Two failed back surgeries and DCS trial

Hey everyone. To start with I'm 32yrs old, played many different physical sports growing up and now have a 7&4yr old.  I have experienced terrible lower back and left leg pain for many years now and always chalked it up as my core being so weak from two c sections as I was trying to build it back up. I just dealt with it. In the beginning of 2020, my pain just got so bad I had to do something. Finally got checked and found out I had a huge herniation at L5-S1, along with a big tear. My first microdiscetomy was Feb 13th. Two weeks post op and my pain was still way worse than it ever was before surgery. 3 weeks post op my DR had an MRI done and it showed a reherniation. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit and I was stuck waiting for a second surgery. April 16th I had my second microdiscetomy. After that surgery, things progressively were worse once again. I have been in a huge amount of pain that has been worse then even before surgery number one. The leg/ butt pain is awful and the numbness and weakness has got so bad to where my leg gives out multiple times a day. My left foot and toes have remained tingly and numb after surgery two(new symptom). My surgeon, who is amazing, has told me that my sciatic nerve is permanently damage. My next step is trying a DCS(stimulator). I will be going for my consultation appointment tomorrow and if all goes well with the trial stimulator period,  I will have another surgery to have one permanently placed into my back. Does anyone have any experience with having a DCS? I've researched a ton and have seen a lot of good results, but wanted to check to get some more feedback on those who have had this done. If that does not work, then pain management is the only thing to do. 



  • Welcome FSarhal we’re glad you’re here!

    I had a stimulator for several years and had good success with it

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you read Spinal Cord Stimulators and Pain Pumps: Implantable Systems for Neuropathy on Spine-health? It has some great information about intrathecal pain pumps that you might find helpful. There are other pain management resources available in the Pain Management Health Center you may also want to check out.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Welcome, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this.  Last July I fused L4-L5-S1 due to severe nerve pain in lower back, left buttock and down to my two outer toes. Sadly my fusion made no difference and I’ve wondered about a stimulator myself.  

    Please let us know what you decide to do and hopefully someone who has a similar experience will chime in!

    Take care!


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  • I have had my stimulator for two years. I had four level fusion surgery in 2016 lumbar spine. Was miserable every day since the surgery. The stimulator does help. I got around a 25 to 30% relief. I use it every day while I am at work. If I run it longer than 8 hours It seems to cause a bit of muscle tightness. I run it in full buzz mode as it seems to have better results for me. After the impland I reccommend that you spend alot of time with the stim rep to get your programming dialed in to where it needs to be. This can and probably will be a bit frustrating, but in the end it is sooooo well worth the effort. And keep in mind, that as you heal, things will change and you will have to go back for more programming. I have been running the same program for the past year and do not see myself as having to go back any more to be reprogrammed. So.... To sum it up, the stims do work. To what degree will show in your trial. If you are having paddle leads installed I will tell you that the laminectomy hurts pretty bad. Even two years out of surgery I have alot of muscle tightness and spasms between my shoulders where they implanted the paddle lead. Not a bad tradeoff considerint the relief I have gotten from the unit. I hope all this helps to answer some of your questions. Please feel free to PM me if I can be of further assistance. Good luck, and please keep us posted.


  • FSarhal - I have an SCS stimulator with leads implanted on the other end of my spine, at the C1/C2 area.  My implant was performed last October.  I had a functional neurosurgeon do my implant.  I was having cramping/pain in my shoulders, upper arms and lower legs before the implant.  I've been getting 80 percent plus improvement in quality of life. 

    If you are still considering the DCS stimulator, do your due diligence research.  Ask a lot of questions, maybe even a second opinion.  If you get a recommendations for paddle leads vs needle leads, ask why.  Sometimes with paddles, you can no longer ever have an MRI.  My unit is certified for Tesla 1.5 strength of an MRI.  Your proposed implant area is totally different than my situation.  Ask a lot of questions is my experience.

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