peripheral nerve stimulation

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ASteff
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 10/29/2008 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
So I'm new to this forum, I usually post in the crohns disease area since I also have that. Anyway I have had bad low back pain for about 10 years now and decided I'm sick of it. I have tried therapy, stretching, facet injections 2 epidurals and an si block. Nothing really helped so now they want to do this nerve stimulator thing and I just wanted to hear any info you all have on it.

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 10/31/2008 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi ASeff.

Welcome!
I don't have a nerve stimulator, but I do have a Spinal Cord Stimulator & I love it. It has made a huge difference in my quality of life. The nerves stimulator was another option for me, but I liked the doctor who did the SCS implant procedure better so I went with him.

I've talked to a lot of people who have the nerve stimulator for the neck, shoulder & arms area & they say it really helps them quite a bit. Everyone's a little different, but most people I know seem to be pretty happy with it.

There are a couple of brands. You might or might not have an option with the surgeon as to which one to use. If you do, I would recommend comparing size, time between re-charging, how it's recharged & what recalls have been issued.

An alternative, if you haven't tried it yet, might be Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation. That is a minimally invasive procedure (done through what is basically like a large needle) and can give you relief for months or even a few years. I got relief at one level (at top of my neck), but not at another (at base of my neck). I know they can also do them for low back pain. If you're a candidate, that might be worth a shot before you try the surgery.

If you have any questions, just let me know.

take care,
frances

ASteff
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 11/3/2008 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I guess right now my biggest conceren would be how this would affect testing for my crohns disease. I read that you cant have mri's any more. What other testing would be affected. This is all getting to be too much.
Amy
crohns disease...imuran 150/day resection in 06
gall bladder out in 07
back pain for over 10 years....who knows now
Shingles....just finished famvir 10/08
an abcess here and there


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 11/3/2008 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Amy,
No MRI's at all. Also, sometimes they don't want to do ultrasound directly over the implant.
A lot of times the same information can be acquired in a different way. For example, last Christmas as a substitute for an L-spine MRI to find out why I suddenly had severe back pain they did 1) a CT with contract, 2) a bone scan, 3) some kind of nuclear medicine where they tag your blood cells with radioactive particles and 4) some other kind of scan (don't remember what it was called). It took a lot longer than just doing an MRI, but supposedly accomplished the same thing. I would imagine, but don't know for sure, that there would also be alternatives to an MRI for your condition.

I would check with your GI doc to see what tests they would be able to run in absence of an MRI. You can let your GI know that the MRI can cause the leads to heat up to dangerous levels (I know for the SCS it heats the wires to 104F) that can put you at risk for burns, so it will not be possible to do any more MRI's. I would *very strongly* recommend that you get an MRI of your GI tract where the Chron's is located prior to the surgery. It is always good to have the most updated films possible for the future.

Don't just rely on the PM or NS to explain it to you. It really is important to find out from the doc who will actually be treating your condition b/c different docs are comfortable with different tests. If your GI won't treat you unless he can do MRI's, that would be important to know ahead of time so you can opt out of the surgery or find a new GI.

I know it's a lot to to through, but you really will make it. The MRI is part of the reason why I suggested maybe you consider an RF procedure first, but only you know what's right for you. The other thing I didn't find out until near my surgery date was that the batteries don't last forever. Depending on usage, you will have to have surgery to replace them approx. every 7-10 years. Not the worst thing, but still something to consider.

wishing you the best,
frances
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