Let me start by saying I know this is a silly question because all doctors and insurance companies are different. But I'm waiting to do the trial for the spinal cord stimulator and I'm getting anxious and impatient. I'd love various answers from people with different brands, if you don't mind and have time. 1. Which brand/model do you have? 2. What were your out of pocket costs? 3. How long did you wait between the trial and permanent implant? 4. What did it change in your life for the better? 5. What did it change in your life for the worse?
Thanks in advance for your advice. After dealing with chronic pain for several years (due to a number of contributing factors), I am thrilled that I might get even a tiny bit of relief.
I have had very good results with my spinal cord stimulator. 1)I have a Boston Scientific Precision system with one lead (electrode). Charger model SC-5312. Base Station model SC-5305. It was done for pain in my right lower back and it cut my pain by about 75%. 2)I had no out of pocket costs, even when I recently lost my remote. My insurance picked it all up. 3)I had the trial done in late September 2012 and the permanent one on November 1, 2012. 4)I have to say it does cut my pain by as much as 50 percent in the originally intended area. I know this because when I turn it off my pain goes through the roof. They have been able to expand the coverage of the single lead I have. (I feel stimulation over towards the right and up the back a little). 5)I can't say anything bad about it. Except my grandsons call me a robot because of the battery.
The only other issue I had was when I went to see the Pope and had to go through the metal detector and the TSA agent wasn't sure to let me through so he called over a Secret Service Agent who cleared me right away. Some days I am in a lot of pain but my back has gotten significantlly worse in the past year, I go for adjustments as needed and it always helps. Unfortunately my back will continue to get worse until I decide to go for surgery. When I had the implant done we weren't aware of my other back problems. I am going to add you as a friend in case you want to ask me anything else. I wish you lots of luck.
Hello I been through 6 failed lower back operations damage nerve scar tissue on the damage nerve I have 2 cages at the L4L5 DISC with bone off my hip in both cages and the bones did not grow and Fuze. I got a cd from doc all about spinal cord stimulater and the only side effect is paralyzed cause they place the electric wires on your nerves and the doctor I talk to said for just the stimulater is like buying a new truck and alot of insurance will not pay. And I met 1 person that said it did not work and the doc told me I will have a wire sticking out down by my lower ribs to charge it now I know the Temps have charger on outside of body now I was told this in 1995 and 2000 but I cannot afford what insurance does not pay and you must go through 2 operations. And I just will not take a chance of surgeon making a mistake.
But if you get it done I hope you get very good relief but for the stimulater and operations if I had to guess it's going to be about $90,000 or more for 1 operation. It was over $60,000 just to have my cages place in my lower back and my disc was already gone that was taken out in 1995 and that surgeon did not put NOTHING in my disc space. So please you can find out all prices just ask surgeon and by law must be 2 surgeons in operating room so you will get billed by both and everything that goes with back operations in hospital. It will be very expensive I'm sure very sure.
It took awhile for my doc to get approval from my insurance company (only because the person who it was given to didn't know what it was, so instead of looking into it they rejected the claim). Once my doc got in touch with someone who knew what it was and told them all I have tried prior (injections, ablations, physical therapy, pills, etc) they approved the trial phase, and since I got relief from it they approved the actual device. This started (4 years ago) in mid May, got 1st approval in late September (my doctor wasn't giving up) and had device implanted November 1st.
The trial will give you all the answers you need, because if you get relief from the trial, you can count on getting MORE relief from the permanent implant, as that is expertly placed. Of course you're anxious and impatient. You're in pain!
I have a Medtronic Ultra (Two?) <-- can't remember but I know it's the Ultra, and is the top of the line. The part that rests along the spinal cord has sixteen programmable metallic plates vs the usual one that has eight.
I know that I had to pay my Out of Pocket Max for the year, and that was somewhere in the realm of Two Thousand. I was shocked to see that the total bill was in the order of One Hundred Thirty Thousand. I thought that was a gross misappropriation of insurance money.
I waited approximately two months between the trial and permanent. I had to do a LOT of preparation work, because the recovery is difficult, and many steps need to be taken to ensure pre authorization. It was very stressful for me. I got the authorization two days before the surgery, and my assist person was flying in from out of town. If the surgery would be put off, we needed to change his flight plans - it was crazy. I want you to know that getting the trial is far more uncomfortable than getting the permanent. I want you to know that I went into this thinking that it was a minor surgery, and it was NOT. I had a six inch scar down the center of my back and two vertebrae with sections cut out to allow for the plastic piece to be put into place. I was independent fairly quickly, but this is no joke. Just make sure you have support for the first week is what I'm saying. It reduced my pain by approximately seventy-five percent, and it allowed me to sit at my desk all day and have a job. It also allowed me to cut my intake of pain medication down to a small percentage of what it had been. I had also been house-bound, and now, if I know I'd have a long day, I just crank it up. Make sure they create a setting for you to program for when you lie down. The pathways open up like a stream when you lie down and you get jolted. They can adjust for that and create a 'sleeping setting', for example. The vibrations, over time, desensitized me to the pain, and I have found that I use it less and less over time. Sometimes, I'll have it on for three days straight, other times, I won't turn it on for two weeks. It didn't change my life for the worse in any way. I got a tattoo of a bouquet of flowers coming up out of the scar to represent something beautiful coming up out of the pain. Oh... sometimes, the battery in your hip can get caught on things or pressed into with force, and that hurts. You'll figure your way around it.
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