I am getting a Neurostimulator from St. Jude Medical for my pain.

Thomas Brunner Community Member April 30, 2010
  • If you have a implanted one please let me know how good it has worked for you. Everyone I have talked to says " I take no pain meds and it stopped 80% of my pain!" I also have been told that " I have gotten my life back." Please let me know if you have one or have been told anything about one.

     

    Thanks Thomas Brunner

18 Comments
  • angrymooseknuckles
    Jul. 03, 2014

    I have chronic pain from a failed back surgery, 3 level Diskectomy, placement of hard plastic pucks, and posterior fusion of L3-S1 with titanium rods and screws. My pain comes from the fusion not taking and my back is still moving around, so the pain changes throughout the day and I have to take a lot of painkillers just to function, some days I cannot get...

    RHMLucky777

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    I have chronic pain from a failed back surgery, 3 level Diskectomy, placement of hard plastic pucks, and posterior fusion of L3-S1 with titanium rods and screws. My pain comes from the fusion not taking and my back is still moving around, so the pain changes throughout the day and I have to take a lot of painkillers just to function, some days I cannot get out of bed.

     

    I am looking at this with an open mind, and promised my wife and myself that I would at minimum go through the 5 day trial and it was placed into my back yesterday. I don't know if this is going to be for me, but I will try to tell you what it is like as best as I can.

     

    The module has 4 modes and each one can be adjusted in intensity and region that it effects. You can increase the strength to the point it is unbarable, but you can also turn it so low you can't feel it. On the day of the procedure I feel like I was beaten up. My back was sore at the region and had a stabbing pain in my right foot from some nerve that was obviously jangled during the Lumbar Puncture, and my neck(Which has also been fused) along with my jaw hurt like crazy because they were manipulating my head to assist my breathing when they knocked me out. Nurse Cratchet must have been digging her gnarly fingers into my jaw bone because it is swollen and bruised on both sides.

     

    Now I am going to describe the settings;

     

    Setting 1- It has a very simular feeling of standing on a concrete floor that is shaking from a jackhammer cutting into it a few feet away, you feel like you are shaking but your not.

     

    Setting 2- A faster jackhammer

     

    Setting 3- Very similar feeling to the fat machines from way back when, the kind they would put fat people on and shake them thinking it was breaking down fat.

     

    Setting 4- Gabapentin withdraws. If you have ever taken Gabapentin for a long time and missed your meds you have a feeling of electricity violenetly coursing through your body, it's a very unpleasant sensation similar to be electrocuted by 60 cycle A/C power, and anybody shocked by alternating current will tell you that the shock comes with a vibration feeling, and that is because the electricity is alternating 60 times a second. This is the best way to describe setting #4.

     

    I am currently using setting #2 and have it on a moderate level. It seems to mask the pain rather than block it, and at times it becomes a little unpleasant depending on my position, but it is low enough that I can sleep as well. The equipment and wires are a pain in the rear but this is only for the 5 day trial so I can tolerate it.

     

    Something very interested I noticed last night was that I could increase the intensiy for a while and then turn it off and when turned off my body felt like it was resting, almost as if it was soothing to turn it off. The pain is still there however, and the device has not increased my mobility which I had hoped for, but maybe in it's own way it creates an intereference that blocks some of the pain. As a trial I got into a postion that normally hurts and I cranked up the stimulator to see if it made the pain go away and it didn't, it just became more unpleasant than the pain.

     

    I can honestly say I don't know if this is for me, but that is what the trial is for, and if I get the permanent one I can always just turn it off.

  • Virginiagypsy
    Jun. 22, 2014
    I just started the trial with the St Jude peripheral nerve stimulator. The leads we're inserted FRIDAY and today, Sunday, I just want it out. I have NO pain relief and now have pain plus the annoying buzzing. My pain doctor thought this would take away about half of my SI joint pain and maybe some pain near my L5/S1 fusion. I am so miserable right now. I really...
    RHMLucky777
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    I just started the trial with the St Jude peripheral nerve stimulator. The leads we're inserted FRIDAY and today, Sunday, I just want it out. I have NO pain relief and now have pain plus the annoying buzzing. My pain doctor thought this would take away about half of my SI joint pain and maybe some pain near my L5/S1 fusion. I am so miserable right now. I really wanted this to work.
  • Mr C - KCMO
    Jun. 06, 2014

    I suffered with back pain for years.  Had epidurals, water and floor physical therapy, fentanyl patches, accupunture, massage and it finally got so bad I could not stand it anymore.  This was my last option.

     

    Got thru initial implant surgery fine.  Then an hour into the recovery room, I got a pain in between my ribs that was worse...

    RHMLucky777

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    I suffered with back pain for years.  Had epidurals, water and floor physical therapy, fentanyl patches, accupunture, massage and it finally got so bad I could not stand it anymore.  This was my last option.

     

    Got thru initial implant surgery fine.  Then an hour into the recovery room, I got a pain in between my ribs that was worse than the back pain I thought.  After 3 morphine injections my wife insisted that the nurse contact the neurosurgeon.

     

    After rushing me through a ct myleogram, they rushed me back into the OR.  It seems the "paddle" which is a small piece of the control had slid over into my spine and caused a blood clot.  I am now a paraplegic and they don't want to take out the mechanism because it is too dangerous.

     

    My question - why didn't they tie down the computer piece?  Evidently, there is no liability according to attorneys so I would say, grin and bear it.  It is worse being paralyzed than the pain could ever be.

     

  • Onetoughgal
    Apr. 29, 2014
    My St Jude spinal cord stimulator implant surgery was done in August 2012. I experience partial relief of my long term low back pain. Since the surgery I have endured continuous muscle spasms across my mid-back at the level of the incision. I do not recall being told or reading of this possible undesirable outcome prior to my surgery. It is painful and so far...
    RHMLucky777
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    My St Jude spinal cord stimulator implant surgery was done in August 2012. I experience partial relief of my long term low back pain. Since the surgery I have endured continuous muscle spasms across my mid-back at the level of the incision. I do not recall being told or reading of this possible undesirable outcome prior to my surgery. It is painful and so far has not been relieved by any treatment. If you are contemplating having this surgery ask a lot of questions. This may not be a common outcome but I can tell you this has happened to me. If I had known about this I would have made a different decision and would not have had the implant. Even with some low back pain relief and being able to sit longer it is miserable for me to now have another painful problem that I did not have before and which does not seem to have a solution. Caution advised.
  • Anonymous
    columbus
    Mar. 19, 2014

    I am a senior at Baker College and on March 4th 2014.  I was sitting in class and suddenly got a shock and the stimulator  went out of control going up to highest level and would not trun off.  And did not trun off untill the battery drained.  I was told by the ST Jude Rep not to have MRIs etc.  But not electromagnetic fields.  I...

    RHMLucky777

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    I am a senior at Baker College and on March 4th 2014.  I was sitting in class and suddenly got a shock and the stimulator  went out of control going up to highest level and would not trun off.  And did not trun off untill the battery drained.  I was told by the ST Jude Rep not to have MRIs etc.  But not electromagnetic fields.  I found out the next day while at my next class that the room I was in the night before was next to a electrical room and the electronic or electric waves fried the stimulator.  many peoplle question weither this is possible.  Well it is posssible and do happen.  My rrep at ST Jude even acknowledge that people that have the implants that  plays in band have to turn it off while they are aroiund amp.

     If you  do not go into are around high voltage areas you will be fine.   Other than my current delima it works fine an I am letting them replace the burned out one.

  • TC
    TC
    Sep. 17, 2012

    I had my St Jude Spinal Cord Stim inserted 12/23/2011 and love it.  This was after three back surgeries which included a rod placed at S1/L5.  Unfortunately for me, I had scar tissue starting to impinge on my nerve and this was the only answer.  i tried numerous shots, physical therapy, you name, before finally having the stim inserted.  The...

    RHMLucky777

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    I had my St Jude Spinal Cord Stim inserted 12/23/2011 and love it.  This was after three back surgeries which included a rod placed at S1/L5.  Unfortunately for me, I had scar tissue starting to impinge on my nerve and this was the only answer.  i tried numerous shots, physical therapy, you name, before finally having the stim inserted.  The stimulator allows me to exercise, walk, sit (which is a biggy), stand, everything like a normal person again.  Not sure about these other people, but I do not take any drugs, except for ibuprofin or naproxin.

  • Anonymous
    Larry
    Aug. 07, 2012

    I recieved a stimulator for my right leg and yes it does work but, I find it does have it's limitations

  • Anonymous
    flyfisinguy
    Jan. 10, 2012

    Hello

    Having had chronic pain, I can imagine just a bit what you are experiencing.

     

    As a result of a damaged nerve from an accident about 2 years ago, I investigated the St Jude Device after my family doctor suggested I talk with a pain management specialist.

     

    I've been through all the trials and about two weeks ago, my pain management doctor  successfully...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello

    Having had chronic pain, I can imagine just a bit what you are experiencing.

     

    As a result of a damaged nerve from an accident about 2 years ago, I investigated the St Jude Device after my family doctor suggested I talk with a pain management specialist.

     

    I've been through all the trials and about two weeks ago, my pain management doctor  successfully completed insertion of a pain management device in my back.  A representative from St Jude Medical was also on hand to answer any questions.

     

    I walked out of the hospital on my own, two feet and experienced some discomfort from the hospital procedure the first week-end I was home.  Since then my chronic pain has been reduced by at least 90% and my discomfort from the surgical insertion is down substantially.

     

    This past week, I went back to my doctor for a follow-up visit and to learn more about proper use of the St Jude Medical Device.  I am glad that I went through the procedure and want to congratulate you on your decision to investigate and pursue this course of treatment.

     

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Nov. 18, 2013
      Did you have to wear a back brace
  • graceohio
    Jun. 16, 2010

    HI, MY BROTHER HAD ONE IMPLANTED 2 MONTHS AGO, EVER SINCE THEN HE'S BEEN ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL 3 TIMES, AND THEY WANT TO OPERATE ON HIM AGAIN, I TALKED HIM OUT OF IT AND TOLD HIM TO SEE ANOTHER SURGEON TO CLOSE THE GIANT HOLE LEFT IN HIS BACK AFTER THEY REMOVED THE DEVICE, HE ONLY HAD PAIN RELIEF WITH THE TRIAL DEVICE, BUT THE PERMANENT ONE CAUSED MORE...

    RHMLucky777

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    HI, MY BROTHER HAD ONE IMPLANTED 2 MONTHS AGO, EVER SINCE THEN HE'S BEEN ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL 3 TIMES, AND THEY WANT TO OPERATE ON HIM AGAIN, I TALKED HIM OUT OF IT AND TOLD HIM TO SEE ANOTHER SURGEON TO CLOSE THE GIANT HOLE LEFT IN HIS BACK AFTER THEY REMOVED THE DEVICE, HE ONLY HAD PAIN RELIEF WITH THE TRIAL DEVICE, BUT THE PERMANENT ONE CAUSED MORE PAIN THEN BEFORE, CAUSED A STAPH INFECTION WITH LARGE AMOUNTS OF OOZING PUS, HIS PRIMARY DOCTOR AGREED THAT HE SHOULD NOT LET THE DR. WHO IMPLANTED THIS PIECE OF CRAP TOUCH HIM AGAIN.  HE IS NOW BEING REFERRED TO A WOUND UNIT OF THE HOSPITAL.  I WOULD ADVISE PEOPLE NOT TO DO THIS, LIVE WITH THE PAIN YOU KNOW NOW, BECAUSE IT CAN BECOME MUCH MORE WORSE.  GOOD LUCK, AND PRAY FOR MY BROTHER. 

    • Rosie
      Jan. 10, 2013

      I had my implant in July 2012, since then I had infections, and was cut twice, now my doctor says he needs to cut again to explore then problem. Getting this implant was the worse decision I've made. The pain on my right side is unbearable and is always swollen and red.  I dont only suffer from Servere Migraines but also have Fibromyalgia, and severe Sjogren's...

      RHMLucky777

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      I had my implant in July 2012, since then I had infections, and was cut twice, now my doctor says he needs to cut again to explore then problem. Getting this implant was the worse decision I've made. The pain on my right side is unbearable and is always swollen and red.  I dont only suffer from Servere Migraines but also have Fibromyalgia, and severe Sjogren's Syndrome, fighting infections is not easy since my immune system is low. Now the doctor tells me that the he needs to cut again because is always swollen and extrely red. It hurts more and it affect my trigger points and I'm always in pain. I'm so confuse as to what to say to the doctor; do I let him cut me again? or should I ask him to remove the darn implant(that would mean cuting my lower back area, my bra strap area, and two cuts on my head.  I treid to get a second opinion but its been difficult.

      Rosie

  • MillieKeyLargo
    May. 01, 2010

    Hi,

    I had my spinal cord stimulator installed in June of 08, mine is a Boston Scientific/precision model, but they all work about the same. The SCS has taken away my neuropathic or nerve pain, but not my mechanical pain. For my mechanical pain I still take opiods daily.

    When I first was going to try for the SCS my pain management Doctor told me that they worked...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi,

    I had my spinal cord stimulator installed in June of 08, mine is a Boston Scientific/precision model, but they all work about the same. The SCS has taken away my neuropathic or nerve pain, but not my mechanical pain. For my mechanical pain I still take opiods daily.

    When I first was going to try for the SCS my pain management Doctor told me that they worked great for nerve pain, and since my legs were affected and I could hardly walk, I thought this was the device for me! But he also told me that my mechanical back pain was going to remain the same, and that unfortunately I was going to remain in opiod therapy for that.

    Did you go through the trial yet? When you go through it, you will notice the change in your nerve pain (hopefully!), a friend of mine went through the trial and it did not work for her at all! So, I wish you luck and I hope that your trial and surgery goes well. If you have any questions, let me know. Take care,

    Millie

    • Thomas Brunner
      May. 01, 2010

      Hi: you are the first person to tell me that it did not stop the drug use. I have talked to 12 people that told me it has stopped 75 to 80 percent of there pain. I am taking a heavy dose of pain meds now. I have steel plates in my hands and feet and 2 knee replacements. The doctors want to put two steel rods in my back for the back pain I have. How long was...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi: you are the first person to tell me that it did not stop the drug use. I have talked to 12 people that told me it has stopped 75 to 80 percent of there pain. I am taking a heavy dose of pain meds now. I have steel plates in my hands and feet and 2 knee replacements. The doctors want to put two steel rods in my back for the back pain I have. How long was your trail? Did you know it did not stop all the pain when you had your trail? Did you get the unit re set for a higher setting after you figered it did not stop the pain?

       

    • MillieKeyLargo
      May. 01, 2010

      Well Thomas, I always knew that the SCS was not going to take care of my mechanical pain, my pain management Doctor made me aware of that before the trial, but it took and is taking care of my nerve pain 100%. Nerve pain and mechanical pain are two different animals, so I did stop taking Neurontin and Lyrica for the nerve pain, what I couldn't stop taking was...

      RHMLucky777

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      Well Thomas, I always knew that the SCS was not going to take care of my mechanical pain, my pain management Doctor made me aware of that before the trial, but it took and is taking care of my nerve pain 100%. Nerve pain and mechanical pain are two different animals, so I did stop taking Neurontin and Lyrica for the nerve pain, what I couldn't stop taking was the Methadone and the Dilaudid for my mechanical pain.

      My trial lasted for 5 days. Since I couldn't walk without a walker because of the pins and needles on my feet and legs, the trial was a huge success to me. I inmmediatley notice that my mechanical pain from the instrumentation was still there, so that did not change at all, only the nerve pain changed. See, I believe that people need to realize that this device is not a cure all! It works for nerve pain, for someone with neurological damage or with neuropathy on the legs due to diabetes or any other condition, the SCS is wonderful! But for someone that suffers from mechanical pain ONLY, the SCS is not the device for them, perhaps an intrathecal pain pump might be a better option.

      So what the SCS did for me was stopped me from taking 2 extra meds, and allowed me to walk with a cane instead of a walker. I also feel more comfortable walking long distances, but a cure all was not! I hope that this clears any doubts that you had..... Take care,

    • Thomas Brunner
      May. 01, 2010

      Thanks for the letter back to me . It made me feel better about it!

    • MillieKeyLargo
      May. 01, 2010

      You are very welcome, I hope that your journey is an easy one, and that the SCS provides some pain relief for you.

      Millie

    • Anonymous
      Pat
      Aug. 25, 2010

      Hello Thomas,

      I'm guessing by this time you have already had your implant done---or have given up on the idea.  I had a Medtronic device implanted in March and it has been a God-send.  I have a deteriorating spine and the stim has brought me at least 80% relief from pain.  I take no meds (can't because I tend to get stomach ulcers).  Please...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hello Thomas,

      I'm guessing by this time you have already had your implant done---or have given up on the idea.  I had a Medtronic device implanted in March and it has been a God-send.  I have a deteriorating spine and the stim has brought me at least 80% relief from pain.  I take no meds (can't because I tend to get stomach ulcers).  Please take the advice of "graceohio" with some reluctance.  I'm terribly sorry for her brother but we need to understand no procedure/surgery is 100% successful.  There are those unfortunates who will fall within the percentage of failures.  I wish you well and hope you will be as satisfied with your implant, as I am with mine.  BTW, I probably should also tell you that I'm 82 years old!  

    • Crystal
      Jan. 29, 2013

      Pat,

      I'm 61 and a diabetic (who is tightly controlled) and have chronic back pain and neuropathy in my left leg making it significantly weaker.  I have had one surgery about 7 years ago. Lately, I have had 3 lumbar injections, the first 2 were steroids and the last was a block.  I got no relief from the steroids but had a glorious 3-5 days...

      RHMLucky777

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      Pat,

      I'm 61 and a diabetic (who is tightly controlled) and have chronic back pain and neuropathy in my left leg making it significantly weaker.  I have had one surgery about 7 years ago. Lately, I have had 3 lumbar injections, the first 2 were steroids and the last was a block.  I got no relief from the steroids but had a glorious 3-5 days after the block.  I am on Lyrica and Tramadol.  I have not experienced a pain free day for a very long time and some days/nights are worse than others.  I have been investigating the St. Jude's neurostim. The thought of inserting electrodes in my back is frightening, but the hope of even a 50% reduction in pain is enough to make me want at least the trial period. Your experience gives me encouragement. I do not and have not thought this would make me pain-free, but make things more bearable and reduce my medications.  Thank You