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    pain pump?
    margaretmk posted:
    I have had back pain for 20 years, it is genetic I have DJD, arthritis and stenosis in my lower spine, I have had one spinal fusion, a 4 level and had hardware put in. I have had every shot imaginable and have tried therapy, chiropractors, acupuncture and just about everything else. lately the pain had gotten worse and sure enough the last two vertabrae at the top of the lower (L1 and L2) now have severe deterioration. why I am writing is I am having a pain pump put in (I've been on narcotics in one form or another for the last 10 years but at a low dose. has anyone had one of these and how has it been? what was the procedure like? was it painful? (when I had the fusion I thought I was going to die!). anyway, if anyone has any answers or knows of any other things that could work please let me know.
    thanks so much....
    bj1208 responded:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    I, too, am looking at having a pain pump implant done this fall/winter - I have tried all treatments available and those have failed.

    I have a single fusion (L5-S1) but L4, L3 and L2 have slight bulges - also my L4 moves slightly when I bend. I am presently on some pretty heavy narcotics and cannot go any higher on my dosages so the pain pump is my next step -

    there is a procedure called Spinal Cord Stimulator - you may want to discuss this with your pain doc or spine specialist and see if you are a candidate for it

    here is a site regarding it -

    there may be other options available that may help - you need to discuss all options to see what will work best for you -

    hope this helps - keep us posted - take care- Joy
    Nomaan Ashraf, MD, MBA responded:
    Im sorry you are having so much trouble. Placing a pain pump is not something done very often and prior to having one placed I would be sure that you are a good candidate for one and make sure you have exhausted all other treatment options. If you are only on a low dose of oral narcotics it may be worthwhile to see if you would benefit from increasing your medication dose prior to having another invasive procedure. It may even be worthwhile to see if further surgery is an option if it can be determined that your pain is necessarily coming from the L1-2 levels. Finally, I would make sure you have had some positive response to injections such as epidurals prior to placement of the pump. These criteria for placement of a pain pump are among many other things you should discuss with your treating physician prior to proceeding.
    margaretmk replied to bj1208's response:
    I have talked to my doctor about getting a stimulator first, he said that was what they usually tried first and if that didn't work then they move to the pump. But since I have had an external stimulator (tens unit) and it made the pain worse and really irritated the site he said they could bypass the stimulator and go right to the pain pump. (although the internal stimulator is different from the tens unit he said they are similar enough that it would be best just to skip that.) I am not on a huge dose of narcotics (60 mg of methadone and vicodine for breakthrough pain) I have had many different meds over the last 10 years and the pain is just getting worse. besides I would rather not increase the oral doses because it is so hard on your body and that is one of the benefits of the pump is reduced side effects. of course I just got the go-ahead from the insurance company but the doctor put the authorization through for the STIMULATOR!!! so now I have to wait while they resubmit for the right thing (at least another 2 week wait). I am looking at November 15 as a tentitive date for the pain pump trial (which I hope I can get done inpatient otherwise it's a three day ordeal of running into the office which is clear across town, not to mention I have a 5 and 6yr old at home!) and then the permanant implant should be done early January if the trial goes well. When are you having yours done and has it been approved?
    did you have to take a psychological test? I did-620 some odd questions! another question, are you on disability? I am trying but I was just denied (of course) so I'm going to get a lawyer and stop playing around. if I was a drug addict or alcoholic I could get it but since I have a real debilitating disease I guess I don't qualify! anyhoo, let me know how you're doing and keep me informed on your progress in the world of pain management,
    bj1208 replied to margaretmk's response:
    hi Margaret

    Yes I had the psych test done 3 years ago when I had the SCS Trial Stimulator implant done - it failed -

    I am on disability - the best thing to do is hire an attorney that handles only disability cases - and depending on what state you live in depends on how far behind they are in going thru disability files -

    I'm still in talks with my pain doc regarding the pain pump implant - one doc they sent me to over a year ago was a real jerk - chip on his shoulders - and there was no way I was gonna let him operate on me - so will probably do this towards the early winter months - it's a 5 day hospital stay - they first do the trial and get the cocktail mixture at the right levels and if that works then the permanent implant is done -

    will keep u posted - take care - Joy

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