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Pain relief thru implants? Any of you tried this?

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Old 07-09-2006, 11:31 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 155
mergatroy HB User
Pain relief thru implants? Any of you tried this?

I am a newbie, so if this thread is improper, my apologies, just remove it and tell me what I did wrong.

I am on 120mg of Avinza and up to 150 mg of demerol (for break thru pain).
I am maxed out on avinza due to respiratory problems. I am in pain 24/7. The avinza may, or may not be helping. I have been on avinza 218 days. My body has probably adjusted to it. It feels much less effective now. Right now ---the pain has me between throwing up and crying. Used to I could move my right hip/lower back and I could "get away" from the the pain. No more. Sorry, I don't mean to complain, just trying to use words to express my mental and emotional condition today. I think the avinza reduces my pain from an 8 to a 4-5 most of the time. Today...either it is not reducing the pain at all, or I am in a LOT of pain. sentence structure is short and choppy, but I am not functioning well. I took my 120mg of avinza a couple of hours ago.

My PM&R doctor recommended an implant. I am not sure I am allowed to mention the manufacturer, so I won't for now. The dr. said I could get a morphine implant that uses 1/300th the morphine I am on now or get an electronic machine that will run wires up between my shoulder blades. Both implants have remote controls.

Have any of you used an implant? The theory is wonderful, what is the reality of it?

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Old 07-09-2006, 02:02 PM   #2
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ozzybug HB Userozzybug HB Userozzybug HB Userozzybug HB User
Re: Pain relief thru implants? Any of you tried this?

I'm sure someone here will have first hand knowledge/experience with implants. Keep checking in.

In the mean time, I've seen shows on the medical channels about them and what I saw was ver interesting and the success rates were pretty good. Have you done a web search for more information? I'm sure there has to be something out there on-line.

I do hope this is something that you can get and something that will give you some major improvement in your pain levels. It sounds like it is worth a try.


Old 07-10-2006, 05:49 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
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mergatroy HB User
Re: Pain relief thru implants? Any of you tried this?

Thanks for the inputs.

My vote has been for the Medtronics electronics unit, but when you google it... you get some scary answers. Counsel-net charboards have some horror stories about it, but this is probably the "worst of the worst" scenario. Surgeon errors,

I will do a lot of research before ANYONE does surgery on me.

One of the interesting things is that Medtronics only allows one surgeon to install these items in the Sacramento, CA area. I called his office and was told they would not talk to until I was referred. AND the initial consultation would be at least a month away.

Are all manufacturers this way? I mean, to all manufacturers only allow certain sugeons to install their products?

Part of me says this makes sense. After all, it IS their product and if they allowed anyone to install it, their could be problems caused by improper installation. PLEASE, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS???

Old 07-10-2006, 07:27 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2006
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mergatroy HB User
Re: Pain relief thru implants? Any of you tried this?

I was going to edit the post above this one, then decided it would make a real long read. I will try to answer some of your points and maybe ask you a couple more questions, if that is ok.

You mentioned, in your opinion, I am on a low dosage at 120mg of Avinza. I have no idea. I have nothing to compare it to as it is all new to me. Again, he mentioned my severe asthma as a limiting factor. But he also said there really isn't much of a "ceiling" per se on the amount a person can stand. Every human is different. As I said, I might try taking more while sitting in his waiting room...
just a thought.

I understand what you are saying about the 1/300th issue. I am also a red head. He was laughing the other day when he said he had read an article that claims red heads feel more pain. Who knows....

The medtronics unit they discussed with me (briefly) had 9 yrs of life and could be charged thru my skin or something like that.

Psyche treatment? Never heard a word about it.

Demerol has toxic metabolites that build up? Never mentioned that to me. I think I asked for the demerol because it worked real well for me. I have been taking it 5 days a week for 219 days. Again, I have NO idea how much of dose 150mg a day is. Many days I might take 50mg or none. I have never had any kind of reaction (that I recognized as a "reaction" to not taking any.

Nerve damage as opposed to what other damage? Muscle damage? Bone damage? After the discogram, they did a bunch of ct scans, then my PM&R
dr. called me in and told me I did have damage to two discs, but the collateral damage of surgery could be worse on me than the correction of my disc problems. That is, of course, a paraphrase of his comments. He said I was now permanently disabled. I got my blue placard and will have to wait for science to catch up with my type of injury. Again, what do I know????

UA retention? I don't know what that is.

I would NOT like having the unit so close to my skin. I would be very afraid of damaging it. I still drive our boat and when you are at sea the waves can toss you around some. I know I would bang it against a rail or a bulkhead, something....

I do have a question for you. With your implant, can you still have a pace maker installed? OR what if they hit you with a defibrillator? I have some heart problems too. I carry Nitrolingual with me 24/7. EVERYONE in my family has died of heart attacks.

Thanks again Shoreline, and Ozzybug, I appreciate your help.

Old 07-10-2006, 08:03 PM   #5
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Re: Pain relief thru implants? Any of you tried this?

Just to answer some quick questions. UA is Urianary retentian, sorry forgot to write retention.

Medtronics has a certification for implant and managmnent, which is probably a plus rather than letting any surgeon implant them and leaving you on our own to find one to manage it. From what your describing he seems to prefer the isomed pump or he's extremely over estimating battery life. Without the battery, you loose the programability to adjust the dose throughout the day.

The psych eval doesn't mean psych treatment, it's simply a test or a one hour session to make sure they aren't implanting it in a patient with unrealistic expectations or that might have underlying illness that would negate any benefit or leave the patient always unsatisfied and the doc commited to the patient to manage the pump. Medtronics ggoes as far as recomending using a plecebo dose during the trial and surprisngly the power of sugestion or idea they are receiving super potent meds elimnates some candidates. Not every doc is gong to cover every area, like not every doc is going to use PM contracts. I would think with the asthma, as you feel more acomadated with the meds after this long, you may be able to handle an increase at this point.

Demi is just a well known no no, who is presently treating your pain, Your GP? That's not meant to bash your GP , it's just a pet peeve when GP's start playing shrink and prescribing psychotropic drugs or mood altering drugs rather than referring someone ill enough to need meds and not follow up with counseling. Same thing with PM, If someone is so bad off they need morphine, they likely have other needs the doc isn't able to provide. They are simply dealing with problems specialist should, don't have the experience or expertise they have no buisness prescribing meds they don't have a great understanding off.

You an have a pacemaker with a pump, only an magnetic field like an MRI should shut your pump off and it's something you should be aware of so you can make an apt to have it turned back on. THe non battery pumps aren't likely effected other than the nomrmal problems of having metal in your body while having an MRI.

There are nightmare stories about every surgery, but the synchromed pump has been around since the early 80's. The more pumps out there, the more likely to have problems. There are other risks that a PM doc ceertified by medtronics is also going to be aware of, like concentration limits with morphine and the potential for cysts growing at the cath tip inside your spine. But that's not something a PM doc that doesn't use pumps is going to be aware off.

A month wait for a PM doc, sounds quick to me, If it's not what your used to it may seem like a long time,but compared to decades of pain, it's just a drop in the bucket. Needin a referral from another doc is also standard, otherwse every junkie would request one and likely the doc doesn't have the time for that nonesense.

Is their any reason you happen to be able to tell how many days you have been on these meds? That's the kind of thing a shrink will find interesting I know the dates I had surgery, but couldn't tell you how many mgs of morphine I have taken.

There are 3 types of pain, Visceral, like an incision, stab wound, gun shot etc. Neruopathic pain is from damaged nerves, strokes, diabetes, pinched nerves etc and Somatic is best described as a crush type injury or crushing back pain, broken bones, etc. Each type of pain responds differently to different drugs. Back pain without the leg pain is somatic. If you have both, opiates are more likely to work better on the back pain then the leg pain.

Gotta run but I'll check back tomorrow.
Take care, Dave

Old 07-11-2006, 08:53 AM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 155
mergatroy HB User
Re: Pain relief thru implants? Any of you tried this?

Great reply Shoreline, thank you very much for taking so much of your time to help me.

I keep track of my meds because I am scared of them. Period. Am I being Anal about it. Sure. It is what I do. My wife ([ removed ]) says I am "concrete sequential" in my thinking. I told her if I was a little smarter, my feelings might be hurt.
We are worried about addiction, etc. My PM&R doctor told me I was already "addicted". His words, not mine. I like "dependent" better.

I have an appt with my Urologist. BPH.

I thought the MRI would damage the unit.

The battery life...9 years minimum is guaranteed. You can charge it through your skin...I am not sure how. Darned details.

UA...yeah, but that is another forum. Me too.

Sorry, dr. appt, gotta run, more later and thanks again

Last edited by HBMod07; 07-11-2006 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Indicating a family member is in the health profession on any level is not permitted

Old 08-08-2006, 09:02 AM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 155
mergatroy HB User
Re: Pain relief thru implants? Any of you tried this?

Thank you so much. You contribute a LOT to this forum. I am making notes for the surgeon to answer and using a lot of your comments.

It is a strange, Strange world we live in.......your help is appreciated.

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