I had an accident in 10/94 I've had 3 back surgeries the final one resulting in a lower spinal fusion. I had scoliosis, my spine is a nice backwards "S". The accident really did a job on my back. I had to have a cage put around my lower spine with many screws & staples. When Doctors see x rays of my back they are shocked at the amount of hardware. I was losing all sensation in my left leg and in excruciating pain prior to the fusion. I couldn't function. I am still in horible pain but mostly in my back & side. My back was so messed up I had to have the fusion. 5 Doctors confirmed this. I am presently in pain management. I take 70mgs of Oxycontin 3 times a day along with 200mgs Nuerontin and also Soma. I met a Doctor who used to be in Pain Management and we were discussing my medication & he was surprised my Doctor hadn't suggested a Morphine Pump. He seems to think the amount of Oxycontin I take is very high and he feels I would benefit much, much better from the pump. Especially since I am not getting much relief from the meds I am taking. I will need to be on pain meds the rest of my life. I occasionally, have a problem with memory loss & sometimes am confused but other then that I don't have any side affects. Does anyone have a morphine pump? I really don't want another surgery. But I will if I will see better results. I am scheduling a consultation with a Doctor that does Morphine Pumps. (My present Doctor doesn't)I have loads of questions for the Doctor, but I also want the opinion of someone that has one. Does any out there have a Morphine Pump?? Thanks!
Hi Fmstar, I'm sorry your not getting the relief that you should. Usually oxy is the first med they try. Your dose isn't all that high, they make 80 mg oxys and 160mgs oxy. So you definately have room to move. I've had 3 back surgeries too. The last was to replace broken hardware from a 3 level fusion. Now I'm fused from l1-S1 12 screws and 8 rods. Docs are shocked by my xrays too. Oxy is for medium to severe pain. Your doc can switch to the stronger longacting meds. There are several morphine products. MS contin, Oramorph, Kadian "a 24 hour time release" allthough most say it doesn't last that long. The 12 hour stuff usually lasts about 8. There's also duragesic patches, the active ingrediant is Fentinyl "SP?" and Methadone. I switched from oxy to methadone because of the price. Oxy never got me below a 6 on the old pain meter. The meth keeps me around a 4. The advantage of meth is the extremely long half life. 24-36hours. So I wake up and still have half of what I took yesterday still working. I don't wake up in pain and wait for the oxy to start working. The pump may be the final step but it's usually reserved for when oral meds no longer work. If oxy is the only long acting med you have tried I would think the pump is still a bit premature. Some pumpsters still require oral meds and some don't get the relief they expected. I would ask to try a new med if you PM doc isn't comfortable raising your dose any higher. It seems most PM docs have an imaginary number in there head that is too much. There really isn't a dose thats too much as long as your tolerance is high enough. I'm so glad I switched to methadone and would recomend it to any one thats not getting good relief from oxy. I hope this is food for thought. The cash price for 240 10mg meth is 40 bucks, thats a major difference. Take care, David
Hi FM Star, Wel my thoughts on this are changing, I saw my NS yesterday after having a CT and Meylo, The doc suggested a pump. He said you get better felief and less side effects, no fuzzy head. Medtronics makes the pump. I've been doing a lot of research and went to the medtronic website, they are sending me more info. There are problems and complications, ask John. Its a tough decision, but the thought of better pain control really makes me think. It's nothing I will do imediately but something I know is available. Gather all the info you can. Goos Luck. david
I really appreciate your input. I've been trying to find out as much as I can about a morphine pump. I'm going to go to that website & also request the information. I hate the thought of more surgery! But am told it's minor, in and out. HUH! My biggest problem is first thing in the AM. I can barely move & have to drive my son to the bus stop almost 5 miles from here. Oxycontin doesn't kick in for awhile & wears off before the 8 hours. My son is old enough to notice if there is a problem with my driving after taking my meds & he's noticed none. The Dr. has even asked him. So I'm lucky in that aspect. I can still drive & I understand with a pump it doesn't affect driving either. But I can't sit for any length of time. It's getting harder to do just plain old housework. So maybe a pump might be the way to go. I do know there is an extensive amount of testing before they will implant one. I'm also tired of tests. But most of all I'm tired of the pain! Oh yes, I'm fortunate my prescriptions which run just shy of $1,000 a month are paid by workers comp the rest of my life as long as they are related to my back. Again, Thank You. Please keep in touch. Take care, Sandi
Another John that posts at this board didn’t like the pump very much. He said he still had to take large quantities of oral med.’s after getting the pump so it wasn’t worth the money/trouble. After going through all you have I am sure you realize that some doctors are better than others. Some are very good and dedicated………others are dumb as a rock and looking to make money regardless of weather they help us or not.
You are doing the right thing to look int this as much as possible, take your time, don’t rush into anything. The best advice I could give would be to ask the doctor or nurse for three references that have hade the pump installed by the doctor you are seeing. Ask for people that have had the pump for over two years. You would learn how good your doctor is and get an idea as to how many he/she has installed.
You don’t want to de a doctor’s ‘test rat’ while he learns how to install the pump.
My husband had a Morphine pump and it has since been removed. Briefly, he is fused from C3-C7 with cervical radiculopathy. He is constant spasm and severe pain from some nerve damage. He has taken MS Contin, Percocet for "breakthrough" pain, Oxy, etc. Finally, about five years ago, his pain specialist suggested the Morphine Pump. We thought it would be a miracle. The catheter was implanted to the T12-L1 space and the Morphine (with Tetracaine) was started. This didn't seem to help so they revised the catheter (we didn't know they had to create a special one) to the level of C7-T1. They also switched to Dialudid and Marcaine in the pump. In addition to this, he was taking over 300 mg of MS-Contin per day and also Percocet with NO relief. He also experienced a 20 pound weight gain from edema in his legs. He began taking 80 of Lasix per day.
Finally, after about 18 months of this, we chose to change physicians and have the pump removed. He is now on Methadone 160 per day, Percocet, Ultram, and some others that I don't know what. He still has severe pain and it is difficult for him to function.
He suffers from vascular insufficiency in both lower legs and has, on several occasions, injured his leg (just a scrape) that resulted in cellulitis and necessitated the use of intravenous antibiotics.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't have the pump, but truly check it out and research it carefully. His physician now is suggesting the pump, but we just laugh and say no to that suggestion.
The other John that posts on this board can tell you more, but when they removed his (just recently!) after having it a year with no relief, the doctor said the catheter was nowhere near where it should have been! He had a horrible experience, hope he sees your post soon to tell you more!
Hang in there, and exhaustively research all your options! We're all wishing for a "pain-free minute"!