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Old 10-21-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
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Pain Dr suggesting a spinal cord neurostimulator

Hello,
I am new to these boards but will just briefly explain situation. Have been dealing with sciatic type leg pain for years. In march of 2012, had MRI that showed mildly herniated disc at L5 S1 and a moderately herniated disc at T12 L1. My GP ordered series of 3 epidural injections after trying medication and then physical therapy over the past year. Only got a few weeks relief from injections. Went to see neurosurgeon who looked at MRI and didn't think that my amount of pain was coming from the disc herniations. From that point I had a nerve block and piriformis injection which offered no relief. Began having pain, numbness, tingling, vibrations in left leg. Pain Dr performed an NCS and EMG test. NCS was normal but EMG showed abnormal results.

My pain dr is now asking me to consider spinal cord neurostimulation and will meet with him in 2 weeks to discuss this and other options. Would just like to hear from anyone about their experience with this therapy.

Meds at this point are:
Norco 10/325 every 8 hours
Ultram every 8 hours
Requip 1 mg at bedtime for numbness

Previous meds were Lyrica, zanaflex, and robaxin.

Thanks,
Lauren

 
Old 10-21-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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Re: Pain Dr suggesting a spinal cord neurostimulator

I posted the following on another board, let me know if you have other questions:

Re: Spinal cord stimulator surgery
I had Peripheral SCS implanted on 6/21/12. It was turned on 10 days later. Since then I am down over 50% narcotics and have most of the pain covered after several adjustments to the unit. I thank God that this was done as I was so high on narcotics that I was in a fog 24/7.

The settings can be modified to different sensations, I actually find the "painful" sensations work better over time.

The difference between peripheral places the electrodes just under your skin instead of the spinal column and the sensation is not as strong.

The company that makes my unit is St Jude. The doctor who did the procedure works for a ortho practice and specializes in Pain. She is extremely caring and actually is a Top Doctor in our area in her first year here nominated by her peers. Another doctor recommended the deeper one years ago and did not believe I could deal w/ the strong sensation that it gives so I did not have it done then.

Last edited by Mod-S4; 08-08-2013 at 09:10 PM.

 
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
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Re: Pain Dr suggesting a spinal cord neurostimulator

I would suggest you try to get to the bottom of your pain issues before agreeing to a neurostimulator. Have you seen several different spine surgeons? If you have seen a neurosurgeon, I would suggest a second opinion with a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon for an evaluation.

Neurostimulators are usually placed after all other treatments have been tried and have failed. They are not as benign as most doctors make them sound when they suggest a patient give it a try. You will never be able to have a MRI again if it is implanted in your spine. Also there are a variety of complications that you should be familiar with before agreeing to this.

It sounds to me that you are way too early in the process to even be thinking about a spinal cord stimulator. From your brief description of your issues, it doesn't seem that your problems are sufficiently severe that you would want to risk having this implanted in your body. How badly is your life impacted by your sciatic pain? Are you sure there are no surgical solutions to whatever is causing your sciatic pain? I would really encourage you to do more research and get s couple more opinions from spine surgeons before proceeding with a SCS.

 
Old 10-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: Pain Dr suggesting a spinal cord neurostimulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
I would suggest you try to get to the bottom of your pain issues before agreeing to a neurostimulator. Have you seen several different spine surgeons? If you have seen a neurosurgeon, I would suggest a second opinion with a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon for an evaluation.

Neurostimulators are usually placed after all other treatments have been tried and have failed. They are not as benign as most doctors make them sound when they suggest a patient give it a try. You will never be able to have a MRI again if it is implanted in your spine. Also there are a variety of complications that you should be familiar with before agreeing to this.

It sounds to me that you are way too early in the process to even be thinking about a spinal cord stimulator. From your brief description of your issues, it doesn't seem that your problems are sufficiently severe that you would want to risk having this implanted in your body. How badly is your life impacted by your sciatic pain? Are you sure there are no surgical solutions to whatever is causing your sciatic pain? I would really encourage you to do more research and get s couple more opinions from spine surgeons before proceeding with a SCS.
100 percent correct

 
Old 10-21-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
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Re: Pain Dr suggesting a spinal cord neurostimulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
I would suggest you try to get to the bottom of your pain issues before agreeing to a neurostimulator. Have you seen several different spine surgeons? If you have seen a neurosurgeon, I would suggest a second opinion with a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon for an evaluation.

Neurostimulators are usually placed after all other treatments have been tried and have failed. They are not as benign as most doctors make them sound when they suggest a patient give it a try. You will never be able to have a MRI again if it is implanted in your spine. Also there are a variety of complications that you should be familiar with before agreeing to this.

It sounds to me that you are way too early in the process to even be thinking about a spinal cord stimulator. From your brief description of your issues, it doesn't seem that your problems are sufficiently severe that you would want to risk having this implanted in your body. How badly is your life impacted by your sciatic pain? Are you sure there are no surgical solutions to whatever is causing your sciatic pain? I would really encourage you to do more research and get s couple more opinions from spine surgeons before proceeding with a SCS.
I appreciate your reply very much. I am looking into a 2nd opinion most definitely. It has been a very difficult battle with trying to find the cause of my pain. I am 38 yo and this has impacted my life greatly. I am a behavior interventionist that works with kids that have severe emotional behavior disorders and have been injured multiple times over the past 14 years, however, none of my problems can I directly tie to one specific injury. My pain levels on my worst days fluctuate between a 6-7 and on good days a 3-4. I tire easily and to be quite honest, the pain meds only slightly take the edge off my pain. I was once very active with hiking, gardening, and being on the go a lot. I can still get around well but like I said before, the pain wears me out and I have to rest and take meds to get even slight relief.
I appreciate the responses and I will also post in the other board concerning back issues.

Thanks again,
Lauren

 
Old 10-22-2012, 05:13 AM   #6
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Re: Pain Dr suggesting a spinal cord neurostimulator

I'd go for three opinions, all three from spine surgeons. PM docs seem to be quite responsible sometimes, but sometimes they appear to just want to keep their patients.

I'm sure it's occurred to you a thousand times, but I'll add one more voice... a lot of your tiredness, and even your pain, may be traced to stress coming from your job. You may have to make changes, just to save yourself.

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:30 AM   #7
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Re: Pain Dr suggesting a spinal cord neurostimulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
I'd go for three opinions, all three from spine surgeons. PM docs seem to be quite responsible sometimes, but sometimes they appear to just want to keep their patients.

I'm sure it's occurred to you a thousand times, but I'll add one more voice... a lot of your tiredness, and even your pain, may be traced to stress coming from your job. You may have to make changes, just to save yourself.
Yes I agree that my job is quite stressful and stress leads to being less tolerant of my pain which in turn causes me more stress which turns into a vicious cycle. I am actively seeking different duties at my job and am no longer working directly with the physical aspect of dealing with these special students. I appreciate your reply and will work to see opinions from other Drs.

 
Old 10-22-2012, 06:23 AM   #8
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Re: Pain Dr suggesting a spinal cord neurostimulator

It is a vicious cycle as pain itself causes stress and wears one out. I hope you can find some relief soon.

Are you on a drug like neurontin or Lyrica for nerve pain?

I totally agree that PMs are not the ideal specialty for an accurate diagnosis of a spine problem. They do not have the additional training in the workings of the spine that a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon has.

(Be sure the neuro or ortho spine surgeon has a practice that is limited to the back and neck. You don't want a neuro who prefers brain surgery and does back surgery just to pay the bills, and you don't want a general ortho or a sports ortho, either!)

 
Old 10-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #9
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Re: Pain Dr suggesting a spinal cord neurostimulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
It is a vicious cycle as pain itself causes stress and wears one out. I hope you can find some relief soon.

Are you on a drug like neurontin or Lyrica for nerve pain?

I totally agree that PMs are not the ideal specialty for an accurate diagnosis of a spine problem. They do not have the additional training in the workings of the spine that a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spine surgeon has.

(Be sure the neuro or ortho spine surgeon has a practice that is limited to the back and neck. You don't want a neuro who prefers brain surgery and does back surgery just to pay the bills, and you don't want a general ortho or a sports ortho, either!)
I need to clarify that my PM is in practice with my Neurosurgeon. He has had specialized training in the treatment of spinal disorders. He is the one that has performed my nerve block and piriformis injection and he reviews my case with my neurosurgeon. My neurosurgeon deals specifically with spinal cases.

I have tried Lyrica with no reduction in pain at all. Dr. took me off after 2 months because it was just not working. I have not tried Neurontin. I have also been on Mobic which had little to no result with the numbness or tingling.

My meds at this point are:
Norco 10/325 mg every 8 hours
Ultram 50mg every 8 hours
Requip 1 mg at bedtime

I have been researching the SCS and have read some interesting information about people who suffered with chronic pain and that had few or no back/spine surgeries before the trial/implantation of the SCS and had more success with the SCS over those who had had multiple surgeries prior to the trial/implantation. Has anyone else heard this? I am not sure which article I was reading...I'll have to go back and search through my history to see if I can find it.

Thanks again for your reply.

 
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back pain, leg numbness, leg pain, spinal cord stimulator



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