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  • Failed back surgery syndrome? Pain implant?

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    Old 05-10-2008, 05:30 PM   #1
    ihavtwins
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    Failed back surgery syndrome? Pain implant?

    My pain management doc labeled me as failed back surgery syndrome the other day. Is this a term used when they just dont know whats wrong or why you are still having pain? They make it sound like a real syndrome when they say it.
    I am 8 months post op from a L5-S1 fusion.

    Also, he mentioned the stimulator implant for pain relief and sent me home with a video to watch. Has anyone had one, researched it, or heard anything about it??

    Thanks!
    Jen

     
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    Old 05-10-2008, 05:42 PM   #2
    ms_west
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    Re: Failed back surgery syndrome? Pain implant?

    Hi, I was given the diagnosis I would say about 4/5 months ago. Last week , I saw a new doctor and he told me that it is a catch all term meaning simply that there is nothing surgically they can do for you OR that you have had surgery and you did not respond.

    My biggest advice is not to get upset and to seek a 2nd or 3rd opinion. I just found out last week that I have a legimate problem that will probably require surgery. On Monday, I am having tests to verify that my 2nd opinion is correct.

    I am telling you my story not to have your pity or anyone elses. I want to share with you that I was completely torn up by this diagnosis and became very depressed. I gave up so to speak and quick talking about pain to very few people. I sat for 5 months in misery not realizing that my condition was fixable. So I beg you don't take just one persons diagnosis. Seek other opinions, you may in fact be fixable.

    They also call this failed laminectomy syndrome.

    As far as the stim implant, the cadalliac of the implants is supposed to be Advanced Bionics. Here is a thread that you might find helpful.

    [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=598898&page=4[/url]

    Good luck and I am lifting you up in prayer.

    Last edited by ms_west; 05-10-2008 at 05:49 PM.

     
    Old 05-10-2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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    Wink Re: Failed back surgery syndrome? Pain implant?

    I also have failed back and failed lami. syndrome. I was told by my pain management dr. that it is actually a syndrome. He said that there are people who's fusion or other back surgery don't work, but they dont have any additional pain. But, there are those who after a failed surgery, is in even more pain, than before the surgery. If this pain can not be explained by any new problems, then these are the requirements to be dx. with this syndrome. He said they don't understand why some people have this new pain, post surgery, and some don't have it.

    As for the stimulator, it is something that is usually tried, when all else has failed. Not because it is less effective, neccesarilly, but because it is an invassive surgery and that is always the last resource. They will first do a trial, in your Drs. office, probably. Then, if the trial works, they will do the implant, surgically. The booklet that came with my stimulator set, said that out of all the sucessful trials, 68% of the implants work. So, it is not a definate thing, that if the trial works, then the surgical one will work. My thought behind it was since this was the last hope, if the surgery did not work, then I gave up 2-4 weeks of recovery time, out of my life. So, for me, it was worth giving it a try. I had some relief, but then I started having different pains and worse in strength. I have just been dx. with Arachnoiditis, which had we know that ahead of time, I would not have been a candidate for this surgery.

    I think it is a good thing to give a look into, as long as you realize it does not work for everyone.

    Lorie
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    Old 05-10-2008, 08:54 PM   #4
    crittermom
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    Re: Failed back surgery syndrome? Pain implant?

    I was one of the unlucky ones that the spinal stimulator didn't work for, I had such high hopes of it working for me. Showed up at the doctor, even the receptionist was happy to see me and pulling for me, when I got there she beamed at me and said "today is the big day" and I beamed back at her and said yup, I am here and ready.

    I was taken back to a treatment room, my back was scrubbed, area numbed, I was being given conscious sedation throughout the procedure, everything was stitched in place and they got me up and took me to another room where a tech from the company was waiting for me to turn it on and dial it in. My back problems are in my lower back; L4-S1 and that is the area he was shooting for. He turned it on and at first I felt it in my legs, he continued to try to dial everything in and I began to feel more pain especially in my left knee; I have had 4 surgeries on my left knee and I have a lot of scar tissue in it. He kept trying and trying and the pain got so intense I was screaming SHUT IT OFF SHUT IT OFF!!! The doctor finally ordered it removed. No rhyme or reason why it would not go any higher than my left knee and it was classified as a failure.

    That was a very low point day for me, I was really counting on it helping me. I know I am one of the few that it has gone this way for but we are out here.

    Last edited by crittermom; 05-11-2008 at 10:01 AM.

     
    Old 05-10-2008, 10:16 PM   #5
    lfoster21
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    Wink Re: Failed back surgery syndrome? Pain implant?

    I can understand that, as I had a similar situation with my trial. I too have lot of pain from l3-s1 and during the trial, there was too much scar tissue for them to get the leads at the correct level, to cover the back. So, the Dr. threaded it up to the T-levels, where they could get the same responses. When they were done with the trial and placed the leads at T10/11...I too went back to work with the rep. and it was just in the leg and he kept trying to up it, until like you said, I had to have him turn it off. I went back into have them do an x-ray and the rep. was in the room and said that the reason it could not reach my lower back, was because for that area, the leads had to be at the t7/8 level only. If they can not get it to that area, no matter what program or the stregnth of the vibrations, it will never get to the lower back.

    Now that I know that now...I want to tell people that, before they go in. My PM Dr. did not know that and he tried to put it as low as possible, but if he know it absolutly had to be at that 1 level and he knew the scar tissue would prevent him from getting there, he would never have continued trying to get it to work. I don't know if that makes sense, the way I said it. I just know now, that in order to get back relief, the leads have to be at T7/8.

    Lorie
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    Old 05-11-2008, 10:18 PM   #6
    BlueAtlas
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    Re: Failed back surgery syndrome? Pain implant?

    Jen, I think it's rather early for any doctor to be deciding that you have failed back syndrome. I can take a year or even longer for a fusion to occur. And some people's fusions simply don't show up on x-ray. Justoneofus is a perfect example. At 7 months, after showing absolutely no bone growth on x-ray, they finally did a CT scan and she was completely fused! Don't lose hope! You may still get a good fusion. Another opinion would be good if you can find someone who's willing to look at you so soon after surgery by another doctor.

    I wish you the best. Hang in there!
    Emily

     
    Old 05-12-2008, 07:00 AM   #7
    lfoster21
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    Wink Re: Failed back surgery syndrome? Pain implant?

    That is what my Dr. said, as well. After both surgeries, he said that his golden rule was that he doesn't re-dx. or treat anything new to a patient, until they are at the 1 year post op mark. He also said that some continue to heal for up to 2 years.

    Lorie
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