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Old 10-31-2007, 12:05 PM   #1
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neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

Has anyone tried the neurostimulator for chronic sciatic pain and SI joint pain? Was it successful? Do you have to be off work when you are using the trial stimulator so to not pull the leads out of the spine??

 
Old 10-31-2007, 06:09 PM   #2
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

I had a trial stim put in my back in 2004. It only helped my legs a little. Nothing for my back. I turned over on the sofa and pulled the wire loose on the second day. That caused a spinal headache that no one could fix in the local ER. Had to wait until Monday to get it fixed. The first doctor on Friday tried to fix it with a blood patch, but she didn't have a x-ray machine and she missed. That headaches was the worst I ever had. Monday, my doctor fixed it up. They never put in the final stimulator. Now when the doctor suggested it, I said I don't think so. I have most of my pain in my back. I was off work when I had the trial, so can't answer that question. I don't think you could be working as you have to regulate the machine and my wires only had a patch over them holding them to my back.

 
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:08 AM   #3
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

Betty,

I had my implant done two weeks ago. The trial was just for a week and then they remove it and you normally wait a month for the implanted one. They want you to rest and take it easy during the trial, you have external wires taped to your back. When you get your implant you need to be patient and take it easy for four to six weeks for your system to scar in. I am fused from S1 - L3L4, I had a paddle lead put in at T8T9. My scs is doing a great job of covering my pain, lumbar and leg pain. I was just reprogrammed on Mon and go to my Pm doc. tomorrow to start coming off the meds. (Then we will see what happens) I am hoping to get off the drugs and be able to think again!

Hope this helps and good luck,
Jeff

 
Old 11-01-2007, 02:05 PM   #4
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

Thanks for replying. I will be doing my trial stim next Wed and hope it stays in place. I'm glad you are having good results with yours and that you will be able to decrease your pain meds too. I am just wanting to get off the Lyrica and Cymbalta as well as not have to take the strong pain pills. I work as a nurse in an office setting, so still haven't decided if I can do my work, but I can at least sit and answer the phone, so will see after the trial is put in. Best of luck!

 
Old 11-03-2007, 03:41 PM   #5
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

Does anyone know any of the drawbacks from having a permanent neurotransmitter placed? I heard you aren't allowed to have an MRI. So if you need an MRI, what kind of test could/would they do in place of an MRI??
Does the neurotransmitter set off store alarms? I know I am a bit worried about having the trial placed next week, but have tried everything else, IDET, many epidurals, lumbar fusion, physical therapy numerous times, accupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractor treatments, and many kinds of pain medicince without much relief. I just kills me to sit here at the computer to type for very long, walk for very far, or even get comfortable lying in bed at night. I do hope that the neurostimulator works but am a bit worried since nothing has seemed to help thus far.
Hope some of you have some positive reports to share with me to encourage me to go through with the trial at least.
Thanks. I am thrilled that I have found this sounding board!

 
Old 11-04-2007, 05:22 AM   #6
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

[QUOTE=imadeamistaka;3286021]Betty,

I had my implant done two weeks ago. The trial was just for a week and then they remove it and you normally wait a month for the implanted one. They want you to rest and take it easy during the trial, you have external wires taped to your back. When you get your implant you need to be patient and take it easy for four to six weeks for your system to scar in. I am fused from S1 - L3L4, I had a paddle lead put in at T8T9. My scs is doing a great job of covering my pain, lumbar and leg pain. I was just reprogrammed on Mon and go to my Pm doc. tomorrow to start coming off the meds. (Then we will see what happens) I am hoping to get off the drugs and be able to think again!

Hope this helps and good luck,
Jeff[/QUOTE]


Thank you for your post, Jeff
I have a question for you since I was told I am a candidate for stim implant too. How do you know that stim helps you if you still taking your meds? Can you tell me, please, if your pain before implant was 6 out of 10, what is it now? And another thing: my PM at HSS told me that your body gets used to stim and in a while stop working - did they say same thing to you?
I will go through anything just to have a better quality of my life, but sounds a bit discouraging to go through surgery and what if in a while this stops working? I am not sure about anything anymore...
Thank you in advance.

 
Old 11-04-2007, 05:24 AM   #7
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

Hi Betty
I just want to welcome you to the board. Everyone here is wonderful and this is a great place to vent your frustrations and gain valuable info. You will be very surprised at the number of nurses and people in the medical field on this board. One of the hazards of our job I guess. Welcome and best of luck to you with the implant.

Deb

Last edited by deb53; 11-04-2007 at 05:25 AM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 11-04-2007, 08:52 PM   #8
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

Hi
I just saw my pm doc. on Fri.and I am starting to ween off the pain meds.
I cannot remember being pain free, this was my fourth back surgery since 93.
I will probably never be pain free but I am hoping to be mostly drug free. I have a friend who is on her third scs and she said she could not make it without it, she is using a walker and wheelchair. The battery life has greatly increased with the rechargeable batteries and advancement in leads. Pain level is different for everyone. I have had some really dark days with pain and I feel blessed to be where I'm at. I was taking extended Oxy and 5 ultram on top of that with reg oxy for breakthrough pain. I am off of the ultram already and start on the rest tomorrow. I stopped oxy cold turkey after one of my surgeries and was in bed for two day's sick as a dog so that is why I waited to do it correctly.
I was told that you can always turn your unit off for a period of time if you start to get used to it and start it back up later. When you have your trial you will know if it is going to help, that is why they let you work with it for a little while.
Read as much as you can and learn about the different companies and there products. Never stop and never give up hope!
I hope I have helped and good luck,
I'll keep you in my prayers.
Jeff

Last edited by imadeamistaka; 11-04-2007 at 08:55 PM.

 
Old 11-08-2007, 04:14 AM   #9
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Wink Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

Well guys, I survived the procedure to place the trial neurostimulator in place. I have a lead going up into the thoracic spine and one lead going down to L4-L5. I was given drugs that helped me sleep through the worse part of the procedure, so that was nice. Then my blood pressure bottomed out on them, so had to stay a lot longer and get some IV fluids. Otherwise, the procedure went very well. I do think that it is helping my pain for the most part. I am just miserable in my back from all the tape and also where they poked and prodded to place the wires in place. I will have to get used to adjusting the hand held device that helps you adjust the amount of stimulus you need at the time to help with your pain. Thanks for everyone's support. I do like this message board and have found it very helpful and supportive too. Thanks!!

 
Old 11-08-2007, 06:57 AM   #10
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

[B]Betty as you probably know , the stim throws off that buzzing feeling and alot of people hate that. It helps with the leg pain and feet but mine doesn't touch my back pain. I haven't had mine on for a while cause of the steriod injections working , thank GOD. I have the paddle lead. No you can't have a MRI but you can have a CT -X-ray still . No they don't set off alarms . If you get the permamnet implant they give you a card to show at the airports so you don't get body slammed . I don't work any more , disabled /w/c but you can still do things with it..No lifting . The only problem I have is where they cut me between the shoulder blades to run the lead down it hurts at night , crampy aching feeling but nothing bad really.[/B]

 
Old 11-08-2007, 05:36 PM   #11
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

With the permanent neurostimulator, what restrictions are you given? Can you still do some lifting after the leads scar in place? I was rather amazed at how easy they want you to take it with the trial unit. I wanted to go to work and try it with my regular activities, but the doctor said no but with all the wires taped to my back, I understand why.
I have found that the trial seems to be helping the leg and I haven't had much pain in my SI joint, so hope I do before the trial ends on Monday. Is there much pain when they take the leads out of your back?
I really appreciate this support group. It is hard to have friends that understand when they don't have the chronic pain. Thanks!
Betty

 
Old 11-09-2007, 07:14 PM   #12
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Question Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

Did anyone have muscle spasms in your back with the stimulator? I have one side that keeps giving me fits, but hopefully it will calm down or at least on Monday when they pull the leads out, it will go away. I also have one of the areas where they put the top lead in that is so painful, so am hoping that it calms down as well. Just thought I'd see if any of you have any thoughts about this. Thanks
Betty

 
Old 03-07-2008, 04:33 PM   #13
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

I have been the happy owner of a SCS (the EON by ABS) since February 2007. It's primary purpose was to relieve feet pain caused by four reconstructive surgeries when I was a teenager. When they placed the leads they also put in a tripole to try to cover my chronic lower back pain, but we knew immediately it was probably not going to work. My ABS programmer and I tried until the neurosurgeon said he needed to close up. I've had an 80% success rate for my feet.

[QUOTE]Is there much pain when they take the leads out of your back? [/QUOTE]

No, but mine actually got stuck!! The doctor trying to remove them could NOT get them to pull out of my vertebrae. We ended up taking a "walk" from the examination room back to the minor surgical procedure area -- me hunched over, the doctor holding the leads and the nurse following behind! It didn't hurt at all and I couldn't stop laughing. I felt so sorry for that doctor when my neurosurgeon easily pulled them out -- the walk I'd taken had loosened things up.

1) If you desperately need the MRI they have to remove your battery but not the leads. Not a happy alternative.

2) I have never set off any alarms...with the exception of the walk-thru at the airport (which was really dumb on my part). I've been on a plane several times since my surgery and do have a card: it's rarely asked-for. ALWAYS tell the screeners you need to be be patted down before you go through the walk-thru. Every time I've been treated with courtesy and they've always given me the option of a private room to do the pat-down. I have never received a surge from metal detectors at stores, either.

[QUOTE]With the permanent neurostimulator, what restrictions are you given? Can you still do some lifting after the leads scar in place? I was rather amazed at how easy they want you to take it with the trial unit. [/QUOTE]

I had restrictions for the first six months. Three weeks after my permanent implant I went to Busch Gardens on a family vacation. It was rough, avoiding most of the rides, but telling myself, "You've got $30,000+ worth of hardware in your backside" kept things in perspective. It was March in Florida, so I enjoyed the day anyway. Now that I'm over a year post-op I'm fine except for the restrictions my lower back gives me.

[QUOTE]Did anyone have muscle spasms in your back with the stimulator? I have one side that keeps giving me fits, but hopefully it will calm down or at least on Monday when they pull the leads out, it will go away. I also have one of the areas where they put the top lead in that is so painful, so am hoping that it calms down as well.[/QUOTE]

I never had muscle spasms with the trial. The permanent implant surgery was much harder. My IPG is in the back of my left hip and was just a little irritating, but when they cut through the muscles between your shoulderblades...I was NOT prepared for how sore I was. Getting from the car into the house took a long, long time. They prescribed me oxycodone for a reason, and I used it!!

I am new to these boards, and I promise not to be so long winded all the time.

 
Old 03-07-2008, 05:38 PM   #14
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Re: neurostimulator for chronic sciatic and low back pain

Please do not respond to messages older than 30 days or so. Always start a new thread if the one you wish to respond to is old, especially if you have your own questions.

Thank you for your cooperation.

 
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