As a cp patient who has a stimulator in the right lower back, I will say, I wish I had not allowed myself to be talked out of the pain pump.
I had the medtronics neurostimulator installed in my back May 2010, after approx 3 weeks, I was given the battery pack and a 15 minute lesson on how to use it. I went home, and I also had a dvd to watch and a book that had instructions on how use everything, after a week of trying to charge my stim. I made an appt. to see a medtronics rep. at my doctors office. He never showed up, no one called to say they were sorry they never showed up. I made another appt. to see this rep again, and this time a rep showed up whom I had never seen before. But this was ok, as long as we got this thing working, who cares if the rep who was supposed to show up felt his time was more important than mine, and I wasted money to get to my doctors office, not to mention the fact that I take public transportation.
So after much pushing and adjusting, it was decided that my stim had been installed to deep. I will say the time of healing was not bad at all. When I asked my doctor why, as I had expected to feel awful after surgery, this was a pleasant surprise. I was advised by my doctor the healing went well as they dont have to deal with muscle and blah blah.
So then in July of 2010, I had surgery to adjust the stim so it was not in so deep. After another 4 weeks this time I was again supposed to meet with a rep from medtronics, and again, no one showed up. I went home and spent the next month attempting to charge the stimulator, calling back and forth to the office and speaking with several techs who I guess tried there best to get this thing working.
As of this day August 28, 2011, it is a useless piece of metal in my back with several useless leads going this way and that way. I can only tell they are in there because they pinch me every once in awhile.
Before I had the surgery in 2010 my doctors office was filled with phamphlets about the wonderful things medtronics can do with the stimulators and pain pumps. In the last 6 months I noticed there are no more phamphlets from medtronics in his office at all. I feel bad for my doctor, as he is human, he made a little mistake, but he did try to correct this problem. The problem was the lack of support from the personnel at medtronics. They reminded me of used car salesman everytime I talked to them. Most of the talking took place over the phone, as they just couldnt seem to make it to the appointments that were supposed to help me.
So, I have a useless stim and leads in my back, and a useless battery pack. Medtronics wont take it back, since it appears I bought it when I agreed to the surgery. Now I know it seems that I am blaming Medtronics for all of the things that went wrong. I am not, I blame myself, I allowed myself to be talked into something I knew I didnt want, the trial I had was useless, I knew better, but the very thought of what they were selling, less pain, less medicine, it was intoxicating.
So the lesson here is think very carefully before you make your decision. Ask questions, your doctor, anyone else in your doctors office that has had either pump or stim installed. I remember when I stated that I would rather have the pump, I was advised by medtronics that I would just have to have my meds increased as time went by, which by the way, I will be doing anyway, as time goes on I will be having my meds increased.
Please do as much research as you can, SE, sorry this is so long, but I have strong feeling on this subject.
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson