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Need advice on getting a spine stimulator implant
#1
Hello all
Have not been on for quite a while, sorry. I tried going to a new pain management doctor here in NY. Nobody seems to want to dispense pain meds, especially to new patients. He was quick to tell me he could give me a spinal cord stimulator. I asked my neurologist and he said it may not be a bad idea.
I am going back to my current PM to see what he thinks of it and why he hasn't suggested it in the past. will also check with my surgeon about this
I was injured back in 2005 and have had 2 cervical spine operations. first in 2007 with C5-7 fused and then in 2009 with C4-5 joining the party. I also have a herniated disc above at C3-4 that has progressed over the past year.
Suffer from severe neck, shoulder, upper back pain constantly. you name it and I've tried it.
Been on almost every kind of med and currently taking 5-325 perc 4 times a day (has been that dose for years), Zanaflex (muscle relaxer) and ibuprofen. Was taking Lyrica, Cymbalta, Mobic, etc, etc
So with my doc not wanting to increase my pain meds is the stimulator a good option? What percentage find relief?

Thanks
Take Care and Be Well
Tom
 
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#2
My wife and I both have SCS and both are for lower back injuries. We both get relief with them. For me the nerve pain I had in the leg was something I could never get meds to help with and like you I had tried about all the different ones out there. For my leg it was hardest when I laid down to try and sleep, my leg would drive me nuts. This SCS took all that away, now I do still get pains that shoot down my leg but I can say I would not want to live without it. Good thing now is I was told the other day they have a new one that will still let you have an MRI. With the ones the wife and I have we can't have an MRI. And I asked the doctor if when ours needed to be replaced if they could do the new leads and he said no so that sucks.

One good thing about an SCS is they do a trial with them before they implant one. With the trial you should be able to get a good idea of how well it will work for you
 
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#3
Thanks for the reply
Sounds encouraging although I have viewed a couple of YouTube videos where they said the trial worked but the actual implant not so much. Another said it helped in the beginning but a few months in it lost effectiveness. I guess everyone is different
I would definitely need one to work with MRI's

Thanks again
Take Care and Be Well
Tom
 
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#4
Both of us have not noticed a loss in how well it works. I would make sure about the MRI's if that is important for you. I have had a couple times since I had mine that they would have done an MRI but I can't. Well I can have one of my head only and did do that. Tech had to call the doctor to make sure even after I told him the doctor that put in my SCS ordered the MRI so I think he would know. But I'm glad they were thinking.
Not sure if all are safe for MRI's now or if only some or if they might cost more. They might not get the leads in the same place in the trial that they do for the implant but I would think with being able to change the contacts they use it would just be a matter of getting the right comb.
 
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#5
A family member had one about 5 years ago. It was a simple procedure and it wasn't too bad he stated. The first few days, he got a lot of relief from it then about day 3, he started having severe lower back spasms and an increase in pain, so severe at times, that it would bring him to tears. On day 6, he had it removed and instantly felt better in regards to the added pain it was causing.
The doctor said that the leads must have been up against some scar tissue. Obviously, it was was not a good choice for him to have one. He has tried Neurontin, Lyrica, injections; meds gave him severe unwanted side effects; injections didn't work. Currently, he is maintaining on Flexeril and Tramadol, lots of icing the area and not overdoing things. He had two herniated discs at L4-L5, a laminectomy, DJD all the way up to T3 now. Says his spine feels like it's on a pivot at times.

Another person I know has an implant and swears that it helps emmensly.
Yes, they do a trial of one first and then as long as things go as planned, then do the permanent one.

Good luck! Hopefully you will be one of the ones that gets relief from it!
 
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#6
I did the trial "st Jude's" 2 weeks ago .. The procedure itself is very similar to a epidural injection .. You will be awake but won't feel much .. I didn't get relief from the device at all but everyone is different .. I kept getting zapped every time I sat down or when I moved the wrong way .. Good luck and remember it's only a trial
 
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#7
I have a SCS for my lumbar area, as others have said everyone is different in their pains and kinds of pain. So stimulators work different for different people. Mine is in the lumbar area I need a 4 level fusion and no surgeon will do it, That is why I went with the SCS. As we all know I have had 2 cervical fusions, I am now fused from the C4 through the C7 and I still have intense pain in my neck shoulders and arms. I to have been through all the drug cocktails also. I am currently on Cymbalta, Zanaflex and a 24 hr, Duladon (now spelled right) along with oxycodone. They have offered to put a second SCS in for my cervical area but I have right now refused it. I an not sure I want to go through the process again. I would have to do the trial again and physicatric testing and all like I was a new patient for one. So that is why I have put it on the back burner for now. But they all work differently for different people. Once the battery dies and they have to replace it some people have taken them out, if they have them out the lead is left in the body, I was told because of all the tissue that has grown and formed around the lead. that is why it would be left in. So something to consider. I was never told that until after the implant. Something to consider.
Cervical Fusion 2003, c5-c6. Herniated and damaged Disc L1- L4-L5 S1. Lumbar Spinal Cord stimulator implant 09-2008. Cervical ACDF revision with hardware c4-c5-c6-c7 Sept 2009.
SSDI approved 3-2010. NOW OFFICIALY RETIRED
 
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#8
Remember if you decide to go along with trial and if it doesn't give you relief or at least 50% then don't do the permanent !! The reps will try and pitch you and say how the permament one will work better but if the trial didnt work then I wouldn't do permanent ... Just my suggestion because after the trial didnt work for me the reps from company tried talking me into getting perm for an hour and wouldn't take NO for a answer but I kept giving them NO!!!
 
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#9
I got the trial.Didn't work for me, it kept lighting me up every time I coughed, sat up, or even slightly moved. There are several pre-set programs in it to use, and I tried all of them. I tried to keep it the full trial time, but eventually turned it off.
Like stated above, the rep pushes it hard, wants you to have it. Almost forcefully
I have talked to some that found it to be the magic cure.

I wish it had worked, I sure would like to be on less medication than I am
 
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#10
I have a spinalcord stimulator it is a boston scientific stimulator been having it since august 2008 it took away a lest 50 % of the pain don't have to take a lot of meds it works good once I was able to let them set the settings right I haven't had any problems and it stays on all day everyday.
 
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