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  • Neurostimulation / Does it help?

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    Old 10-11-2007, 07:49 AM   #1
    sskab5
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    Question Neurostimulation / Does it help?


    My husband has degenerative disk disease. His lower back L4 to S1 is in pretty bad shape. He has considerable back pain when trying to do anything at all. He has difficulty walking any distance, sitting for very long and trying to get comfortable at night to sleep is also very difficult. His Dr. has said that he may benefit from a 3 level fusion but obviously there is no guarantee. At this point they are considering doing a trial period with him for a neurostimulator to see if that will help. If so then they would do a permanent implant. I would like to know if anyone has tried this and how it worked for them. I have read that this helps a great deal when having alot of leg pain but my husband has some leg pain but the majority of his pain is in his back. Any feedback on this subject would be a great benefit to us.
    Thank you!

     
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    Old 10-11-2007, 01:46 PM   #2
    carol632
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    Hi, and welcome to the board. How lucky your husband is to have you, a spouse who cares so much. That isn't true for everyone, unfortunately.

    I would urge that your husband get a second and maybe even a 3rd opinion. I wouldn't go with just one opinion when so much pain is involved.

    As for the spinal stimulator, well, in truth I feel like that is sort of putting the cart before the horse. When did your husband last have an MRI? I don't know exactly what his diagnosis is, or why your doctor didn't explain why he thinks surgery "might" help or why he thinks this stimulator would work better. If your husband has herniated discs or spinal stenosis, etc., I would absolutely not advise the SCS at this time, because eventually, most likely, surgery is going to become necessary. You have to take into consideration how your husband feels about having surgery, too.

    Truth to tell, I think more info is needed before I am comfortable with trying to guide you. Just what exactly is wrong with his back????? What tests he has done?

    No matter what, I urge you to get more opinions before undergoing any kind of surgery.

    Carol
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    2 lami's, 3 fusions
    bone spur removal
    cerv. fusion, 1 level
    morphine pump

     
    Old 10-12-2007, 03:53 PM   #3
    Vicky67
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    Hello SS welcome to the board. I had this procedure offered to me today, but my history has been put through all other options. In Nov 06 I had 2 level fusion @ L4-S1/ Laminectomy since this time I have chronic pain in my back along with leg and foot numbness. I've been to a psysicist who told me there was nothing he can do for me. I also been to a neurologist who would like to see me again in Nov. I was not this bad before surgery since the surgery your husbands issues are exactly the same as mine are right now go figure. I can't stand or sit for long periods. Walking the mall is non existant and i use to love to shop. When in bed it takes so long just to get comfortable and the pain is just unbearable. There are just no real answers for us spiney's everyone is different as you can see. But I do agree get those 2nd and even 3rd opinions if you have and do your research so you know what to ask these doctor's. Right now I'm looking for answers also about the stim I just wanted share with you since our story's have so much in common.

    Blessings to you and you husband
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    Hebrews 11:1

     
    Old 10-13-2007, 02:46 PM   #4
    shawley
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    I will agree with Carol , first he should correct the problem , not mask it . I know surgery is such a big step , but really if it doesn't get fixed it's just going to cause more problems down the road . I do have the stim , and yes it helps with the leg pain , but doesn't touch the back for me . I have had another Dr. tell me my Medtronic is best for leg /feet pain and the Advanced Bionics is best for back pain ? There just different brands . He said the Advanced Bionics is the Cadilac of all stimulators and he does both of them so he must not be fibbing .

    If he needs surgery and with three opinions saying so , get the surgery first and if he still has pain get the stim . The longer he waits the more nerve damage he may be stuck with .

    Any questions on the stim I would gladly like to help , just ask.

    Shawley

     
    Old 10-14-2007, 09:08 PM   #5
    Chris54
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    I had the trial spinal stimulator prior to surgery. It was a failure as the wire came out and caused a spinal leak. They did two blood patches to stop the leak and removed the unit. This was in 2004. Then in 2005 I had a double fusion. The pain is worse now than it was prior to the surgery. I really don't know what the answers are to pain relief. Right now I am waiting for a second surgery to take out the hardware and also do some clean up work on the nerve roots that are entrapped. My fusion was from L4-S1. I need work at the L3/L4 but it shows that I possibly have Arachnoiditis at that level. I have bone spurs at that level according to the Myelogram and Nerve clumping according to the MRI/contrast dye test. Get as many opinions as you can. Make sure they come as close as possible to what is causing the pain and leave other areas alone. I have chronic pain syndrome and it is no fun. So in my case I want the pain to go away no matter how many times they have to do surgery. Good luck and I hope you one day will be pain free.

     
    Old 10-15-2007, 04:11 AM   #6
    shawley
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    Chris I haven't read many stories like yours , I do know if you don't listen ,like not lifting bending twisting your leads can move . My leads are attached to my ligaments along my spine , plus scar tissue helps hold it .. You must not do anything at all for a month or more.. And if you had problems with your vertebra's I can't see how the stim would help because the problem is still there...I'm glad I got the stim even tho it doesn't help with all the pain it does take some away and any is good .


    I would make the stim my second to last option , last would be the Morphine pump and I'll wait around 10 years before I decide to try that approach . Everyone has their own thoughts I guess .. The stim doesn't help my back pain so if its back pain relief your after I wouldn't get excited.

    Good luck and hope you all find relief.

     
    Old 10-16-2007, 11:41 AM   #7
    happygirl440
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    Hi,
    I had the SCS implant in July. Mine does help a ton with leg and lower back pain. I have 90% pain relief. I am very happy with mine. I know everyone is different talk to your doctor and get all the info you can.
    Good Luck!

     
    Old 10-16-2007, 02:30 PM   #8
    slimsdizz
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    well I have my medtronic stimulator for less than a year now and so far so good on degenerative L5 disk with failed diskectomy however they spell it it's not a cure all go with the paddle lead if you can since it is less likley to move but I know it definentley can the bottom line for me is this I've been able to reduce my meds some and I now get about a half of the day with good relief. To me just haveing that break from the pain for half the day is worth it to me and there still fine tuneing it I hope I get better relief later in the day. In my opinion nothing is goign to eliminate all of the pain. I just had to accept the fact that they couldn't do anything else which at 26 is a hard thing to do. I've seen a significant improvement to the point I can work again and reduced my meds in half which got me out of pain management an back into my regular doctor being able to manage my pain which has saved me a ton of money. Would I ever let somone do a nerve stimulator in my brain or in my upper back no way to me thats where alot of the risks are comeing from. besides infection risks I have seen a good enough relief in my spine to work again and be more social and not so short tempered. I have heard about an equal number of sucesses and failures. the stim is a last effort but it has helped me so far and I am going to keep everyone updated. I think alot of the sucess and failure not only depends on the surgeon but everyones body is diffrent. thats the best feedback I can give.

     
    Old 10-16-2007, 02:39 PM   #9
    ms_west
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    Thank you happy and slim for posting such positive news on this. It is great hearing some positive endings!!

     
    Old 10-17-2007, 04:06 AM   #10
    shawley
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    I'm glad your getting relief in your back from the implant , may I ask what model you have ? Mine is the Medtronic.

    Thanks , Shawley
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by happygirl440 View Post
    Hi,
    I had the SCS implant in July. Mine does help a ton with leg and lower back pain. I have 90% pain relief. I am very happy with mine. I know everyone is different talk to your doctor and get all the info you can.
    Good Luck!

     
    Old 10-18-2007, 02:17 AM   #11
    Kelly32
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    Hi guys its Kelly again.. I finally got my 3 SCS and this time they changed it to a Medtronic and I have to say it is wonderful...BUT I got it on Friday and Sunday I was in ER with chest pain.. They couldn't figure it out.. and told me to see a Cardiologist.. Well I turned the SCS off in ER and didn't turn it back on till today and that terrible chest pain, cold sweat and left neck hurt.. I am going to call the pain doc that put it in, but does anyone have anything to help me.. I will take any info.. I just got home from work.. Yes I know I shouldn't work but I am not allowed to take any time off from Fed ex..because of peak season.. I really hate to run back to ER.. I turned the SCS off just couple minutes ago when I got home from work at 5am.. I will see if chest pain lessens....Any help would be greatly appreciated......Kelly

     
    Old 10-18-2007, 08:02 AM   #12
    seafarer21
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    Smile Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    Hi,

    I'm new to HealthBoards but kind of a veteran re. spinal cord stimulators (SCS). After a failed discectomy in 1989 (resulting in right ankle pain) and several other procedures including a 2nd discectomy, I couldn't walk by 1992. The MD in 1989 had nicked a nerve in my spine. Physical therapy, an ankle operation and 30 - 35 epidurals hadn't work at all.

    Miracle of miracles, in 1992 a Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon implanted perhaps one of the original Medtronic SCS. Only the electrodes and a receiver are implanted in mine; the box containing the 9 volt battery and the controls are external.

    It's been working wonderfully well since day 1. In 1995 four new electrodes were implanted giving me a total of eight.

    Having moved three years ago to Charlottesville, VA today I saw the pain management MD at UVa Hospital. I wanted an MD closer than Johns Hopkins aware of my extant situation just in case. He prescribed lidoderm patches to place on the pain area as necessary. The pain level is about a three now and I've learned to live with that. The patches will hopefully reduce it even further. He also prescribed 600 mg Daypro, an anti-inflammatory to reduce ankle, low back and arthritic pain.

    Keep the faith and don't give up!!

     
    Old 10-18-2007, 08:03 AM   #13
    seafarer21
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    Kelly,

    From what you described you should be calling 911 and getting to an ER. I've had four angioplasties (as well as my SCS) andwhat you describe doesn't sound terribly positive.

    I suggest you call 911 NOW and let the docs figure it out. FedEx can wait - you can't in my humble opinion.

     
    Old 10-18-2007, 07:10 PM   #14
    Kelly32
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    I have already been to ER.. Sunday.. I called several Dr. 's today.. They said the stimulator can be on a nerve to the heart. I am meeting with the rep and doc tomorrow and had another chest X ray today.. I have not turned the SCS back on ... Can't say I feel much better but don't have the terrible pain just like I worked out pain......Trust me I thought about 911 several times... I am off to work... In a rain storm......this should be interesting to say the least...Not sure hwo to keep staples dry...Thanks for your thoughts....

     
    Old 11-01-2008, 01:50 PM   #15
    rjstreet
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    Re: Neurostimulation / Does it help?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kelly32 View Post
    Hi guys its Kelly again.. I finally got my 3 SCS and this time they changed it to a Medtronic and I have to say it is wonderful...BUT I got it on Friday and Sunday I was in ER with chest pain.. They couldn't figure it out.. and told me to see a Cardiologist.. Well I turned the SCS off in ER and didn't turn it back on till today and that terrible chest pain, cold sweat and left neck hurt.. I am going to call the pain doc that put it in, but does anyone have anything to help me.. I will take any info.. I just got home from work.. Yes I know I shouldn't work but I am not allowed to take any time off from Fed ex..because of peak season.. I really hate to run back to ER.. I turned the SCS off just couple minutes ago when I got home from work at 5am.. I will see if chest pain lessens....Any help would be greatly appreciated......Kelly
    I am currently doing my "trial" for Medtronic spine stimulator, so would appreciate you or anyone with negative experiences to please warn me. I am afraid mainly due to Medtronic's recall of the heart device that uses the same leads.
    Thanks!

     
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