The spinal cord stimulation (SCS) “try-it” option helps you experience how well the neurostimulator may relieve your pain during different activities and while you sleep. It lets you try the therapy using an external stimulator that mimics the actual treatment.
Mild electrical pulses from the external neurostimulator (A) travel through the temporary leads (B) to the nerves near your spinal cord.
The wireless, handheld therapy programmer (C) lets you adjust the stimulation during the trial, enabling you to experience the different levels of stimulation the system can provide.
The trial lasts up to 10 days. Afterward, you and your doctor will decide if SCS is right for you.
An SCS trial helps you take control of your treatment and assess how well the neurostimulator may relieve your pain during different activities.
Afterward, you and your doctor will decide if you should proceed with a permanent SCS implant, and whether the Intellis™ rechargeable system or the Vanta™ recharge-free system is right for you.
Speak with a registered nurse who is experienced in Medtronic SCS therapy for more information about what to expect before, during, and after receiving SCS.SPEAK TO A NURSE
Our registered nurses are paid consultants of Medtronic.
Discuss your therapy goals with your physician. Make a list of goals you’d like to achieve if your pain were managed better — for example, being able to shop for groceries without stopping to rest.
You may receive a workbook to track pain relief and improvement in your day-to-day activities. This will help you and your physician assess your response to the SCS trial and personalize your therapy.
The procedure to receive the trial system takes about 30 to 90 minutes and is usually done in a doctor’s office or same day surgery center.
Note: These steps may vary depending on your doctor.
You may experience some discomfort on your back where the leads were placed. This is temporary and should go away in the hours and days after the procedure. You might also experience some changes in stimulation intensity with certain activities during the trial stage.
The trial period can last up to 10 days. Consider doing some of the things you normally can’t do because of your pain — like walking upstairs, standing in one place, or getting ready in the morning. The benefits of the therapy may be immediate or take a few days.
Potential risks during the trial:
Complications can occur during the trial, including bleeding into the epidural space, infection, and other side effects. Do not undergo a trial if you have an active infection the day of the procedure.
At the end of your trial period:
Before the system is implanted, there will be a waiting period after the trial. This gives you time to contact your insurance provider and schedule surgery. It also allows for your back to heal.
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.