Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

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Bill in Oregon
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Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by Bill in Oregon »

After three lumbar fusions, a laminectomy and six rounds of corticosteroidal injections, I am at the point where my diagnosis is "Failed Back Syndrome."
My pain specialist wants to try one more round of injections, and if that doesn't help with the severe lower back, right hip and right leg pain, he says I am an "ideal" candidate for a pain stimulator implant -- this one the Abbott Labs Burst DR Spinal Cord Stimulator. Abbott's version comes with a battery that lasts up to 10 years and requires no recharging.
Just googling around on the subject of stimulators, the things certainly seem to come with risks, helping some as promised and burning, shocking and paralyzing others.
Anyone out here with first-hand experience with these devices?
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Grizz
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by Grizz »

i didn't know such things exist, and i'm very sorry to hear about your pain...

i do know the Savior and pray He will heal you, guide you, and relieve your suffering . . . and inform your physicians

best, Grizz
3leggedturtle
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by 3leggedturtle »

Dont know what say! Didnt realize you had it that bad. You wont know about side effects til they implant it?
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Blaine
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by Blaine »

Prayers.
:(
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Marvin S
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by Marvin S »

Just second hand Bill. I know a gal in her 50s that has had one for a couple years to treat low back problems. She seems to be having good results so far.
Bill in Oregon
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Todd, they put in the three leads and attach a temporary battery taped to your skin. You then get a week or so to have the thing on and see if it works before they actually implant the device.
Blaine, Grizz, Marvin, thanks.
hfcable
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by hfcable »

for some patients they work extremely well. most patients get significant benefit. severe complications are fortunately rare. most importantly needs to be done by someone with a lot of experience.

I know lots of patients who have them and benefit from them
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Old No7
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by Old No7 »

Acupuncture

Try it before anything more radical.

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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by gamekeeper »

I'm sorry to hear about your back pain Bill, I sure hope the stimulator works it does sound promising.
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octagon
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by octagon »

A good pal with degenerative disc disease since adolescence, was taking massive amts of narcotics and was becoming suicidal due to chronic pain. The implants worked well for a few years and then he started back with increasing amts of narcs once again. He carries a transistor radio sized chingaso to dial the impulses up and down his spine where needed. He has a physically demanding job he has kept solely due to this implant device.
4t5
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by 4t5 »

A friend of mine( in his 90's ) had it done, gave him a new lease on life as far as his leg pain was concerned.
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AJMD429
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by AJMD429 »

IF you try a proper dual-mode interferential stimulator (not just a basic TENS unit) and get results, it is sure hopeful for an implanted nerve stimulator to work.

I have lots of patients with them who seem happy with them.

Keep in mind that neuropathic pain like that from disks, chemo, diabetes, and so on, may improve dramatically if you deal with they kynurenate pathway and the pyridoxine and cobalamin and folic acid effects on methylation. Those things often require 'activated' vitamins that you don't get at the regular drug store, but typically have to order from supplement companies like Thorne and others - and some are good quality at good price, and some are crappy rip-offs. We got so tired of patients taking our typed-up list we spent so much time on, and heading off to GNC, or their neighbor who distributes some essential oils and such, then not getting results after spending tons of money, that we started just buying the stuff ourselves that we KNEW was good quality, and re-selling it to patients, so they got the right stuff. Best to do some testing, such as homocysteine blood or urine levels, and MTHFR genetics (the cobalamin pathway is testable but way more nebulous), and the urine 'drug screen' company ETHOS does a biomarker 'pain panel' on urine that helps. Many patients have issues requiring products like MethylGuard Plus (Thorne), but about one in five has terrific improvement.

Even the ones who don't have pain, or whose pain doesn't improve, have better cardiac outcomes if their homocysteine is elevated and we keep it below 8.0 or so. That isn't complete help unless the doctor makes sure the LDL-P is below 1,000 (even if the LDL-C is below 70 you have to go by the LDL-P), makes sure the fasting INSULIN (not sugar) is normal, and for men, makes sure the free testosterone is in the NORMAL (not 'reference range' - NORMAL - which is a different thing entirely) range. Even for guys without bedroom issues, testosterone levels being normal helps to minimize pain effect, and the only caveat there is make sure the estrogen levels don't rise upon treatment (easy fix if they do with a once-weekly pill to counter that), and make sure the hemoglobin doesn't rise (if it does, it doesn't mean the testosterone is doing something bad and needs stopped - it just means there is likely undiagnosed sleep apnea or something else driving the hemoglobin up that the low testosterone (which drives hemoglobin down) was masking - and the doc needs to look for that. Baseline coagulation screens should reflect absence of tendency to clot too easily, as well.

Finally, work with a compounding pharmacist to try different topical, if the symptoms are fairly localized; sometimes a topical with a strong muscle relaxant will work well locally when the same medication used orally would be too sedating.

Lots of docs don't know about the above things, because if you work as a hospital employee, you don't get time to read much journal literature, other than what they deem 'acceptable' for recertification purposes. They also aren't going to get any bonus money for ordering "outside labs" versus stuff that is in-network. Anyway, we have had lots of our chronic pain patients either a) be able to reduce the dose of their evil opioids and still do ok, or b) have so much improvement that they increase their activity and thus improve their health and well-being, even if they can't reduce their evil opioids.

Unfortunately, most of the above get ignored and the best the patient gets is some ibuprofen and gabapentin. which essentially deadens nerves instead of allowing them to heal and restore their ability to filter out pain versus other signals.

Bottom line on the nerve stimulators though - I think they help.
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by piller »

I have heard of them needing to be removed, although that is rare. For the most part, they seem to work.
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Bill in Oregon
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Thanks Doc, Piller.
I am on 2400 mg of gabapentin and cannot tell a difference.
Yodar
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by Yodar »

Biil,
I can empathize. I have been having pain just as you describe for several months. I have tried physical therapy, spinal de-compression, and pain shots. Finally had surgery on Wednesday (back home Thursday afternoon) by a very good neurosurgeon here in Prescott. He took out two synovial cysts and some arthritis from the area of lumbar 4 and 5. The pain is gone as of the moment. I am grounded for five days, no shower or bath and no driving. No bending over and no twisting. No shooting from the bench for two months, no trap shooting for four months. Post operative therapy is walk, walk, and more walking; preferable outside in the sunshine. I use a walker to get around while in the house. Doctor recommends high stepping to stretch muscles and ligaments. It looks really silly but it is what the doctor ordered.

I hope you find some relief soon. My case sounds like a walk in the park compared to yours (no pun intended).

Wishing you the best.
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ollogger
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by ollogger »

Have you checked into stem cell shots? my wife has a dead talus bone in her ankle & 2 bad knees that caused her a lot of pain , so much that
she would come home from work crying, long story short she had 3 stem cell shots a year ago. results on the knees and ankle took just a few days
with in 2 weeks she would come home happy as could be saying its a miracle I have no more pain, we know maybe 6 -8 people around here that have had
great results from stem cell shots, my wife used her own stem cells , down side is its all out of pocket as of now insurance wont cover it but it was the best five thousand bucks we ever spent




ollogger
Bill in Oregon
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Re: Spinal cord stimulator anyone?

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Yodar, glad you are getting relief. I still walk a lot, and managed a 4 1/2-mile hike yesterday, gritting my teeth the whole way.
Olloger, I have not paid attention to the stem cell therapy, and perhaps I should. Being on Social Security I doubt I could afford it. Hoping the injection next week actually works for a change.
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