is not placed right or for some reason it has moved. If the
tech couldn't get the coverage then I'd be asking them to check the lead

Just my $0.02 worth. Good luck and I hope you find the answer so she can
get the relief she needs.