Re: Tens unit and spinal cord stimulation implant....Questions
In many cases you can get a TENS unit from a physical therapist and insurance will cover it. It depends what type of pain as to whether the TENS will be of any use. It just made me more hyper-sensitive and either made my nerve pain worse, or at least, no better. But they help some people a lot and it is easy enough to try one and see how you respond.
Spinal cord or neurostimulators are really a last resort, used when all other options have been tried and failed. Doctors tend to pass them off as no big deal --- here, try this type of thing...but in reality there are plenty of risks associated with them. Some people do very well with them and it is the one thing that makes living a relatively normal life possible.
But I would not settle for having a trial until you are quite sure that all your options have been explored. Just because this particular surgeon cannot help does not mean that there is nothing that can be done. I don't remember the particulars of your situation well enough to offer further suggestions at this point, but usually a discectomy is an entry or beginning surgery and there are usually other things that can be tried. Tomorrow I will go back through your old posts and see if anything pops out to me --
Try not to lose hope. It is always disappointing when faced with this type of news, but it is only one person's opinion. After my first surgery which was a fusion, I was still in as much pain as before. I recovered from the surgery, I fused and it was like I had never gone through the surgery.
My doctors told me that they couldn't see anything else to do -- and I should try a scs for my pain. I was not interested because I really was convinced there was something that could be done for my pain. I didn't want to mask the pain. I wanted to find the reason for it. I'll spare you the details -- bottom line is that it took me two and a half years, but my "team" finally got it figured out. I had surgery. There was a surprise awaiting the surgeon when he opened me up, but he resolved the issue and I am doing great today. No sciatic pain for the first time since 2004.
So due to my experience I tend to encourage people to have hope and to keep looking for answers until they are convinced they have explored their options and feel comfortable with the outcome. Some people may find out their surgeon was right and there was nothing more that could be done, other than pain management...but at least they will know that there wasn't a better option out there.