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Spinal Stimulator just "Turns Off"

Started by kgroth on 04/06/2018 10:06am

I have had a Boston Scientific Spinal cord stimulator since May of 2015. Within 6 months I had a lead migration and required a replacement; this time with a paddle placement and a new IPG unit (battery) in January of 2016. By July of 2017 I started noticing that my stimulator would just arbitrarily shut off. Sometimes overnight , sometimes during the day, and even when I was traveling out of state. Sometimes 1-2 times a week, sometimes 1-2 times a DAY. And the unit does not turn back on until I go to the remote to turn it back it on Manually. The engineers at Boston Scientific said it was" not abnormal for units to shut off occasionally" and that it was considered normal . I argued with them for months that the statement was a "boiler plate cop out" for the failure of their equipment.

In December of 2017 after MUCH back and forth, I had my IPG (battery) replaced with a new one ON the Company (pending unit investigation). In February of 2018 this THIRD unit began shutting off arbitrarily again. First just once so I thought it was my mistake. then a few weeks later it happened twice . By late March I have had the stimulator shut off as much as 8 times in a week.
I do NOT believe this is normal and I can't believe that I am the ONLY person with a stimulator that this has happened to. Buy Boston Scientific continues to tell me this has NEVER happened with any of their units!
Please, if you are out there and you are having similar issues, please respond to this thread

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1 Response


I have a St Jude Prodigy but I started originally with a St Jude Proclaim. My perc leads migrated also so my neurosurgeon put in a paddle and replaced the battery on the Proclaim only 8 months after initial implant (I was having an ALIF L4-S1 as my original fusion had not fused). During the battery replacement the Proclaim died on the table and was replaced with a prodigy. Less than 10 months after that implant, my unit began shutting itself off; switching programs and showing full on my battery monitor at all times. I contacted my rep who was kind enough to meet with me and looked at it. While she was looking at the programming, the unit shut itself off in front of her. I told her how it would go from Burst mode to Tonic mode without me ever touching the controls. They gave me a new controller and it no longer shuts itself off but the battery indicator remains on full at all times (even three weeks after charging). I am having bilateral SI Joint fusion this week and he is planning on replacing the battery but he has it set up to possibly replace the whole unit. Twice my insurance has paid for an SCS and it looks as if they may be paying again.... My neurosurgeon insisted that St Jude/Abbott cover the cost of this battery replacement.
Long story short :) I would see if a new controller would take care of your problem. They should supply that to you free of charge and turn the old one in once ou receive the new one.
Thank you, I hope it all works out for you... I wish I could go with another vendor but I don't think that is an option at this point as my pain clinic only deals with St Jude/Abbott.