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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/31/2010 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a Medtronics intrathecal pain pump installed on December 17th, 2009.  I too was very nervous like other people and did my homework. I was in an ATV accident in October 2007.  I had 7 fusions (T11-L5), bone grafting, 13.5 inch rods, collapsed lung.  This was actually my 3rd broken back as I used to race motocross 20 years ago.  So the fusions actually fixed the old injuries as well.  I then spent the next two years trying multiple medications to relieve my pain.  Due to my earlier injuries, I had developed an addiction to prescription pain medicine, I also had a very high tolerance to narcotics.  Because of my history of addiction, my doctors were very careful with my meds, usually not prescribing enough (due to my high tolerance) and therefore, leaving me with a lot of pain.  I was reluctant to get a pain pump, even after a few of my doctors were really pushing it, because it kind of freaked me out.  I have to say, having this pump installed has been the best thing I have done since my accident.  I have Dilaudid, 200mcg per day, which I understand is a very low dose (and I am happy about that because that means I dont have to go in that often to get it refilled!)  For the first month after my surgery I had virtually no back pain.  The last couple weeks I have started having more pain, especially in the morning.  I am going in tomorrow to have my doctor increase the dose slightly.  However, I was given a hand-held PTM, that allows me to give myslef a bolus.  My doctor says he does not know how to program the PTM.  It's not the first frustration I have had with his office and I guess I need to find a new pain doctor.  Anyway, if anybody out there has a PTM, have you had good luck with them? 

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16796
   Posted 1/31/2010 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Donedeal,
Welcome to Healing Well. I am so glad you found us but very sorry to hear about all of the troubles you have been through.I think you will find this to be one of the very best forums out there. We have a great group of compassionate and caring people here.
I too have a pump, mine was installed back in 05 before the PTM's. What you need to do is get a hold of Medtronic and they can get a representative out to your drs office and teach him how to program your PTM. I say this because once you have a pump implanted finding another dr willing to take you on as a patient is next to impossible. No one will say why, but I assume its liability issues. New drs don't want to touch us with a ten foot pole. Oh, yes, thats one of the things the drs fail to tell us before having these things implanted. I don't know where you live and what your access is to pain mgt drs in your area. I am in Tx. My pain mgt dr quit practicing (that was a blessing) and he referred 45 of us out to a new dr who is awesome and knows these pumps like the back of her hand. She does her own mixing of compounds for the pumps and is very smart. What is the mg strength used in your pump? I have 37.5 mg of Dilaudid and I receive 8mg over a 24hour period. Yes, because the medication is in a concentrated dose we use much less medication and it bypasses our liver. I also have Sufentanil, Clonodine and Bupivipcaine in my pump as well. My pump is a 90 day pump, however, my new dr changes the meds out in my pump every 6 weeks.  She says the medication starts losing its effectiveness sitting in these pumps and letting one go beyond 6 weeks the medication really breaks down. My new dr did more for me in one visit than my prior PM dr did in 2 yrs. He was not educated in pumps and medications used in pumps and his patients suffered needlessly because of his ignorance.  
Do you have any medication to take for BT pain? My dr says all pump patients needs oral meds for BT pain. Not many drs I understand will give BT meds. I trust my new dr totally. She has over a decade of experience with pumps and she is the leading pump dr in the state of Tx. She has more pump patients than any dr in the state and all she takes is pump patients. She is a retired neurosurgeon, very smart lady.
If you are serious about a new pump dr, number one you will need to be referred to one, perhaps your PCP can do this. If you have trouble finding a dr willing to take you on let me know, I can perhaps find a dr in your state. But in the meantime call Medtronic and they will send a representative out to your dr to show him how to do it. It does sound like you need a new dr, just don't burn no bridges until you are sure another dr will take you on. Again welcome aboard.


crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

Post Edited (straydog) : 1/31/2010 11:29:26 AM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/31/2010 1:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks very much for the info I live in Salt Lake City Utah. I just have not been very comfortable my dr from day one.

Stella Marie
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 2/1/2010 9:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a pump and love it too. I have Baclofen and Morphine. Call your local Medtronic Representative and have him meet you at the doctor's office. I don't have that feature, but my rep is always willing to answer questions or offer training. Also ask your rep about doctor's in the area that have more experience with pumps. It always great to know you have options.  The representative know exactly which doctors know what they are doing with the pumps.

Good luck.

Stella Marie

Moderator for Chronic Pain and Epilepsy

Rare neurodegenerative /movement disorder called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Mobility issues,, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, myoclonus, central apnea, collagenous colitis, joint and body pain, swallowing and respitory  involvement,  Implants: intrathecal pump & neurostimulator.  Extra features: O2 & wheelchair.



Post Edited (Stella Marie) : 2/2/2010 12:15:45 PM (GMT-7)

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