Nevro HF10 spinal cord stimulator charging / battery issues tips and tricks

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I had a Nevro HF10 stimulator implanted a few weeks ago (and scheduled for a second stimulator to be installed in 30 days). I am amazed how little tech support is available on this product LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of sales data.... but no FAQS about how this or that works....or what to do if... Found some unhappy people, but no tips and tricks to using so thought i would start a topic and ask some questions from others. I was not aware before surgery how much changing and programing there would be to find the right settings after surgery was over (I thought that was what the trial is for). So I have a million newby questions that I cant seem to find online answers about. I'll start with three, and maybe others will have things to share or add re: best practices. 1) I didnt charge for last few days (bad boy). I was hurting worse today than usual, and wondered if i had let my battery go dead. My remote showed 1 blinking battery bar. Does that mean it was dead? Or just close to dead? 2) is there any logic that if it was extra low (but not dead) that is was working not as well as it does when fully charged? (or is it an all or nothing benefit) 3) before I charged when it was deadly low, it felt like the battery/transmitter box implanted was burning me. Is it possible that when low and working extra hard to produce power that it can get hot (like maybe a cellphone would? )

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  • Posted

    mark,

    I just posted a link to an article on SCS, i believe its waiting to be moderated, as this one probably is . i had a scs implanted 4 years ago. worst thing i ever did, but dont want to go thru another surgery to have it taken out. i got some relief in the beginning and in the trial (which mine was only 3 days because my trial unit malfunctioned, i guess i should have learned something from that) the majority of people i have talked with have complained of the insufficient care from their reps on programing it after. i just had xrays to see if all my hardware was in place because of the increase in pain ive been having......so bad im vomiting on a regular basis....everything was ok i was told. i also have an artificial disc, with a cage in above at L4-5 S1, degenerative disc disease, and now arthritis in my back. my level 3 disc is now also bulging. mine gives a buzzing sensation even when turned off, or the battery is dead. pain management drs are really pushing these now, along with injections, since they stopped prescribing opiods. they make ALOT of money off these. also, steroid injections are not approved by the FDA to be given in your back. i would never get another of those either.

    Do some research on adhesive arachnoiditis. ive talked with people that have had that develop from scar tissue. there is no cure for it, and with the cut off of opiods, is pretty unbearable to live with.

    i live most of my days in bed, and only leave the house for dr appointments.

    I apologize for the lack of proper punctuation and capital letters. i dont know why, but this forum always does that.

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  • Posted

    Hi Mark,

    I had a Nevro HF10 implanted about 9 months ago and I know what you are saying. There is a lot of information that is not told to you during the period that they are trying to convince you to get the unit installed. And then, once it IS installed, the level of support goes WAY down. The reason, of course, is that there is no longer any money to be made off of servicing you. And as for the idea that there are many, many combinations of power and program settings you have to try - that is SO true. Indeed you may find another annoying aspect of the stimulator as you try different settings, which is that the stimulator, at certain setttings, can induce a type of "phantom pain," meaning pain throughout your body caused solely by the signals sent out by the stimulator. Be sure to tell your tech about that, he can find other settings to avoid it.

    All that said, the unit HAS been helpful to me. It has reduced (but not eliminated) my back and leg pain. I've been able to reduce my medications. I am glad that I had it installed.

    Now as for your questions about charging. Yes, if you go more than two days without charging you are likely to run the battery down to zero (it depends on what power setting you are on - higher power settings run the battery down faster). It will still blink one-light on the remote but the power is gone. So bottom line is - don't let the battery discharge completely. I don't think it hurts the unit but it WILL bring back your full level of pain.

    As for the question about a burning sensation. Yes there can be a bit of a burning sensation if you leave the paddle on your skin for a long time, as you would need to do if you were charging the unit up from a full power-down. Again you can avoid that by not letting the battery fully discharge. It's not a real burn but you will feel a burning sensation after about 30 minutes of charging, so don't let it power down.

    Simple rule of thumb - you can perhaps skip one day of charging but don't skip two.

    Hope that helps.

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    • Posted


      Thank you very much for your information ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      whoever you are; this review was appreciated very much!!! I was advised that the stimulation device is

      not going to miraculous take away ALL OF YOUR PAIN, however, you should expect a measure of comfort other than the "HELLISH" CHRONIC PAIN that you originally experienced.

      During my trial run {outside of the soreness from the leads being placed}, I was quite comfortable. I look forward to and am a positive person so the "RIGHT ATTITUDE" , along with proper diet, drinking of water, vitamins, and exercising {walking my fave} will assist us too!

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  • Posted

    I feel for you, I have the Nevro- HF10 also,( Why a second stimulator?) They love to sell them at a very high cost! I have had the reps, to change my programming several times, and to avail, or of very little help. When you have one light on, It is not working, so I am told. You need to charge every day, plus it takes less time to bring it back to a full charge, I had to have the battery moved from the right side to left side because it was laying on the 11th rib, and causing a lot of pain. I have had 7 back surgeries and just three days age I had a CT scan because I stay in a lot of pain. You know that you can not have a MRI , with the Nevro HF10. only CT scans or an X-ray. I have have my stimulator about 2-1/2 years I think, I wish it helped with the pain, I am taking Oxycodone 20Mg up to 3 times a day if needed. As for programming the Nevro, try starting with program 1, at 3 light bars, do the for 24 hours, record it, and the go to 3 light bars, and record that one, and then 5 bars and record and so on, when you get through all levels and light bars check your notes to see which one helped the most. If you did not find a program that helped, call the rep for a new computer programming that they can put in your stimulator. Good luck to you, Keep us informed on your progress.

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    • Posted

      first unit covers low back and foot nueropothy . 2nd unit will cover neck/shoulder and radiculopathy and hand neuropathy. Ive had 4 back surgeries (2 cervical disc removals, and 2 lumbar decompresions). Have a handful of herniated discs, wide spread degeneration, and permenant nerve damage from the discs that blew and needed fusing. Just trying to do everything I can to stay as functional as long I can. CHASING THE DRAGON!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your update, I need to restate what I said about my pain pills, They are 15mg, And take as needed, up to 3 times a day.

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  • Posted

    Hello Mark69155,

    Yes had to be programmed a couple of times, but understand everyone programmed is not the same for all. I've had mine installed a little over a year, and glad I had it done. In the beginning I had to be adjusted, but I had to learn on my own, how to adjusted to the level that worked best after the install. But later I understood from trial and error. The trial is to see if it works for your pain, some people it do and some don't. After the second one is installed, is when you have most of your adjustments and it took (Me) a couple of months.

    Now when the battery is low, you need to charge it, and never let it completely go dead. I've heard others say that they had problems. I charge mine about every two months, that's because I use it daily. I don't drive with it on either because of the vibration, I just don't feel comfortable doing so. You not only charge the battery, with mine charge the remote also. I normally charge them both at the same time. (JMO). I have two light bars, and I try to charge when only one bar light is on. with both. No matter how low it gets the power is still the same.

    As far as the battery, I have not had it to burn me, but it stays warm all the time, and if it is burning you, I suggest you see your Dr. but mine is always warm and it don't bother me at all. The only time I think about it is when I charge it. I try not to bother it, because it is sat at an angle for you. It don't work extra hard when it is low, the power stays the same.

    I say relax make the adjustments as needed, until you find what works for you. ie... up, down, right or left. and when having it program pay attention to what area you feel relief at.

    I hope I helped you some. I was never told it will take all my pain away, it will however give me about 50% relief of my pain. Don't look for a miracle, that won't happen ๐Ÿ˜ƒ But yes for some relief of the pain.

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Mark

    Here are a couple of other tricks and comments for the Nevro HF10:

    First, the HF10 can sometimes act in a counter-intuitive way. Most of us (especially us guys) have the natural reaction that if we want an electrical device to do something for us we have to turn it up to the top setting - i.e. more is better. For some folks with the HF10, less is more. For example if you have it at a higher power setting and a lot of pain returns, turn it down to a lower setting for a few hours or even a day. It's possible to become "overstimulated" from the electrical signal and your body can need a break for a few hours or a day. Experiment with that when you get disappointed at high levels of pain with high levels of power.

    Second, be aware of what the tech can do with his program changes. They can not only rescale the power levels of your power settings (i.e. make them all higher or all lower), they can make other changes too. They can pulse the charge (e.g. 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off) which for some people let's the body recover for a moment from the charge. They can "light up" different areas of your spine or (if you have a two-lead model) one side or the other of your spine. They can change the frequency or amplitude of your charge. There are literally thousands of combinations they can try for you and each one affects each individual differently. So keep pestering your tech, and tell him EXACTLY what you experience, because they have things they can do for specific known situations.

    Another thing to be aware of is that if the battery is causing you aches due to pressing against your ribs, it can be relocated into your butt. Mine is in my butt and causes me no problems whatsoever (having a little extra "meat" in your butt can be helpful there!).

    Oh and folks have mentioned that you CAN'T have an MRI with your Nevro. This is true but I've also heard that Nevro is in Stage 3 trials for the FDA to convince them that the HF10 is safe for MRI usage (at special power settings). It hasn't been approved yet but there is hope (I think my tech said that folks in Europe can get MRIs with the HF10 just not, at the moment, in the US).

    Also, do you know if you have the "paddle" type or the "percutaneous" type of implantation? If you have the percutaneous type of implantation you can be at risk of "lead migration," which means the wire leads that go up you back can move lower due to your normal body movements. When that happens the electrical signal stops going to where it should be going and you lose pain relief. The tech can make adjustments for that but he needs to know it has happened. If you have the "paddle" type of HF10 implantation you aren't at risk of lead migration.

    Hope that helps!

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    • Posted

      Good info share and great advice. I have leads vs paddles. I'm still going thru early days of changing settings every 2 days and logging results. feels like a scientific experiment.

      i dont know who the "typical" patient is. I struggle a little with the data I am logging because my situations change everyday. During the test of 1 program setting, I might be at my desk for a few days....then the next setting I am driving 5 hours a day making sales calls...the next setting I am working a trade show at a convention center, next setting might be on/off 4 airplanes in a week i.e.; different activities (and different beds which is a big deal for me since I have huge nighttime issues). I dont know how Im ever going to find the right setting based on this change every 2 days rotation. My personal routine has zero consistency for measurement

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    • Posted

      Yep that's a major issue. Pain varies throughout the day I think for everyone. For those with arthritis in their facet joints, the act of moving around for a few hours can stimulate the production of synovial fluid in the joints which helps lubricate them and reduce the pain. But then when you are at rest the pain can get worse. For others, pain can increase when you have been in one position for a long time.

      For me I tried to focus on that one time of day that I knew the pain would be worst and measure my pain, from day to day, relative to that low point. And for me that time of day was the morning, just getting out of bed.

      Also, you may get to the point with the relief that the doctor recommends lowering your medication levels, or taking some meds "as needed," which then adds a whole new dimension of change into your monitoring. It's not an easy task.

      One piece of advice I might add - don't feel compelled to change your power or program setting every two days. Two days is the minimum time for most people that it takes for a new setting to "wash in." You may need a third or even a fourth day to get a sense as to whether the setting is working. You're (hopefully) going to be using this unit for the rest of your life, you have plenty of time. I was changing settings and medications up to seven months after implantation. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    If you experience your stimulator getting hot and burning, then it is a defective stimulator. I just had my second stimulator removed for that reason. Go online and look up defective spinal cord stimulators. Also look up lawsuits regarding spinal cord stimulators. Google problems with your specific stimulator. I discovered the FDA has a list they have posted requesting those with any of the symptoms on their list to contact them. The manufacturers of these stimulators have released damaged stimulators into the selling market and will never own up to it so you have to take it in your own hands to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the damaged stimulator causing you symptoms you never had before it was implanted. I kept reporting to the company that made mine but they denied the stimulator could cause any symptoms. After mine was removed, the symptoms stopped, so I know it was the damaged stimulator at the root cause.

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  • Posted

    If you been having issues with your nevero spinal cord stimulator. you have been in more pain since installation, having problems with the charger or battery I need to talk with you. Clinton 760 9784444 or 916 5843967

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  • Posted

    I thought I would post an update to my NEVRO HF10 spinal cord stimulators, since some use this site for research. I had a second unit installed 6 weeks ago. (have 1 unit for lumbar placement - and 2nd unit for cervical support. battery/transmitter installed just below my belt line on opposite sides).

    It has taken some adjustments and reprogrammings/etc, but I am very satisfied with results of both units and would absolutely do them again. Some learnings to share:

    • be clear where you want your battery installed ahead of time (and maybe mark you skin for surgeon). One of my units is a little high (on my butt) and my belt presses on it. My other unit is the correct height, but a little too far out/around my side. I charge when I go to bed and watch TV so I can lean against the charge plate. The one that is set too far out from center means I have to lay on my side to get a good connection. This is only a minor inconvenience and next time I have any back procedure done I will have them moved a few inches. (I have a friend that had a unit installed in a place where she cant reach, so she cant charge herself at all)
    • dont give up and stay in contact with the manufacturer (not just your dr). there are thousands of programming options. I found things I liked (and disliked) about various programs. Wasnt until they started changing and combining programs for me that I found the best sweet spot.
    • try as best you can not to take any pain medication while you are finding the best settings. Really recommend you suck it up (without meds) and keep a journal so you can really determine which settings do/dont provide benefit so the techs can make adjustments for you later. You don't want to mask any benefits. If you wake up and think you had a good night (or opposite) you want to know its because its a good program setting and not because your meds were doing a good job.

    Good luck to anyone going through this stimulator journey. It's not a magic wand and didn't CURE or solve all my pain issues, but it certainly helps and is another pain management tool in the arsenal. I hope you get the same great results I have.

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  • Posted

    I am about 6 weeks with the HF10 It didn't work on the first 2 settings but they put in on program 2 +2 after a couple days started to take pain away, fell in pit 15 yrs ago among other accidents this unit is unreal it really works hope to get a cervical one installed The only problem I do have is a pain on left side like and air pocket a lot of gas like it is pressing against ribs hopefully it will go away.. Good Luck They just got approval for cervical and they are both fully MRI Safe I was told.

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    • Posted

      Hi Trop,

      Glad you are feeling some relief with your HF10. I've had mine about 18 months now. A couple of comments about what you said that hopefully will be helpful to you:

      (1) The "Air-Bubble" by your Ribs - You don't actually have an air bubble by your ribs, or anything else tangible. You are suffering from what the Nevro folks call "over-stimulation" (I prefer to call it "phantom pain" but the doctors don't like to refer to it as "pain" so they call it over-stimulation). About 30% of all people who get the HF10 experience over-stimulation and of those who do (and I am one of them), discomfort up under your lowest ribs is probably the most common area (I get it a lot. I sometimes describe it as "someone trying to pick me up by their fingertips by lifting me right at my lowest ribs). It's a weird feeling. It is PURELY a nerve-related pain and is not anything physical. The electrical power from your stimulator can build up an irritation effect in certain nerve areas. While sometimes this overstimulation can go away on its own it often does not. And if it does not, the irritation only builds and builds, and causes more pain. The only solution to this pain is to turn the stimulator down or even to turn it off. The amount of time it takes for the pain to subside appears to be in direct proportion to how long you let yourself suffer the pain - generally it takes anywhere from 1 to 4 days for the overstimulation pain to go away. My advice - as soon as you feel the pain, turn your stimulator down a few notches and leave it that way for a few hours. If the pain doesn't subside, turn the stimulator off and leave it off for a couple of days. Whatever you do, do NOT turn the stimulator up in a vain effort to get the stimulator to reduce the pain - you will only make matters worse. Oh and another thing about over-stimulation - sometimes it occurs in areas that are obviously due to over-stimulation, like a pain in your ribs or in your shoulder blades (that should have nothing to do, ostensibly, with a spinal stimulator trying to control lower back pain). But other times the over-stimulation occurs where you naturally are feeling pain, such as your lower back, which can be confusing (and can lead you to turn up the stimulator to fight the pain, which is the worst thing you can do). If you have been getting relief from your stimulator and suddenly some of your usual pain starts to return, the Nevro techs typically advise that you turn the stimulator DOWN rather than up to deal with it, because it isn't the Nevro starting to fail, it is the Nevro causing over-stimulation.

      (2) MRI Approval - In the United States, the HF10 is not yet approved for use in an MRI, under any settings. Your doctor will need to order a CT scan as an alternative to an MRI. Outside the United States, regulators HAVE approved the HF10 for use in an MRI, under reduced power settings - so it matters where you live. Also the US FDA is reviewing the HF10 and it may someday be okay to use in MRI machines, just not yet.

      (3) Your Program and Power Settings - You mentioned that your tech had you on Program 2, power level 2. I wasn't sure if you knew this, but the settings you have on your remote can be reprogrammed by your tech - into thousands of different combinations. Your Program 2/Power 2, for example, is most likely different from my Program 2/Power 2, because I have had my remote control reprogrammed many times. Your tech guy may change all of your settings completely to see if another set of settings work better. I didn't know if you knew this or not so I thought I would mention it.

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