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Neuropathic Spinal Stimulator Implants

From: MajorLee - on 01/28/2010 10:02am

I have had chronic lower back pain for many years, even after surgery. Now my meds (narcotics) are not as effective as they used to be and my doctor is suggesting this implant device. Does anyone have one now? Is it effective? Any problems? Thanx......

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on 01/28/2010 4:00pm

My husband has suffered from chronic back pain and taken narcotics for years. He too has noticed that over time certain medications and dosages need adjustment. It seems that it is not just the medication, but his type of pain and symptoms change. His pain management specialist combines medications (narcotics, muscle relaxants, and even a newer anti-depressant that helps manage neuropathic leg pain) with spinal injection therapies. We’ve talked with his neurosurgeon and pain management doctor about a spinal cord stimulator or drug pump as an alternative. However, both devices require surgery to implant one or the other device. If your prescribing doctor is not a pain management specialist, you may want to get a referral to one. We’ve learned that treatment appropriate for other back pain suffers is not always the best choice at one time or another. So it is definitely something to talk to your doctor about and maybe other patients.

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on 01/29/2010 11:12am

Dear greengardner, thanx so much for your compassionate reply to my question about nuerostimulator implants. I have been forturnate to have a pain doctor this whole time but it seems as though she is selling me a car instead of trying to help my pain. Its like if I get one of these implants she will profit from it. I am not totally against it but...are you a gardener like me?...I am afraid it will just be much ado about nothing and will have to have it removed and have the pain meds anyway. I do tolerate the narcotics well but my body wants more to continue to be effective. I don't know what to do and would like to talk to someone that has one now. Good luck to you and your hubby. He is lucky, as I am, to have someone who cares. Take care...MajorLee

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on 01/30/2010 2:18am

I know where you are coming from I have been dealing with chronic pain for 10 years myself I am also taking meds but not as affected as they used to do. Do not want to increase dosage Well for the Spinal Cord Stimulator I was going to a pain clinic and the suggested this to me so I tried it they will go in and implant everything on the out side first to see if its helps you I stayed in the hospital for 6 days to see if it help me before they would go in and implant.I seen no change in my pain These things work different on people.I attend a group thats for people who suffer from chronic pain every Tues we go in there each week know there is someone there that is going through the same thing you ands thats pain I know 2 people who has benifited from this and many others who has not.One you have to think about this is a lifetime deal you have to go in every month to get it checked and that costs$$$ If you have good insurence go for it they can do the trial run on the out side go to Medtronic.com to check out what the process is they are the makers of the stimulator feel for will say a prayer for you thanks have a great weekend Mike

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on 01/30/2010 7:53pm

Yes please read my what i wrote in Down and out in the south I had one implanted in Nov...WOULD LOVE TO TALK TO U...LEAVE ME NOTE ON MY Article U can reach me at mkharkey@att.net As for the device IT is wonderful for leg pain, when i get up each day i turn it on and within 30 mins allllllll leg pain is gone....yeah there is a but as for my lower back (4 operations) the pain is still there,, before the implaint i was taking morphine (patch 25mg) and lorbab 4 to 6 a day as of now only on lortab 4 plus a day...I still hold a job in a tire factory and work.( for now) everyday, some days i do the best i can????? since the implaint i have had it adjusted 4 times, each time it helped BUT i havnt got my life back,,,,, they the doc;s say i want..,,,,,,,.i still have three disc's that cant be fixed???,,, would love to talk to u please contact me

thanks
mike Harkey

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on 02/10/2010 8:11pm

I've also been living with chronic back and leg pain now for 9 years and have gone through many spinal injections, neuclearplasty, etc. I now have a spinal stimulator implant. We did the trial which only lasted 24hrs. Then had the implant put in a week later. Unfortunately the trial unit worked better than the implanted one does. I get maybe 50% relief from it in my legs and nothing in my back. The pain clinic drs I see feel that I should beable to function with it, guess they feel that 50% is better than nothing. I'd love to see them live with what we all deal with each day. It's like pulling teeth to get any type of main medication to help me through out on days I have trouble getting up never mind doing anything. Even before the implant was done I'd have to go months without any pain medications, and popping tylenol like it was going out of style. Then they'd get on my case for doing so due to the damage it can cause to the liver. For me I just live each day as it comes. I've gone to pain management classes also, what I learned from them is probably what's getting me by each day. Does anyone else out there have any recommendations or other things they've done to help yourself out?

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on 02/16/2010 3:29pm

Greengardener:

I am about to go into a trial for an SCS. I have chronic nerve pain due to a spinal cord tumor back in 1988. I have a pain doctor and he says that meds may be okay for a time but they don't really target your pain and you become tolerant to a certain dosage and then have to have it increased. I am awaiting insurance approval for my SCS. I will post again when I have had the trial.

Take care.

Pam6622

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on 02/22/2010 7:54pm

I'v been in pain mang. for over 8 yrs. I have had over 65 injections (no kidding) I did the trial on the stim for 24 hrs and it seem to work for me during the 24 hr trial period. I had it implanted Oct 06. It works very good for people who have leg pain if injections do not work. I get no relieve for my low back pain. When u r in constant pain u will try anything that might work. I have been on 200mg of Kadian 3x's a day. Just increase it 3 mts ago. I also get severe headaches that put me out. I take Fiorinal as needed for them. The only thing I find that helps temporary is swimming laps. I crank up my stim and go swimming. If I didn't have the stim I would not be able to do my laps. You can increase the stim to be more effective, but remember, this was made for leg pain. the more u crank up the stim the more u feel it in the legs. Makes it very difficult to walk when crank up high- THATS THE PROBLEM

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on 02/25/2010 3:23pm

Dear Kelley8, Wow, I thought I had a lot of injections but you have me beat by 10 or 12. They don't work anymore so I stopped getting them. I am glad to hear that your SCS is helping your leg pain and that you can swim to relieve your terrible headaches. I go to a pain clinic and have a workers comp. injury and the joints have de-generated and I have arthiritis and nerve pain. My dr. wants me to have the implant and I am not sure. I see her tomorrow and I guess I am going to do the trial. I have just heard of it just helping the legs and not the back that I am not sure it will help. I need something I can tell you that much, I have been up since 2 am withsevere leg pain and the MRI report says nothing is wrong. I hate the system but its all we have. Thanx so much for your input and good luck....MajorLee

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on 02/25/2010 4:45pm

MajorLee... I know how u feel dealing with work-comp. I was in an auto accident while working. I went to over 12 Dr's to hear that u have ,DDD, Arthritis, spinal stenosis, herniated discs in 8 places with impindment on the spinal cord in 4 places and nerve damage that is permanent and I am not suppose to be in any pain. The Dr's went as far as to tell me that it was all in my head and that I needed help-mentally. I had a Laminecomy done at L5-S1(Left) and that did help with my Left leg pain I always did Construction jobs that kept me physically fit. I had dr's tell me that there was no way that this accident caused all of this. I would not of been doing construction if I had a back like that. I had a very good case worker and we also had a great relationship on the phone. He went to bat for me so many times, that is why I got to see so many Dr's. I finally convince him to send me out of network to a different Pain Mang. Dr. Anyways-I went and He found so many other thing wrong with me that the other Dr's would not disclose. Point is stick with it and don't give up. I was reading where someone had said that u have to go in every month and get the Stim checked, that is not right. U go in to get it adjusted, if needed. Make sure when u do the trial have them put different programs on the stim so that u can play around with the programmer and to adjust the :Amplitude,Pulse Width and Rate. That way u get a feel of the Stim and how u can increase and decrease the programmer according to ur pain. I wish u luck........Kelley8

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on 02/28/2010 1:54am

Hi There...
I am as most of you a chronic back pain patient, have had 11 back surgery's from partial to full discectomy's, pins, screws, repeat tighten screws finally 2 fusions at L-4 to L-5 & L-5 to S-1. L-3 , there is so much scar tissue it causes my right leg to go numb.. has progressed from my foot up to my inner thigh.. no pain just tingling & numbness. I suffer from back pain, it feels like the bones in my vertabrae. I had been going to what I thought was a great pain doc, how ever as his practice grew and he began decorating his office and billing odd items, he seemed to loose interest in my concerns. Would prescribe meds like methadone which would stop my intestinal track causing other problems with my history of bowel obstructions. So with the advice of my general surgeon I stopped going to him and looked for another. The problem I have is they are picky on insurance so I cannot find one I find appealing and affordable. My family doc will go as far as prescribing fentyl patches and occasionally oxycodone for break thru pain. I sought a opinion from a neurosurgeon who suggested a trial of the SCS as I began to set it up, not one could guarentee what it would cost. Also so many doc's said it would help my leg pain but may not help back pain. So it is put on hold while I struggle to make it thru each day on meds that do not really improve my ability to fuction on a daily basis. My point, I feel for everyone who has any type of pain that cannot seem to be controlled just to make it thru the day. Has anyone had any luck with the SCS help in a dramatic way on back pain, specifically?

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on 02/28/2010 10:46pm

Responce to MS med..I have a scs. It has helped my leg pain, let me start over, it has stopped my leg pain! As for the cost $74.000 ..my insurance paid all but $2.000 so not to bad! I still have very bad back pain..... Im off the morphine and only take the Lortabs.. The SCS did improve my life but it didnt give me back my old life style. Maybe this will help ??

Mike

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on 03/01/2010 12:40am

Hello, I have heard this question many times at the pain support group I attend here in San Diego.

I have both a stimulator and an intrathecal pump. I got my first stimulator in 1997 and am on my 7th unit. When the battery goes dead, the stimulator must be replaced. Thank God, they have finely come out with a rechargeable device. Instead of replacing my stimulator every 16-24 months, my current stimulator is supposed to last 7-9 years. I must recharge the battery about every 7-10 days depending on how much I use it. My stimulator is used to reduce the pain in my arms and it relieves about 60% of my pain. I have RSD, Fibromyagia and Aracnoiditis as the result of having a horse fall on me in 1992 and from complications of treatment of the same. I had my pump put in, in 2001 when the pain spread to my legs.

When considering a stimulator, a large part of the decision should be based on a trial that is done prior to making a decision. My trial and the type my doctor does is a 7-10 day trial. The leads of the stimulator are placed while you are sedated but awake enough to tell the doctor where you feel the stimulation. The stimulation I feel with mine is similar to the feeling you get when your hand goes to sleep and is waking up (pins and needles) With the new stimulators you have a lot of different settings that are available and since it is in digital form, you can easily set the unit at the same setting again. (The old units you had to count beeps and hope you got it back to the same settings) Write down the settings that are helpful and the tech can memorize the settings for your permanent stimulator

My doctor allows us to talk to other patients that have had the stimulators implanted in. This will help you know the track record of your specific doctor. Also, Medtronic’s (one of the makers of the stimulators) has a mentor program, so you can talk to other patients that have had one implanted.

My pain spread from my arms to include also my legs. The stimulator has limited coverage areas. The area covered is based on where your leads are located. For the most part you are stuck with where the leads are placed during your implant surgery. If you have very poor results they can change the location of the leads. I have 2 leads for ,my stimulator. This allows it to cover the pain in both of my arms and both shoulders,. The area that each lead can cover is determined by the location of the nerves involved in sending the pain messages.. Getting the leads properly placed is all important, that is why you have to be awake for the placement of the leads. The more accurate the information you give your surgeon about your pain, the better the placement of the leads will be and the better your possible pain relief. Some doctors remove the leads used for your trial and some will remove the trial leads and will insert new leads when the permanent unit is implanted. When they use the trial leads without removing them you have a better chance of keeping the same relief as with the trial unit, but the risk of infection goes up.

Some people can not tolerate the feeling of the stimulation. That is a personal decision and is why it is best if you can have an extended trial period. During your trial play with the settings, to find one that works and feels good. the device is complex and takes some learning to find its full abilities.

The implant surgery is not that bad. They surgeon basically inserts the leads into the spinal canal, runs the wires under the skin (in the fat) and make a small pocket in your fat to place the stimulator. Mine is located on my left side and is about the size of a half dollar. (if you know someone with a pacemaker it is very similar procedure) You will be sore for 1-2 weeks from the implant. I had to wear a cervical color for 6 weeks since my leads are located in my neck. When the leads are first implanted, it is similar to a straw in a glass of water, they tend to move when you do. Sometimes you get a small zap, similar to an electric shock you get when the whether is dry off of the carpet. As the leads scar in it gets to be like a straw in peanut butter. They will still move so they do not break when you move but they do not move as easily and the incidence of getting zapped decreases.

All in all I have been happy with my stimulator, but have talked to several that have not been. A lot depends on how well the leads are placed and the training and care after inplant.

Any questions? I will keep checking back

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on 03/01/2010 4:49am

Wow, the info you both posted is very helpful and I greatly appreciate it! I figure the only thing I have to loose is some time for the SCS trial, but again cost is a BIG issue for me. I have been told that medtronic might offer some financial assistance but no one at the dr. office could provide me with any contact info.

Currently I am struggling with a herniated disc in my neck and the loos of function of my right hand. So once this is all straightened out I am going to inquire about the trial, but this time with the neurosurgeon instead of the ortho doc. Thanks again for you input!

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on 03/02/2010 9:55pm

Hi - I have had problems with my low back since an accident I had 30 or so years ago. As I got older the initial injury (spondylithesis) occured again. In addition I have fibromyalgia. I tried every medication, every shot, all the PT in the world and surgery. The surgery was neccessary due the fact the nerves were completely impinged. I then had a second surgery to shorten one of the rods used in the fusion, and that did it. I now have scared nerves, pain in both legs and low back. After more injections, medicaitons and PT with some releif I decided that I could not take anymore medications to releive more pain, as I need to work for a living, requiring a clear head and I was not going to let this beat me. My pain doctor sent me to another pain doctor who uses the neurostimulators. I did the test first, which lasted about 7 days, and to my amazment I had about 75% pain relief. I had the device permenintly implanted and can't imagine life with out it. I am on my third device (in about 7 years), the first two ran out of batteries, and the third is a rechargable unit. I highly suggest you do the trial and see if it helps. I think the most important thing is to talk with your doctor about the coverage that you need. I need coverage in both my legs and lower to mid back. During the surgery we took the time to make sure I received full coverage. I see that many do not get low back coverage, it is my experience that this is due to the placement of the leads, of which I have many, not just two. I still take a low dose of methedone, but I have my wits about me at all times. I hope this helps.

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on 04/09/2010 4:39pm

Thank you for this site. I was begining to think that maybe I'm crazy and this is all in my mind. No one can be in this type pain and not be able to get relief.

I'm am 49 yrs old and deal with severe chronic pain everyday of my life. I had my 1st L4-5 Lamentomy aprrox. 15 yrs ago with 100% success, I had a very bad fall in December 2006 and my symptoms re-surfaced. Since then I have had 3 additional surgeries that included the L3-S1 areas, the most invasive being the anterior 360 fusion with decompression at the L5-S1 and L4- L5 levels., as well as physical therapy and far to many spinal injections. None of this helped with my pain that radiates down my legs and into the area between the large& second toe and inner side of my foot, which sometimes goes numb. I take very large doses of hydrocodone (20 mgs) every 4-6 hrs. I'm very concerned about the long-tern effects of the drugs and really want to get off of the pain meds. I starting to feel as if I have urinary tract infections, go to the doctor and I don't have an infection, but still have the burning sensation. It comes and goes.

I decided to try the Stimulator as a last resort. For me it was an awful experience. My physician could never get the lead in the right location for my right leg pain. So basically I ended up with proper placement for only one leg. He tried for a very long time, but couldn't get proper placement. After the trial, I felt it only provided about 10% pain relief and opted not to get a permanent implant.

I have lost my job as a medical equipment sales representative after being in the industry for 18 years, because I can no longer do the required driving, and sitting. MY company has been great, but it still does make me feel better. I'm in pain everyday and unemployed.

I still refuse to give up, so if you can offer any suggestions please let me know.

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on 04/10/2010 4:43pm

HI, Just wanted to add some info about the Trial Stimulator..I am a 52 year old female..My case evolves around a total knee replacement done on Aug. 5th, 2010..The pain experienced in this leg is one that I would not wish on my worse enemy..Tragically, my surgeon kept referring to my RSD as "The Healing Process"..And It's Just The Nerves Fusing Together"...Until several visits to the ER for temporary relief, he then diagnosed it as a possible damaged periphal nerve...FINALLY my pain management doc, plus two other specialists dignosed it as RSD...I am currently on Percacet, and oxycontin unfortunately..And this comes from a person that rarely took an aspirin for anything..3 weeks ago, my doc gave me the alternatives for this condition..A trial stimulator, or these meds for the rest of my life..I did have the trial put in, and it was worse then dealing with the pain..He left it in there for 4 days, After playing with it over and over, No matter what the setting, EVERYTIME I moved any part of my body it would shock another part..It startled me, and was way more then "A shock from the carpet "For me anyway..When going back to get it out, I told the doctor, and the representative that showed me how to set it, about this, and their EXACT words were.."Yeah It Does Do That"...and "I'm Not Going To Sugar Coat It, It Is What It Is!...Those words will remain with me forever..I was angry, to say the least....If I'd turn my head either way, move at all in the night sleeping, walk, any movement at all, A bolt of lightning would travel down the "Good" leg, arms or chest....You Cannot drive while it is on, and obviously can't sleep without being suddenly awoken, Walking down my concrete stairs, to my basement was terrifying, as I never knew when or where the volt would travel..Granted, while on, the horrible scalding sensation went away, but came back when turned off, in place of the burning was the constant charge coming from the stimulator, but as far as the muscle spasms, and "crawling feeling, up my leg", it did nothing....I chose to have it taken out, and did not have the permanant 1 put in...It was more or less a trade off..and can honestly say, I wouldn't have it replanted, even if I did build up a tolerance to the pain meds...I will just wait, and hope to GOD, some other alternative will be discovered....Until, then...I'll just try to learn to endure this..

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on 04/23/2010 2:38pm

I am sorry to hear that some of you did not have sucess with the SCS... I am having the permanent implant done on May 13th. I went through the trial, and sans the surgical pain from the actual implant, it relieved all of my leg pain 100%... Repeat, ZERO pain. The sensation was a bit odd at first, but the latest device from medtronic is adjustable & you can change it around to suit your preference. My trial consisted of 2 leads, but the permanent implant will have 3. Thus more availability in the programming. Like most everyone else, I am on my own "cocktail" of meds that get me through the day, but do not fully cover/control my pain 100%. If you have gottent to the point the the Pain Dr. or Neuro are suggesting the trial, then I am sad to say there is not much left. If insurance will approve it (which some will & some will not), you have nothing to loose but a few days, and hopefully your pain. I cannot say with any definitive answeres as to whether or not I was getting good coverage on my lower back (L4 - S1 herniated & ruptured), but the primary source of my pain was my leg... & it was gone. I currently cannot get around with the use of a cane right now, but while on the stim, I did not use the cane at all. I am 33 yrs old, and my choice is the SCS or a fusion that likely will not help & only worsen my issue. I choose the SCS. The permanent implant is day surgery. Recovery is about 2 weeks I am told, and if it is a success for you, then hopefully you will be able to reduce the amount of pain med you currently take. That is my goal. I am an absolute advocate for narcatic pain med Mgmt, and do not have an issue with anyone that needs them & gets benefit. I just personally would like to be able to atleast reduce the amount I currently take, and get back some quality of life. The above is certaily true, not everyone will get relief. Also, the comments about movement & getting additional "Shock" does sometime occurr. However, once the final device is in & scarred into place, this is likely to redduce. Or so I am told. Good luck with whatever route. I hope we all find relief in some form or another.

Regards,

BW

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on 04/23/2010 5:54pm

So sorry to hear about your pain. I too have been living with pain for many many years. I have a nerve stimulator. Had it put in about 2 years ago. Don't expect 100% relief!! You will get anywhere from 0 - 40% relief. You will first have a trial one that will fit on the waist, with 1 or 2 lead wires put into your back. If you get some relief from that, than you will have to go through a phys eval. (dont know why. I think for the insurance) Than you will have to wait for approval from the insurance. Once you have the surgery, the rep will come in and program it to suit your pain. Mine has 4 programs. I also only have two lead wires. You can get 4 wires now. I suggest that you ask what the difference is, and how it will better control your pain.
The neg side of this is, if you use it all the time (which i have to) you will have to charge the battery everyday. It's a real pain. Almost as much as taking med's everyday. But the positive is that it will relieve some of your pain.
Best of luck......I hope you can get approved, and I hope it gives you some relief.

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on 04/23/2010 11:17pm

A responce to rightme1 i think? the sells rep that lost her job. I had the SCS implanted last year. I have only two leads, one for my lower back and one for my legs. The leg lead works great! the one for my back not at all! Dont give up there is hope..... As for me i have my Faith and chuck (majorlee) He has been a great help for me. I didnt know that so many people hurt as bad as i do! Please keep looking for another Dr. someone can help u. Yes the meds are very bad on your liver I have mine checked everyfew months. I take 5/ 6 Lortabs each day when i work and the days im off only a few that way i dont run out??? Talking on here or by cell helps me very much just to know someone is out there that goes through what i live everyday. Find a friend on here or somewhere and talk about this when ever u get down. May God be with u and u are in my prayers. Mike

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on 04/23/2010 11:34pm

YEP its me again. I have read most all the responces and i see each of us has a differant level of relief? I would do it all again, it has helped or stopped my leg pain, i have never got a shock, just stimulation. I cant sleep with the SCS on. I turn it on when i get up and turn it off just before bed time. BUT durning the trial i did pull one of the wires out or moved it off the nerve and it did shock me(pretty bad) after the scar tissue builds up around the nerve this want happen again unless u hurt yourself>?..Maybe this will hlp and God Bless
Mike

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on 04/24/2010 2:56am

Hello Again,

WOW! Just so many people that have such similar pain, isn't something, that there are more people out there suffering as we do? It is hard for me to comprehend why doctors are not more interested in helping people who suffer so much. Anyway, my trial for the stimulator has been placed on hold while I deal with a new neck and arm problem... a partially herniated C-%/ C- ^ with arm pain and numbness. I am struggling with my back pain as I quit going to the pain doc I had because of hiis growing practice of limiting your appointment time but increasing cost not covered by my insurance. What I see is the stimuator wokrs on the nerve pain (?) in the legs as the info was told to me by the doc, and does not neccessarily help "regular" pain in the spine areas. Does anyone have both the med pump & stimulator? Thanks for everyone sharing as it helps me see that my suffering is not alone. I cannot even take regular showers/baths, walk the dogs or cook because of the pain. Take care everyone, you are in my thoughts!
Dee

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on 04/25/2010 10:28am

I have been reading all about the half good half bad stuff about the stim. which my doctor is thinking of trying. I am so surprized that there are not better safer guality remedies for this dreadful suffering. I'm very skeptical about the implant, as desperate as we all are it seems unreliable. I also am aware that Medtronics has had some issues with the quality of its products, ie class action suits. Why can't we hear that someone has found a medication or device that has changed their life! The pain mgmt. field is antiquated with lousy drs. fearful and accusatory re pain meds, and dismissive of the problems we face
trying to live. I refuse to be timid or intimadated by them, and the sales associates who sell half the story.
We should all remember when we step into another pain mgmt ":suite" that we are not alone in our complaints, we are not crazy, and nobody could make these stories up. How many of you dread your "visits" to your pain dr.? We should organize but we are too dibilitated. We should demand better solutions and treatment.

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on 04/25/2010 11:41am

To "down in the south" thank you for your response, along with everyone else. I have a pain management doc now. My surgeon is so arrogant, that he wouldn't even recommend a pain doc, he doesn't care for the field. That is what his assistant told me. I had to find one on my own, with the help of my initial orth doc. I think I'm going to like the pain management doc, at least I hope so. He has me on the Fentanyl Patch (50) with up to three 10 mg Norco per day. It seems to be easing the pain, but I am so out of it, and I fall a sleep if I sit or lay down. i've decided, I would rather have the affects of the medication with less pain, than the constant horrible pain. I'm not sure if this is temporary, because I haven't done anything that would normally increase my pain, since I have slept all week. I do still wake up in pain, and I don't know how it will work when I attempt to sit longer, try to drive, stand longer, etc.

On a side note, one of my church friends just got her 2nd SCS. She is the reason why I went forward with the trial. She ended up in intensive care from sepsis following the surgery and stayed in there for a week. Needless to say, she had it removed and will not consider it again.

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on 05/03/2010 10:19pm

It's me, once again...lol Well,,,, I had a dr. visit and guess what....... I now have a hole where the wires attach to my spine and there is stuff running out of my back? I had a CT scann and someother test to see what the stuff is? My RX guy says not good!! So now im waiting to see if I have staff or what ever it's called.....if so..... I have to be cut on once again. On top of this my pain has got awfullll! The dr. put me back on the 25 mg patch and lortab. Now since i have all that infection in my back im sick.. As of now i have no comment on the SCS. the jury is OUT! Has anyone else had his type problem? Is this the same problem Med1 friend had? Please say a pray for me I cant be cut on again! Oh yeah, the patches do make me fall asleep when ever i get relaxed.
Still down and out in the south!

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on 05/03/2010 11:08pm

Wow, this is great info everyone is posting, it's very helpful and I really appreciate it! I have been told that not all devices for support reduce pain at first. But it might offer some assistance with moblitity thanks for the input!

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on 05/03/2010 11:08pm

Dear Down South, I am so sorry to hear about your situation. My church friend got a very serious infection from her 2nd scs, She looked swollen all over and could barely walk. After church she went to the emergency room, and was admitted to intensive care with a very nasty infection from the scs. She had surgery to have the stimulator removed and is still recovering.

Please be careful.

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on 05/03/2010 11:58pm

Oh, Down South, I am so sorry to hear of the complications. You are surely in my prayers! I do not quite understand and maybe I need to go back and re-read your post... but you had electrodes placed and now have an infection? Staph infections can be tough, but you have been thru so much already, even if you need another surgery you will find the will and survive. Hang in there and keep us posted on what's happening. You are not alone, hang in there...
dee

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on 05/04/2010 10:06am

Down in South - So sorry to hear you are having issue with the lead placement area. I wonder if this is CFS or spinal cord fluid leaking from the implant site. Total understand not wanting to go under the knife again, but do what you have to in order to get better. I will pray that you do. I actually almost wish I had not read you post as my perm implant surgey is just under a week away. Like you, my trial was a success with 100% of my leg pain gone. Now i am concerned that I could end up in your situation or the one refenced about the lady with septis from church from the same thing. In the end, I think I will still go for thi implant as it is a gamble, but better than my only other current option which is the ALIF. My pain meds are loosing their effectiveness, and is surprising given the high level dose I am on. 20 mg every 4 hours of pure 100% hydrocodon (compounded in specialty pharmacy, so no tylenol). Others seem to this I am mistating my dose, but it is correct. I also use generic tylenol #3 as a kicker since the effectiveness has diminished. I can barely get myself to work anymore. PLanning to swith to Hrdromorphone this Friday in attemp that the change will help inhance the pain mgmt. Will keep you posted. I do have 1 additional question from the group. I managed to get a last minute appointment with the Minimally Invasive Laser Spine Institue of Texas (not to be confused with LSI in Florida). The Dr. is a board certified neuro surgeon with a VERY impressive resume of credentials. However, I have not read much that offers any additonal option from Laser Spine Surgery that is different from Traditional surgery. Anyone have any experience or comments? My apointment is this friday, so any advice would be welcome. Good luck to all, especially "Down n then South"...

Regards,

BW

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on 05/04/2010 12:14pm

To BMW 1586. I visited the Laser spine institute in Tampa. I considered that route, My biggest hurdle was insurance. That type surgery was not covered by my insurance, so I was going to have to pay them around $60,000 to $90,000 out of pocket and then try to get some of the procedure cost reimbursed from my insurance company. I have heard a lot of people get 2nd mortgages for the procedures. After speaking with my doctors, they felt it was not a better option for me because I had already had one surgery with scar tissue already formed. Good luck

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on 05/08/2010 10:42am

Hey u guys, I m fine the infection is gone and my CT scann showed no change. I guess i just jumped the gunn...lol. Yes i would still have the SCS put in agian. It does help! I guess u can say im Up and out in the South, well....as for now!.. God Bless

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