Many insurance companies cover the cost of spinal cord stimulation (SCS). However, as with many pain treatments, your doctor will need approval from your insurance provider before you can receive treatment. Talk with your doctor or insurance company to find out what your coverage includes. Most workers’ compensation carriers cover neurostimulators if approved before treatment.
The SCS trial is designed to mimic what you’ll experience with the implanted device. Once your Medtronic neurostimulator is implanted, your doctor will adjust your Medtronic neurostimulator to optimize your pain relief.
Many people experience significant pain reduction in regions such as their extremities, legs, and/or back with SCS.1 However, because the therapy doesn’t treat the source of pain, the degree of pain reduction will vary from person to person.
Your doctor will program the settings based on your needs and preferences, but you can adjust stimulation levels using your handheld programmer, which works like a remote control.
Yes, you can travel or move within the United States. Because your treatment-related information is stored on your device, it’s with you wherever you go. This means you can be treated at any clinic that uses the Intellis™ or Vanta™ platform.
For international travel questions, contact your physician or Medtronic Patient Services. In general:
The wall charger for the Intellis™ patient programmer is a universal charger and can be used overseas. It supports input voltages from 100–240V at frequencies of 50–60 Hz. All you need to charge your patient programmer is a plug adaptor.
The Vanta™ system does not have a rechargeable battery. The AC adaptor for the Vanta™ patient programmer and communicator must support input voltages from 100–240V at frequencies of 50–60 Hz.
Approximately 82% of patients implanted with an SCS will need an MRI within five years to diagnose an unrelated condition. Medtronic SureScan™ MRI technology allows you to have access to MRI scans anywhere on the body.†
To learn more about getting an MRI, visit our MRI page.
The Intellis™ device with Medtronic Overdrive™ battery technology maintains nearly full capacity (less than 5% fade) at nine years. If your neurostimulator ever malfunctions or the battery depletes, replacing the neurostimulator is recommended at this point.
The Vanta™ neurostimulator does not have a rechargeable battery. When Vanta™ is nearing the end of its service life, the device will signal an alert that says, "Replacement Recommended (ERI)." This means your device is still working, but it is time to contact your clinician about next steps.
Learn more about replacing your neurostimulator.
All SCS patients must complete a psychological evaluation to meet insurance company requirements. Insurance companies need to verify that patients go into the procedure with realistic expectations and the understanding that the procedure may not get rid of 100% of their pain.
Approximately 82% of patients implanted with an SCS will need an MRI within five years to diagnose an unrelated condition. Medtronic SureScan™ MRI Technology allows patients to have access to MRI scans anywhere on the body.†
To learn more, visit our MRI page.
Use care when approaching theft detector and security devices (such as those found in airports, libraries, and some department stores). When approaching these devices, do the following:
Medtronic field staff are available to provide support for you and your device. Ideally, an appointment with a Medtronic rep is scheduled through a physician’s office.
For lost or stolen equipment call Medtronic at 800-510-6735 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT. If you no longer need your external equipment, here are some options:
Charging the IntellisTM SCS implant from empty to full can take approximately 1 hour with excellent recharge quality on recharge speed mode 4.
Charging sessions for the RestoreTM implant can take from a few minutes to more than 12 hours, depending on the charging efficiency, how often you charge and your therapy needs.
Implant charge frequency will depend on your settings. For example, the higher the therapy settings are, the more frequently you may need to charge your implant. Check the implant battery status and charge the implant when you notice it is low. Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that:
Your power supply cord should display a green light on the top when plugged into the outlet. If it is not displaying the green light check the following:
If the green light is displaying on the power supply cord, try resetting the controller by removing and reinserting the battery pack.
If you have a RestoreTM implant, when the implant battery nears depletion, the implant will go into a discharge state and therapy will not be available. If more time passes without charging, the implant may go into overdischarge. This means the battery has been sitting depleted too long and you will not be able to charge on your own. You will need to call your doctor.
If you have an IntellisTM implant, follow the recharging screen prompts to recharge your discharged implant.
The Warning Screen Guide will help troubleshoot warning screens that might appear on your therapy programmer.
If you have additional questions after reviewing the guide, contact the Patient Services team at 800-510-6735 Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT.
Under specific conditions. Talk to your doctor and refer to product labeling for full list of conditions.
Kumar K, Taylor RS, Jacques L, et al. The effects of spinal cord stimulation in neuropathic pain are sustained: a 24-month follow-up of the prospective randomized controlled multicenter trial of the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation. Neurosurgery. 2008;63(4):762-770; discussion 770.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.