Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    SCS Spinal Cord Stimulator
    nautibuoy111 posted:
    My pain management Dr. is demanding I get the SCS and I refused to go through with it due to the possible side effects. Prior to anyone having the SCS implanted read up on the side effects, the one that got my attention is Cancer. Being an Electrician for over 30 years I know what electrical current can due to my body. I know the SCS puts out only a small amount of electricity it can and does cause cancer. I've had 3 fusions, 1 discectomy and a spinal cord stimulator over the past 20 years and I am looking at another fusion soon. With the SCS implanted you can not go through an MRI every again (unless it's removed) and if you do anything to your spine in the future the only option you'll have is a CT scan which does not show what an MRI will show,( screw up your back more and you'll never know)! Make sure you do you're home work and read about the side effects, I'd rather live with the pain and pain meds and be able to walk for the rest of my live and or go without cancer on top of my back problems. Good luck
    Was this Helpful?
    10 of 18 found this helpful
    ctbeth responded:
    Hi from CT~

    I have had a SCS for over-three years. I cannot imagine life without it.

    It is a very personal decision and you seem quite content that you are making the best decision for you. Are you getting adequate pain management with your meds?

    Best of luck with your next surgery. You've sure been through a lot.
    bonnie58 responded:
    I have only recently heard; that so far as cancer is concerned; it's contraindicated if you get cancer; not that spinal cord stimulators cause cancer. What's the truth on that. How bad is it that you can't get an MRI, is my 2nd question. Can you answer both of these questions, please.
    ctbeth replied to bonnie58's response:

    You seem to have significant anxiety and unanswered questions about a procedure that you have already had.

    Does the SCS help relieve your pain?

    Why don't you write a list of questions and ask your MD.

    It's best to avoid listening to gossip and non- medical professionals opinions of your health care decisions.
    amy129 replied to ctbeth's response:
    Hey there,

    Im 26 years old and when I was 14 I broke my back in gymnastics. Long story short, I have tried anything and everything to fix it. I have had to spinal fusions and those didnt work. I went to a new doctor and we tried S.I joints and a few other things. He then told me about this SCS surgery so I decided to try it. The good thing about this surgery is that you can do a trial for a week.

    I recieved my trial on Monday and Im still having alot of pain from the actual procedure. Its the 5th day of the trial and Im wondering if anyone else has had this trial and what their experiance was with it.

    My doctor put two leads in and the lead on my right side is working well and I can fell the tingling but the lead on the left side seems to be in the wrong place. When i was having the procedure I was awake and it was very painful. We are gonna talk to my dr about the monday and ask why he didnt put me to sleep. But during the procedure as they were putting the leads in and moving them around it gave me an awful sharp pain and when I move or sit a certain way I keep getting that same pain.

    Basically if you have had the trial I want to know how to went for you? Were you having the procedure pain during the whole trial? If it worked for you were you 100% sure? Also when you had the trial taken out, what does that entail? Does it hurt? Thanks for your help!
    ctbeth replied to amy129's response:
    I have had SCS since 2007.

    I was awake during the trial, as the tech needed my verbal reply to where I felt the sensations. The only part that hurt was the initial injection, but it wasn't bad.

    Any of the sensations that you feel due to the temporary leads wing misplaced, or migrating, will not be the case with the permanent. There are some restrictions during the post-op period. These are in place to keep the leads in place while healing.

    Since what happened cannot be changed, talking about why you didn't have anesthesia during the trial may not be the best use if your time.

    May I suggest a better option may be to discuss the anesthesia, analgesia, conscious sedation plans for the implant surgery, if you decide to go ahead with it?

    For me, the trial went very well. My leads didn't migrate at all. I has minimal discomfort at the insertion site, and I was 100% sure that I wanted the permanent implant, all based upon the temporary experience.

    Please tell your MD of all your concerns at this time. The better prepared you are, the better result you can expect.

    Last, regarding the removal of the leads- there were two sutures holding mine in. They were snipped and the leads came out with no resistance. It didn't hurt at all.

    Best of luck, and please come back and tell us how you are and what you're thinking.

    cweinbl responded:
    Sorry about your issues. I've had the same since age 17 due to central canal stenosis.

    I've been researching these problems for the past 30 years. I've intensively researched the SCS for the past ten years. Please provide your double blind, control group algorithmic research that suggest such a connection between electricity and cancer. As far as I've seen it cannot and does not cause cancer. Please no anecdotal data.

    The SCS is ONLY for neuropathic pain. Millions of us have nociceptive, not neuropathic pain. The SCS is useless for that. I have collapsed vertebra. All the SCS in the world would not help. Nor did wearing a TENS at full power for six months.

    If you have nociceptive pain and you cannot benefit from powerful pain medications (and I emphasize the plural), consider the intrathecal infusion pump. It has a better chance than the SCS.
    chochise63 replied to cweinbl's response:
    my son has this and it is no fun. I feel for you. He has had 14 back surgeries since 2006 and is not better. Stimulators do not work well. Pain management is for the birds. They get you hooked on drugs and well it escalates from there. Try injections, and heat.

    Featuring Experts

    Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

    Helpful Tips

    Be the first to post a Tip!

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.