Posted 3/25/2019 11:08 PM (GMT -6)
Hi MarkL & welcome to the forum. Sorry to read about all of the surgeries that you have had over the years. Sadly, that many surgeries made you predisposed to failed back syndrome. The mechanical issues can be fixed but sometimes the pain can get worse over time.
Yes, we have had members come through here that had the spinal stimulators put in with paddles. When they came out pain mgt drs were all for them so they could get their patients off of narcotics. Since the "opioid crisis" hit, the drs are really pushing them more to patients that require long term pain meds.
The vast majority of the prior members here were not a success story. They had problems, leads breaking, migrating, no pain relief to little relief after the implant, infections, battery getting too hot just to list some things that has happened to people. I urge you to do a google search for this investigation report that came out November 2018. Just google "Patients shocked, burned by devices touted to treat pain". It confirms the stories from past members here. It's a real eye opener. What is worse is the FDA is very lax on clinical studies when approving medical devices, this was admitted by the FDA.
Please understand, I am not trying to scare you. This a personal decision only you can make. However, as a patient we must do our own research & due diligence before committing to anything like this. We cannot rely on our drs to give us this type of information. A dr will not tell us about the failures, if asked it will be a watered down version.
A neurosurgeon that is very experienced with implants is the only dr you should allow to the procedure. You may have some potential complications because of all of the surgeries & you only want the best working on you. I think you were asking about the leads, scar tissue has to form on the leads to anchor them in place.
Another option I will put out here to you. Has your pain mgt dr ever mentioned having a pain pump implanted? If I were in your shoes, I would discuss this with my pain mgt dr of having a trial for implanted pain pump. During the trial if the pain is reduced by at least 50% it is considered a success. You would know if it would work. You have much better pain control & it is continuous, not like chasing the pain with oral meds. Yes, a person is still on a narcotic, but a very low dose, less than what you are taking in oral meds. I had one implanted in 05 & 2013. The goal is better pain control which gives us better quality of life. I am not trying to push a pain pump on you, but given your circumstances your dr should have talked to you about one. One of our mods here named WhiteBeard also had one implanted & he says he wish he had done it much sooner. He has had several surgeries too. Check out Medtronics.com & read about the pain pumps if you are interested. It is very informative & a user friendly site.
I don't know if your dr told you this or not, if you were to encounter a problem with the device he cannot help you. He is not trained to deal with them & you will be instructed to call your rep. A rep is assigned to contact if you have questions or problems. Usually the rep will meet you at the drs office. Another thing is discuss if the company will charge you for tuneups later on down the road. We've had members that needed theirs tweaked a year after the implant & ran into problems. The company charged for the tweaking & their insurance would not pay for it. That can get costly for a patient.
If you have any more questions feel free to ask. We will do our best to help in any way we can.