Rib pain, chest tightness, cant get my breath

Hi all and thanks for allowing me to be on this site!

I had a St Jude /Abbott SRS implanted on Feb 29 2018, a week ago. This was to help treat SI Joint  pain after a poorl laminectomy and cyst removal at L4-5.  I was very athletic all my life, raised 3 very athletic sons until pretty much up to 2015. I was a competitive ice skater for 10 hrs, play softball with my 3 sons waterski, snowboard you name it I did it.  I was medically separated from my job and haventt worked since 2016.

I was sent home same day surgery and there was no implant rep so I was told they’d meet me at 1 wk f/u.

The rep met me lastTuesday to “quickly” program this thing. She only set up one program, seemed in a hurry, handed my son her card and said “call me if you need anything”. 

So my son set up the iPad and I turned it on.  About 3 hrs later I was  in incapacitating pain in my whole chest, front and back,  in my ribs, around my heart have deep bruises on my chest and shoulders. The surgery was no circus ride.  But the minute it started this horrendous pain started, I can’t catch my breath at all and have t slept in 2 nights. 

I now have severe shortness of breath, dizziness, anxiety, . and feels like my heart is being choked. So I layed down all day, just to give it a a rest. I connected to the stimulator again, within minutes I thought I was going to pass out.

I callled the rep again, stuttered and stammered , and said I need to call the surgeons office, set up appt, and “someone” from Abbott would meet me.

That’s NOT what was explained to me.

This chestpain, shortness of breath is getting worse.

Now I’m scared to death, i was scared to fall asleep fearing I’d quit breathing.

 2 calls to surgeon and 1 to the rep inter to be replied.

Thank you all for the awesome info, I thought I was losing what’s left of my mind



  • tjgil- I had a spinal cord stimulator for several years, after it was installed and the leads were not scarred in very well I would get the sensations you are talking about if I had it turned up too high, after several months of being very careful with it everything was fine. I agree you need to meet with the rep. and surgeon to discuss your problems.

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