Does anyone have this? This is an option for me and I am nervous about it. My sister had said something about hearing the 10 year study showed some to become paralyzed but my Dr. said that is baloney. Anyway, I've tried everything. I am post fusion twice. Wish I never did that. I started w/disectomy/laminectomy first. I've tried the stimulator implant and failed due to nerve damage. I've had epidural steriod injections (no relief and went manic from the steriod) I've had rhizotomies (they helped some but wear off) I have had injections into the nerves going down my legs. I've done trigger points (joke). I'm at my wits end. I am especially terrible during winter with pain. I know I should move, but everyone is here. Anyway, I am looking for all feedback anyone has about the morphine pump. For the most part I am anti-narcotic but I just can't live that way anymore. I was on this narcotic 2 years ago called Actiq that put me through hell and back with withdrawls/dependancy. So i've stayed away---all the while suffering--from narcotics. Lately I've had to give in and take hydrocodine (dilaudid) as needed. So I am seriously considering this pump since the narcotic goes right to the source and you apparently need less meds and don't get the affects to your brain. I'd just like to hear both the good and bad from people who had this.Thanks!
Hi. I have the morphine pump and have had it for about 2 years. I have nothing negative to say about it and highly recommend getting it done. I was in so much pain prior to the implant that I was seriously considering throwing in the towel and just giving up. I get wonderful relief with it...for the original reason it was put it. In fact, that pain is almost non-existant now and what pain I do have is caused by different problems. The only side effects I have had are some swelling (that has passed) and I perspire pretty badly now but other than that I have no complaints.
I hope this helps....if you have other questions, please feel free to ask.
Thank you two for the post. I am very interested in this pump. I am on the whole list of painkillers, methadone, vicadin, neurontin etc. The pills cost close to a thousand a month. I have yet to have a surgery, and am very nervous about it. Being on so many pills and building up tolerance, i am not sure how I will deal with the pain of an operation. If there are anymore people that have had this pump, please take a second and tell us more. Thank you. LD
Yes thanks for the info. I'd love to hear from more people. As for the person not having surgery yet. I cannot say whether or not surgery would work for you..but I wish I NEVER went that route. It made me so much worse. Whenever they go into your back you risk nerves being irritated, scar tissue etc. which is what happened to me and made me worse. I have sciatica now and terrible nerve pain that I didn't have. So now I still have my back pain--it didn't fix me at all--and I have the other pain! So much worse! I'd go for the pump probably before surgery! sad to say. Or even the spinal stimulator. I tried that but with the nerve damage it didn't work. The impulses wouldn't go to the right nerves since they were damaged.
While I understand what you are saying, sometimes surgery isn't a choice we make. Sometimes it is the only option we have because the spine is unstable or because nerves are being pinched so badly that the legs are losing strength or because the leg pain is horrendous. And believe it or not, there are a lot more successful surgeries than failures. It's just that you don't hear about those because there aren't any boards set up to talk about the successful surgeries. Those folks are out enjoying the new lease on life that surgery gave them. I was one of those people after my first fusion...back to work, out dancing on weekends, taking care of 4 kids by myself...a busy, full, life until another vehicle rear-ended me. I do agree that surgery should not be done unless there is absolutely no other option open to you.
I am glad to get this info! I am wondering about the pump and how often it's used, and how often is it filled. Is it in a space near the back problem. Does it look like a catheter? I am afraid I will need the fusion, my s1 is in about 3 pieces on the inside and L4 is about the same. Also I found a fracture on S2, broke in half, and the tailbone is dislocated. All of this was found after the comp dr. said he could find nothing! I am at 16 months and almost all that time on Vicadin. The pain is getting worse AND the drugs are getting less effective. I would be willing to have a pump, even if it was just to ease up on the narcotics. Is it the pain injection doctor that does the implant, or does the GP? Please forgive my jumping from one subject to the next. That would be the Neurontin.
My Husband has the Morphine pump. He's had it for 3 yrs now.
He was in a car accident in 1988, and has had 16 surgeries and procedures. He too says he wishes he had never had any of the surgeries, he just got worse with alot of scar tissue built up. WHen the Dr. went in to remove the scar tissue he said it was the worst he ever seen. The surgery took 3 1/2 hours.
Anyways when they put the pump in it took awhile to regulate the first time and never really helped the pain, the cath to the back had gotten kinked and stopped working. So when they went in to to the scar tissue surgery they replaced the cathedar and it has helped him tremendously!!! Before the pump he was on literally 9 pain meds a day that was taken 4 times a day. Now he is on only one medicine taken 4 times daily. So after the kinks got worked out he's very happy that he got the pump, and so am I. He can do more things now even though he is still limited on heavy lifting and certain things. He was told the pump wouldn't take away 100% of the pain, but it has taken away at least 90% away.
I hope this has helped, and if you have anymore questions feel free to ask.
I am wondering about the pump and how often it's used, and how often is it filled. Is it in a space near the back problem. Does it look like a catheter? .
The pump is an Implant that is implanted under your skin in your abdomin, and has a cathedar from the pump that goes to your pain area. It is filled at least once a month sometimes longer depending on how much meds are given.
It is a continuos feed that goes only to the pain site and not thru your body.
The name of the pump is Intrathecal Pump. You can Google it and you should find some info on it.
Hi Secret Agent
I've had my pump for about 3 years now. I have three levels of DDD in my low back and had tried everything else that was available to me before I went to the pump. I've had oral steriods, Epidural's, Physical therapy, two levels of IDET (both failed), and was refused fusion because my discs are so bad.
The pump is about the size of a hockey puck and is implanted in your abdomen just under the skin. No one will ever know you even have it when you have a shirt on. The cathetar goes around your side (everything is under the skin) and attaches to a port in your spine. The morphine is then delivered constantly. I go approx. every 60 days and they remove the morphine that is left in the pump (a couple of cc's, there's no preservatives to they drain the old) and then they put in the new. The refill is pretty quick and hurts less than having blood drawn.
They will first do a trial external pump that lasts about 7-10 days to make sure you don't have any negative side effects. If all goes well they can implant the permanent pump. There are two different types of pumps. I have the Arrow (now Codman) and the other type is by Medtronic. Mine works by hydrolics and should never need to be replaced. The other has a battery that needs to be replaced every 5 yrs or so. The good thing about the battery one is that they can adjust your dose by computer, the non battery they have to adjust the dose in the injection. They can't just start you out really high, it has to be a gradual increase, so it may take a while before you get the full effect. It took several months to get me to the dose I'm at.
I'm not the best person to tell you about pain relief from the pump. I get some, but not complete. I still take oral narcotics, but not as much as before and I've been able to get of oxycontin completely. I'm still unable to sit, stand or walk for very long, can't work, can't drive, can't lift more than 5-10 lbs., etc. BUT, if I don't do anything, I'm in less pain than I use to be. Would I have it implanted again? Absolutely! It's been helpful even if not enough to give me my life back. I notice the heat a lot more and perspire like crazy in the summer. Constipation of course is an issue. The good thing is that the morphine is delivered to your spine, so it doesn't have to be filtered by your entire system as much.
If you google Codman Intrathecal Pump you can find the "pain brochure" that gives a lot of good information and shows you a picture of the actual pump. Then google Medtronic Intrathecal Pump and go to their website that has a lot of good information about the other type.
PLEASE let me know if you want to know anything else or have any questions or I can share anything else with you about this. I wish you much luck in your decision and hope you find some pain relief soon.
Thanks so much for all the wonderful information. I have decided to go for the pump trail. I am just sick of being in pain so much. I am not looking forward to the sweats/perspiration as I have experienced that with ultracet between doses..so hopefully it won't be worse..that can be embarassing! Also when they refill it..there is not port right? They actually stick a needle in and hit the pump inside you? I like the computer adjustment idea but I am not sure which brand my Dr. implants. I will have to talk to him more at length. I just had some nerve root injections done and it severly irritated my nerve down my leg that he was trying to put meds in to help..obviously didn't work. he tried me on the steriod pack but had to stop..meds made me soo much worse. So this is just the last straw. Tired of all these pain procedures that cause more pain before they work and are only temporary fixes. I am hoping this pump gives me my life back. I just hate the idea of narcotics..but now with the ultracet just not helping the pain, I've been starting to take my narcotics again anyway..so what's the difference. I just can't suffer. I just had a bad experience with withdrawl from Actiq and it was scary..so that's the one thing that makes me avoid narcs. Plus reading from so many people about addiction. But if I need them I need to take them. well thanks again. I'd love to hear more. Do you go in the hospital for the trial or is it outpatient like my stimulator trial was? I sure hope the trial doesn't fail like the stimulator trial! I'll keep you posted! It will be a while before WC approves this I am sure!
Let me try to answer some of the questions you brought up.
Do they fill the pump at the port...? No, the fill it in the resevour that's in your abdomen. There is "nipple" that they insert the needle into.
In hospital for trial? Mine was done at the doctor's office, he has a treatment area that he does epidurals, discograms, etc. and that's were he did the trial insertion. Obviously the insertion of the permanent pump is done in the hospital. Outpatient, didn't last very long, an hour tops I think. I was in quite a bit of pain in my abdomen when I first woke up but they gave me meds and got the pain under control fairly quickly. Forgot to tell you earlier, I don't know if everyone does this, but my doctor had me wearing a corset afterwards for a few weeks (I think). It was basically like a big ace bandage that I wore unless I was in bed.
Yep, you're right, it will probably take a while for WC to approve. It's been a while since I went through all this so my memory is a little fuzzy, but I think it was several months before I got the go ahead.
The thing with addiction and the pump is that for almost everyone this is a complete last resort and you are going to have it implanted for the rest of your life. If you look at it like that, addiction doesn't really come into play.