Discussions that mention lyrica

Back Problems board


I received one back in July after 2 back surgeries on my lower back resulting from an injury received while riding in a boat. I received a Medtronics rechargeable unit with what they referred to as the "Mercedes" of leads. My battery is actually implanted in my lower left back just about where my rib cage ends, instead of in my butt cheek. I have the remote that allows me to change the pulse and strength of the stimulation. The recharge unit is slightly bigger than the remote unit. You leave it plugged in to the wall to make sure it's charged when you need it. When recharging time comes I plug it into what is basically a round magnet, roughly 5 inches in diameter that is attached to a belt. The belt is placed around my waste so that the magnet is directly over the battery implant. I the cut the charger on, synchronizing it to the battery and lay down to allow it to charge. I have to do this about every two weeks and it takes about 4 hours to reach a full charge.

The surgery was done in the early morning and I stayed in the hospital overnight, leaving early the next morning. The incision for the battery was probably 3 inches long. The incision on my spine was a couple inches longer. I was very sore for the first couple weeks after the implants were put in and it took awhile to get used to the feeling of the battery in my back. I always explained the feeling as being similar to having a deck of playing cards in your back. It feels that big at first. Gradually that feeling goes away and you get used to it to the point you don't really notice it anymore. I had to wait 2 weeks after the surgery before the unit was turned on by the Medtronics rep. I was told the reason for the wait was to allow the surgical site to heal without aggravating it.

At first the stimulator worked great knocking out close to 70% of my pain. I'd say I had that much relief for close to a month after the turn on date. After that though it started to have much less effectiveness. I returned to the doctor and met with both he and the Medtronics rep, they decided that I had developed scar tissue on the leads. I had very painful deep tissue massage done to help break up the scar tissue. After the muscle soreness went away this seemed to help a bit though it never got back to the original success.

I'd say it gives a good 40 to 50 percent relief on most days. If your looking for a magic bullet to take all your pain away then I would say don't do this as it will almost certainly be an expensive disappointment for you. If however you are looking for something that, in league with pain medication, will give you enough relief to live more of a normal life then I would say go for it.

Before having the implant done I was walking with a cane. I can now go on short walks without it (most days at least). By short walks I mean around the block walking my dog. I'd say it's biggest benefit is allowing me to sit in front of the computer long enough to actually get some work done. I still cannot stand in one place for anything more than a minute or two without agonizing pain in my lower back and buttocks.

As for the stimulator itself it takes a bit of getting used to. Though it's well worth any negatives for the pain relief it provides it can at times be very distracting depending on how high you have it turned up. Mine makes me feel like I have to pee when turned up past a certain point. That took some getting used to. I eventually has several programs installed on the remote unit that effected different parts of my body depending on the pain my activities were causing. I have one program that is great for the pain I incur while sitting, another that I use for walking or standing, and yet another that I use for sleeping.

I still take 90 mg Morphine for pain, Baclofen twice daily as a muscle relaxer, and Lyrica as a daily anti-inflammatory. As a result of the pain and weight gain from the back injury I developed high blood pressure so I went on medication for that. I was prescribed Cymbalta though not for depression but rather for it's pain relief benefits in regard to the nerve pain. I haven't had any negative side effects from it other than a vertigo feeling I get if I miss a dosage or two.

I hope this info helps.