Home Care after Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant
A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) was implanted today to treat your pain. Carry your spinal cord stimulation patient ID card with you at all times. This card can be shown if a security system is set off by your SCS. This card will also identify you as a recipient of SCS treatment in case of emergency.
You may have more pain in your back at the incision site. You can use ice for 20 minutes on and then off 20 minutes. It is okay to use Tylenol® to ease this pain. Avoid aspirin which increases bleeding. You can take your pain medicines as ordered by your doctors.
First 12 weeks
You will need to restrict your routines as directed below so that the lead wires in your back do not slip or fall out of place. If the leads move out of place, you can lose stimulation. It is possible that stimulation may not be restored even with reprogramming.
- Do not drive. Limit riding in the car to those trips that are absolutely necessary.
- Do not raise your arms above your head.
- Do not twist, bend, or stretch your body at the waist. When rolling over, keep your body straight.
- Sitting in a chair is fine as long as you are careful.
- Do not make any sudden movements.
- Do not lift items weighing more than 5 pounds.
- Do not strain when moving your bowels. Take laxatives if needed.
- Avoid, if you can, coughing or sneezing
You will have an incision in your back where the spinal cord stimulator was implanted. This will be covered by a bandage. You will need to take very good care of the site to avoid infection or bleeding.
- Keep the area covered with the bandage. If the bandage becomes soiled, dislodged, or wet you will need to call the Interventional Pain team.
- You may not shower, soak in the tub, or go swimming until Dr. Sehgal okays you to do so. Keep yourself clean with sponge baths.
- You will need to check the site daily to make it is healing well. Do not remove the bandage. Call the Interventional Pain team if you have
- Pus-like drainage.
- Fever (oral temperature greater than 100.4° F or 38.0° C for two readings taken 4 hours apart).
- Site is red or warm to touch.
- Excess swelling, bruising, or bleeding.
- Pain you cannot control.
You will need to return in one week for a wound check.
Your spinal cord stimulator leads will take time to heal in place. During this time your stimulator program may need to be changed. If you lose stimulation at any time call the clinic.
Interventional Pain Clinic: Monday – Friday, 8am- 4:30pm,
After hours, weekends, and holidays call (608)-262-0486. Ask for the rehabilitation doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call toll free 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 11/05/2012
Copyright © 11/05/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6971
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