neurostimulation procedure

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danusia
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/10/2010 1:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
I am a new member as of today and I was wondering if anyone out there had neurostimulation procedure put in as a result of chronic leg pain and burn all the way to  the foot and toes?  I have started looking into this in hopes to relieve my pain and get off all medication.  I had fusion on l5s1 10 yrs  ago and I am still dealing witht the pain.  thank you for any information.

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 12/10/2010 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Danusia,
Yes, I have had that and so have many other members here. This topic has many hundreds of responses. You can find them by doing a search of "Spinal Cord Stimulator", "SCS", "neurostimulator", "neurostimulation" or "neuromodulation" -- also there might be a few under "pain pacemaker" as that was the term the companies used for a while.

The short of it is -- everyone's different, most people still need to be on some meds afterward, most docs want to reduce or eliminate meds after the implant, very few patients can function with no meds after the implant so your doc should be willing to keep prescribing something, at least 50/50 chance that you could be worse post-op for a few months, plan on a lot of reprogramming sessions, know that to ensure the best response you will probably be given physical restrictions for a time, driving with the stim turned on can carry legal implications but after 6 months most people say they don't see any practical reason to avoid it. Also, many models are not safe with MRI machines or near other powerful magnets -- something to keep in mind & to discuss with the surgeon who did your fusion. You'll probably want to do one more MRI before the surgery just to double check that there are no hidden issues IF you get one of the models that aren't safe with MRI's. I've probably missed a few but that's the gist of it.

Definitely pay attention to how the trial works. Cut back on your meds during the trial & keep to your normal schedule so you can get a good read on how much the stim will help you. Then, just make a decision. Like every other treatment out there, nothing is perfect. The stims do seem to be getting better with time so the long-term studies may or may not apply to the newest models out on the market.

Again, I point out that while reduction of medicine is a very, very strong possibility (mine cut my meds from 14 meds to 2 (after a brief increase to 17 post-op) and for those 2, dosages were reduced by over 66%), most people can't function without ANY medicine whatsoever unless their pain was only mild-moderate to begin with (by mild to moderate, I mean that you can usually go up to 60 minutes at a time without thinking about your pain while doing normal daily activities and you almost never get dizzy or nauseous from the pain; the pain can be awful but it doesn't distract you on a minute-to-minute basis from your work). Even then, there's no guarantee you'll be off all meds. Those promises, though common, rarely prove true. The patients end up with slightly worse pain than pre-implant b/c their docs won't even write for a single pill per day for bt pain. If you're one of the lucky few who can totally quit meds & live a decent life post-implant, that's great -- just make sure you have a Plan B in case that doesn't quite happen.

good luck!
frances

danusia
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/11/2010 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for responding so fast.  One more question, what is life with the perm implant?  Does it get int he way of the daily life?  Are you always aware or feel that the implant is present?  Is a person limited to exercise or relationships? Is it obvious to other people that you have this device?  Is ther such a thing that the  stims can move in the spine?  Do you know of anyone that had to have the perm implant removed and if so, what was the reason.  I Thank you in advance.  Sincerley-Danusia

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 12/11/2010 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
i don't have one but the neurosurgeon that did my fusion presented that as a option. he said that a neurosurgeon makes a window of the bone up around t11, t12 and implants the leads. im not big on that idea but i think it works well for some of the people. there is also the intrathecal medication pump.

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 12/12/2010 12:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Ideally, slightly better and much lower meds. It can w/ certain physical activities. I am when I lie down or when it's turned on, but not everyone is. Somewhat with exercise & no w/ relationships except for the first 6 months if you are extremely "athletic" or "flexible". Not with clothes on. Yes. Yes -- look it up on this forum, mainly: side effects, didn't work or stopped working after a couple years.
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