I am sorry to hear that you are in such pain. I have a neurostimulator and YES your legs are definately going to be a major area of stimulation. At first, I felt the stimulator was helpful in modifying my pain sensations, but now I regret that my old PM talked my in to it. Once I achieved adaquate pain control, I found myself using the stimulator less and less. I did not find that the stimulator changed my need for medication. To me it was just a change is sensations. I found that my basic pain was now overlaid with the tingling sensation of the stimulator. There were times when my pain was so severe and when the stimulator sensations were added, I was in sensory over load. It was like too many things happening to you at once. Another reason I regret the implant is that I can no longer have MRI's. With a disease like mine, plus a recent foot injury, diagnostic MrI's would have been helpful. You also have a major decision about the type of leads you plan to have implanted. The percutaneous leads (untethered to your spine) tend to float a bit. Movement of the leads when you lay down or sit up can cause hugh surges in the electrical sensation. There were times that the settings were perfect for reclining, but I felt like I was beening electrocuted when I sat up or rearranged me position. The other option is paddle leads. If you opt to go this way, the surgery is major and a neurosurgeon must be present. It is considered a mini-laminectory (spelling ?). Recovery is much longer because pieces of bone are removed.
If you are in doubt at all, wait. Do not let the PM talk you in to a stimulator. The is always time later to do a retrial if this trial in not considered a success. Also, do not forget this is big big $$$ for PM's and one or only two real surgeries they are able to perform. If you do decide to have the implant, check and make sure how many stimulator's your PM has implanted. Most PM's are anesthesiologists and are not trained as surgeons. For many, stimulators and pumps are their first experience with hands on surgery. Some are very good at it, some just basically stink. My stimulator did not cover may pain and I ended up getting a pain pump. I love the pump. I has allowed my to acheive adequate pain control with a wide variety of options. The pump gave me my life back.
You have a bid decision to make. I recommend that you get out the old legal pad and draw two columns - pro and against. List all of your issues and then added them up.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Stella Marie Chronic Pain Forum Moderator
Progressive neurodegenerative disease called Multiple System Atrophy, muscle spasms, muscle pain, neuropathy, & neuropathic pain, central sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and 2 pain implants – intrathecal pain medication pump and an SCS (spinal cord stimulator). Extra fun little toys and gadgets; O2 generator and assorted wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and orthotic braces. Med - too many too list or even care about!
Post Edited (Stella Marie) : 3/16/2010 11:44:48 AM (GMT-6)