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    Old 05-20-2011, 07:39 AM   #1
    waz57
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    Spinal cord stimulator

    Hi I was diagnosed last November with Arachnoiditis my neruo surgeon has tried a number of things with the last being Facet plate injections and epidural steroid injections which didn't work and did make the pains in my legs and feet worse.
    So now my Neuro is talking about a spinal cord stimulator, I have been explained what they do etc and I was wondering if anyone out there has had this.

     
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    Old 05-20-2011, 09:21 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    I have not had one implanted, so am not speaking from personal experience...but I do know some people who have found relief and are now functioning much better after one was implanted.

    There are lots of old threads on this board where you can read of others' experiences. Just type in spinal cord stimulator into the search box at the top of this page, and it will take you there.

    Considering that there are not many good options to treat arachnoiditis, I would think it would be worth going through the trial to see if it helps you.

    Here's one entry to get you started:

    http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=694346

    Last edited by teteri66; 05-20-2011 at 09:23 AM.

     
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    Old 05-22-2011, 12:01 AM   #3
    shelsers75
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    hi, my mam had this done 5 yrs ago and has never looked back, she got it to control nerve pain in her leg as everything else failed. she also suffered with back problems but she had to choose between and the leg pain was worse for her. i hope this helps and im sure if you talk to your doctors they can give you all the options. my mam could barely walk and was falling and since having this implanted she has been to american twice and walked disneyland . i hope you can get the same kind of relief, take care shelsers

     
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    Old 05-26-2011, 08:01 PM   #4
    chef dude
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    Hello Waz57 I had a spinal cord stimulator made by Boston Scientific it took 2 surgeries to get it properly installed. Mine was used to reduce and mask my lower back and leg pain. After my second install surgery the lead in my spine that affected my lower back moved after my recovery, I was receiving considerable relieve for about 2 years. In fact without it I doubt I could have continued working. It was decided to not try to fix the upper lead as it did not seem to be effective on the lower back but was helping greatly with my legs.The unit is charged thru your skin and you need to recharge regularly but I found that the process was easy and involved wearing a belt with a small unit that rests over an implanted battery that was located above my right hip. I did finally have it removed due to it becoming irritating instead of helpful. It would allow me to get through the day standing etc pretty hard core work but then at night I suffer from muscular cramps and spasms. You should not use the unit constantly and it is better to change to the variety of programs available. You control it with a remote control and you have the ability to adjust intensity and types of stimulation. In the beginning you meet with a rep from the company and they help to adjust the programs as you go to fit the unit to your needs and help you the best they can. I would give it a chance if you have the opportunity. I did still have pain issues and required epidural injections and gabapentin, and vicodin 5mg /500mg etc but it was helpful. Unfortunately I developed more back issues and had another fusion surgery and decided since I was having surgery I decided to take the unit out. One problem with the unit is you can no longer have MRI's for diagnosis and will need to have a myelogram if further tests are needed if you continue to have issues. I hope this helps, and I wish you best of health and may you find relieve.

     
    Old 05-26-2011, 09:27 PM   #5
    waz57
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chef dude View Post
    Hello Waz57 I had a spinal cord stimulator made by Boston Scientific it took 2 surgeries to get it properly installed. Mine was used to reduce and mask my lower back and leg pain. After my second install surgery the lead in my spine that affected my lower back moved after my recovery, I was receiving considerable relieve for about 2 years. In fact without it I doubt I could have continued working. It was decided to not try to fix the upper lead as it did not seem to be effective on the lower back but was helping greatly with my legs.The unit is charged thru your skin and you need to recharge regularly but I found that the process was easy and involved wearing a belt with a small unit that rests over an implanted battery that was located above my right hip. I did finally have it removed due to it becoming irritating instead of helpful. It would allow me to get through the day standing etc pretty hard core work but then at night I suffer from muscular cramps and spasms. You should not use the unit constantly and it is better to change to the variety of programs available. You control it with a remote control and you have the ability to adjust intensity and types of stimulation. In the beginning you meet with a rep from the company and they help to adjust the programs as you go to fit the unit to your needs and help you the best they can. I would give it a chance if you have the opportunity. I did still have pain issues and required epidural injections and gabapentin, and vicodin 5mg /500mg etc but it was helpful. Unfortunately I developed more back issues and had another fusion surgery and decided since I was having surgery I decided to take the unit out. One problem with the unit is you can no longer have MRI's for diagnosis and will need to have a myelogram if further tests are needed if you continue to have issues. I hope this helps, and I wish you best of health and may you find relieve.
    Hi, thank you very much for your reply. I see you live in a nice part of the woods too Florida would be a place I would like to go to and do a bit of fishing. I live in Queensland Australia. Now about this pump, do they cut through your stomach or do they proceed through your back ? the reason I ask is I have a lot of scaring after 5 operations last year and that and the CT Mylegram has caused Aracknoiditus.
    I have had the facet joint injections plus the Steroid injections both of which did nothing except give me more pain. I am on 2700 mg of Gabapentin a day with a 16 mg Jurnista plus panadole osteo daily, the Gabapentin has its downs as well as I start to fall asleep at mid day. Funny the other day I was lying in bed and I was awake but sleeping and I looked down at my chest and got a hell of a fright it was my arm across my chest !!!. The doctors had me on Lyrica 600 mg a day but that gave me terrible dreams and strange thoughts so I said no more of that stuff, some days I think yeah sure the drugs are not doing anything so I stop mhhhh not a cleaver move.
    I believe this opp is a biggy but I cant find info on it ? do you have an idea how long a stay is with this procedure.

    Regards

    Wazza

     
    Old 05-27-2011, 02:57 PM   #6
    chef dude
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    Hello Wazza, or Good day Mate, hope you are getting by after the floods. I just wrote I nice reply but I am not sure it went thru so I will give it another go, if 2 posts show up that is why. I used to fish and their is some good fishing here if you get the chance both fresh and salt and being in middle of state keeps you can go to Gulf or Atlantic sides. Anyways let me answer your questions. The stimulator was installed thru my back it needed 2 incisions 1 for the leads to the spine and 1 for the battery pack, the incisions where about 2 to 3 inches or .78 to 1 plus centimeter in length.They said it had a 10 year life span on the equipment. It was an out patient procedure and I went home after a few hours. A lot of restrictions at home until everything heals up. 2 weeks no work. They keep you strongly sedated until the end then they bring you out a bit to fine tune the placement to ensure it is in its best position for you. I should have mentioned before the unit is implanted they give you a test drive by taping a unit temporarily to your back with a lot of surgical tape and let you go home and try it out for 3 to 5 days to see how it works for you and to make sure you want to continue with the internal installation. Then if you decide to have it done they schedule an outpatient procedure.The battery pack was placed on my waist line above the right hip. It was not uncomfortable and charging was easy. Wow you really had a lot of surgeries 5 in one year good God. This would be a breeze in comparison. I can't believe the amount of gabapentin you are prescribed, I currently take 1200 mg per day and the most i had been prescribed is 1800 mg. I was wondering why i can sleep at weird times and with no notice of drowsiness onset. I am unfamiliar with the other meds you mentioned. In the past I have had Soma, Xelexian, baclofen, Lidocaine patches and about a year ago they tried Cymbalta. I had to stop the Cymbalta, they can keep those mood drugs, they are for the birds. I had those weird feelings and I had a hard time dealing with people which was a major part of my job. I am currently taking vicodin 7.5mg/ 500mg 4x per day, gabapentin 400mg 3x per day, and xanaflex 4mg 2x per day. I am drowsy and sleepy from my current meds and have stopped driving due to med side effects and the muscular cramps which don't make me feel safe behind the wheel. I want to tell you how the unit worked to reduce my pain. Basically I could still feel pain but it was defused by the static the stimulator creates at the nerve level. If you ever had a tens unit in physical therapy it is very similar but your stimulator is inside and acts like a vibrator for your nerves. I used to joke I wish it would work on more than my nerves so another person could enjoy it too lol but it only works for you. The unit masks your pain and interferes with the pain reaching your brain. It was a bit weird, but at that point in my illness it was very useful it helping me continue to work for another 2 years. I would turn it on when I got to work before a started a 8-10 hour day standing etc.and being on my feet the majority of my day. As far as the back it was not as effective but perhaps the install was not the best for that area and eventually the lead that controlled my back moved so it was no longer contacting the nerves and was rendered ineffective.After my unit was installed I continued with the epidural injections as needed for back pain. I too try to slow down the meds but now I find better relieve taking the medicine at the regular intervals so the pain level doesn't get to be too much to handle. My last surgery was a laminectomy and lumbar fusion L2-S1 with screws and rods etc. and I had the stimulator removed due to I became tolerant to it and it was not effective.One drawback for the unit is once it is installed you can no longer have MRI's in the future due to the equipment and you will need to have myelograms as the only method to see what is going on. Hope this helps and all the best to you folks in OZ.

    Respectfully,

    Chef Dude

     
    Old 05-28-2011, 04:00 PM   #7
    Chickinard
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    I have had a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) for 10 months. When I first got it, it helped with moderate pain. Once my pain became severe it would not help. Then I began to have nothing but severe pain which has been the case for about the last 5 months until about 3 weeks ago. At that time my PM Dr. put me on Cymbalta. I was already on Gabbapentin. The Cymbalta has helped me greatly and has gotten the pain level back down to where the SCS helps. I am not pain free by any means but it is manageable and I can now stand to cook a meal or go on a short shopping expedition without being in tears.
    If you are interested in the SCS you will start with a 4-5 day trial. If it works for you then your surgeon will permanently install the paddles deep into your spine. A laminectomy is usually required to get into the spine deep enough. The battery is installed in a pocket right under the skin in whichever hip you choose. You charge the SCS by holding the charger paddle on the skin over the battery by a belt.There are many settings and programs for you to use. You will spend a lot of time with your rep of the manufacturer. My SCS is a Medtronics. I hope this helps. You probably should do the trial.

     
    Old 05-29-2011, 06:05 AM   #8
    waz57
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chef dude View Post
    Hello Wazza, or Good day Mate, hope you are getting by after the floods. I just wrote I nice reply but I am not sure it went thru so I will give it another go, if 2 posts show up that is why. I used to fish and their is some good fishing here if you get the chance both fresh and salt and being in middle of state keeps you can go to Gulf or Atlantic sides. Anyways let me answer your questions. The stimulator was installed thru my back it needed 2 incisions 1 for the leads to the spine and 1 for the battery pack, the incisions where about 2 to 3 inches or .78 to 1 plus centimeter in length.They said it had a 10 year life span on the equipment. It was an out patient procedure and I went home after a few hours. A lot of restrictions at home until everything heals up. 2 weeks no work. They keep you strongly sedated until the end then they bring you out a bit to fine tune the placement to ensure it is in its best position for you. I should have mentioned before the unit is implanted they give you a test drive by taping a unit temporarily to your back with a lot of surgical tape and let you go home and try it out for 3 to 5 days to see how it works for you and to make sure you want to continue with the internal installation. Then if you decide to have it done they schedule an outpatient procedure.The battery pack was placed on my waist line above the right hip. It was not uncomfortable and charging was easy. Wow you really had a lot of surgeries 5 in one year good God. This would be a breeze in comparison. I can't believe the amount of gabapentin you are prescribed, I currently take 1200 mg per day and the most i had been prescribed is 1800 mg. I was wondering why i can sleep at weird times and with no notice of drowsiness onset. I am unfamiliar with the other meds you mentioned. In the past I have had Soma, Xelexian, baclofen, Lidocaine patches and about a year ago they tried Cymbalta. I had to stop the Cymbalta, they can keep those mood drugs, they are for the birds. I had those weird feelings and I had a hard time dealing with people which was a major part of my job. I am currently taking vicodin 7.5mg/ 500mg 4x per day, gabapentin 400mg 3x per day, and xanaflex 4mg 2x per day. I am drowsy and sleepy from my current meds and have stopped driving due to med side effects and the muscular cramps which don't make me feel safe behind the wheel. I want to tell you how the unit worked to reduce my pain. Basically I could still feel pain but it was defused by the static the stimulator creates at the nerve level. If you ever had a tens unit in physical therapy it is very similar but your stimulator is inside and acts like a vibrator for your nerves. I used to joke I wish it would work on more than my nerves so another person could enjoy it too lol but it only works for you. The unit masks your pain and interferes with the pain reaching your brain. It was a bit weird, but at that point in my illness it was very useful it helping me continue to work for another 2 years. I would turn it on when I got to work before a started a 8-10 hour day standing etc.and being on my feet the majority of my day. As far as the back it was not as effective but perhaps the install was not the best for that area and eventually the lead that controlled my back moved so it was no longer contacting the nerves and was rendered ineffective.After my unit was installed I continued with the epidural injections as needed for back pain. I too try to slow down the meds but now I find better relieve taking the medicine at the regular intervals so the pain level doesn't get to be too much to handle. My last surgery was a laminectomy and lumbar fusion L2-S1 with screws and rods etc. and I had the stimulator removed due to I became tolerant to it and it was not effective.One drawback for the unit is once it is installed you can no longer have MRI's in the future due to the equipment and you will need to have myelograms as the only method to see what is going on. Hope this helps and all the best to you folks in OZ.

    Respectfully,

    Chef Dude
    Gooday mate well thank you very much for the detailed discussion about the Stim. I will know on Tuesday what my neuro is going to do as I am under the impression that they go in from the front as I have a friend here that they did it that way, so 2 more sleeps. I think to with the Arachnoiditis my Neuro would try and avoid any more scarring around my spinal column. My ARC has been pin pointed to my last Myelogram and also the chemical meningitis so will point that little beauty to them.

    Wazza

     
    Old 05-30-2011, 09:52 PM   #9
    waz57
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    Chef Dude

    Not of Charm city cakes are you ??
    Okay went to the Neuro today and have found out that W/C have not approved it BUGGER !! But its a minor hurdle. I asked him when we got for Surgery what will he do. So halfway up my back he will make an incision and feed a wire down my spine and re direct it out near my hip. Then someone come in each day to and tests many areas tweaking the so they can program the box after the are happy they put me back into surgery an place the box in so it total I will be in hospital for about 7 days and have two surgeries. SO now I have to wait for Work Cover.

    Wazza

     
    Old 08-23-2011, 01:30 PM   #10
    brazen07
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waz57 View Post
    Hi I was diagnosed last November with Arachnoiditis my neruo surgeon has tried a number of things with the last being Facet plate injections and epidural steroid injections which didn't work and did make the pains in my legs and feet worse.
    So now my Neuro is talking about a spinal cord stimulator, I have been explained what they do etc and I was wondering if anyone out there has had this.
    I've had a SCS made by Boston Sceintific for 3 years. I went thru the trial phase which at the time felt better than my current state. I elected to go with the permanent one to treat my RSD. In my opinion it's the worse decision I've ever made. The rep who was on my case promised they'd always be a phone call away if I need some tweaking and programming. After the procedure was done I couldn't get them on the phone to do anything. In other words they promised the world and gave me nothing. I finally called the corporate office and got thru. The reps excuse was he was snowboarding 3,000 miles away and offered me an apology. The things they don't tell you are you can never have an MRI after you have the final procedure. My RSD pain level is at a constant 9, but on occasion I'm at a 7 on a scale of 1-10. The device is designed to mask your pain signals to your brain. My battery takes about 10 hours to charge once it's low. The charger burns my skin, and my nerves are getting immune to the SCS. I have asked for the Dr. to remove the device and they keep saying it's a program issue not a device issue. I'm tired of going in circles, so I've hired an attorney, so maybe that will get their attention. My quality of life has got worse and affected my job, sleep, relationships, and transportation privelages. You can't drive while the device is on, because it could cause your nerves to respond and kill yourself, someone else, or both. I'm not saying that you'll have the same issues I've experienced but thought you would like to know the pros and cons. I pray everyday for a miracle and will pray that you find a peaceful and painfree life.

    Godspeed,
    Mike

     
    Old 08-24-2011, 05:40 AM   #11
    waz57
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    Re: Spinal cord stimulator

    Mike hello, Mhhh that detailed info is good thanks and also you cant use a welder ? that's a pity. But it doesn't matter now as W/C had an assessment from a Nero and a head doc and they both said no as I have to many psychological problem yeah paying the mortgage knowing i just cant work, normal problems that we all have.

    They just didn't want to do it as it was costing 50 K. So they have put a lump sum on the table of which we took, only because my total of permanent impairment was rated as 34% so now we commence the common law claim. I also joined my wife and myself to MBF with the top cover for hospitalization and it has a 1 year exclusion with pre existing. So now I will have to apply for a disability pension.
    I saw you said it interferes with your work I'm not even thinking of work as who wants a 54 year old that has a 20 cm scar u p his back and cant even walk straight.

    Did know about the driving, thanks for that. I don't know about you but I have no feeling to make love to my wife plus he is dead down there plus I have lost the urge for it, totally. Sleeping Hahahhaha I normally go to sleep between 1 and 2 or 3 a.m. and then my alarm goes off at 7.00 a.m. and I feel terrible.

    My drugs I am on 2,700 of Gabapentium a day, Jurnista 32 mg a day, 4 x Tramadole 150 4 x Codeine 30 mg plus 2 Endep 50. Apparently my GP used a program on his computer s if you type if the tablets and quantity of the drugs you are taking and it said that I am taking 200 mg of Morphine and it doesn't effect me during the day or driving and slowly but surely it is slowing down the effect from the drugs.

    Trying to stay on top of it. Hope you have a better outcome than I do


    Wazza

     
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