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    Metronics Stimulator
    mrpozjb posted:
    Hello everybody that I previously talked to. I am glad we have a group that one can communicate with. Previously I mention that I had a failed fusion operation of L2, 3, 4 and L5. So the pain doctor had me take the Metronics External Neropain stimulator for one week. Today the pain doctor removes the external stimulator which didn't work. So then their is no sense in having the final one implanted with the 9 year battery. I read about Microdisectomy which is done by the lazer spine institute. I haven't contacted them yet and then I don't know if their proceedure would work anyway for a failed back fusion? They ask to see a current MRI of which I have. Has any one had any experience with the Lazer spine institute? I would appreciate the info. The only thing that works is the percoset. But tommorow I will try some Garopentin( neurontin) which I have but have been holding off taking until the external Metronics neurostimulater is removed. If I took the neurontin at the same time I had the neurostimulater working then one would not be able to tell which whether the nerostimulater or the neurontin was stopping the pain.
    bj1208 responded:
    Hi and welcome back -

    Am sorry the SCS trial did not work for you - there are some people that just don't have good results with them (me being one of them!).

    For one thing - regarding the Gapabentin (Neurontin) this med is started out at a low dose of 300mg daily to be taken for about a week - there are some side effects but those will subside after a week or maybe two (everyone is different) then the dosage is slowly increased over a period of about a month or so to get to a therapeutic dosage.

    I take Gabapentin and have been on it for a couple of years. I take 3600mg daily (1800 twice daily) - this is the maximum dosage allowed to take daily. This does help a lot with the leg pains - I can tell especially if I miss taking my nitely med as I will feel the pains getting worse in about 2-3 hours. This med is mainly a anti-seizure med that has been found to help with nerve pains as it goes directly to the nervous system to work.

    This med is not one that can be taken when you feel like it and it cannot be stopped abruptly as you must come off it with the same dosing - meaning you slowly tapper off it.

    you have failed surgery - meaning which part of the surgery has failed on you? Did your doc or pain doc specifically state that there is a pinched nerve still at the fusion site? or did they state that your facet joint is inflamed causing pains doing down thru the hip down the leg? You need to find out specifically what the diagnosis is and where is it at. There are several areas where the pains could be.

    A fusion surgery is done to mainly stabilize the spine. There are several other factors involved in surgery - one is nerve pains and the other is chronic pains.

    When a fusion is done the disc is removed thereby removing it from the impingement of the nerve. The nerve root can be damaged whereas pains are felt going from the middle back to either the right or left side down the hip and down the leg(s).

    Facet Joints can also be inflamed during the operation.

    The reason I am asking such detail questions is I have 2 failed surgeries - both fusions. My first is at L5-S1 and the second is L4-5.

    I do have nerve damage in both legs coming from the S1 joint and have inflamed facet joints on both sides of my spine. this is what is causing the majority of my pains.

    A Microdisectomy is done to a disc area whereas no other operation has taken place. Here is an outline of what it is and how it is done:

    This site should help answer some questions you have.

    Next - We cannot (based on WEBMD guidelines) state good or bad regarding personal physicians and/or hospitals. This is to keep bashing out of posts - this has happened in the past - bashing physicians/hospitals or other members. So we abide by the guidelines.

    I will tell you that you need to do more research on the center. when you google the center you can also put down "so and so center problems" and you will get a return of some of the conditions that have been reported. This is not just this place or practice but you can put that in for any and all treatments - this way you can get an understanding of what you are up against.

    I truly advise you to research this and ask your surgeon and/or pain doc if this can be done - but my understanding is it is done on a disc area that has not been operated on.

    Hope this helps - keep us posted.
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~
    ~~ Joy ~~
    mrpozjb replied to bj1208's response:
    Hello BJ: Glad to hear back from you. The back surgeon never mentioned that there may be a pinched nerve at the fusion site after both of us got a new MRI. All he said was that the fusion operation failed and that I would need a new fusion operation. And he did not mention anything else except taking more X-Rays They put in two rods--six or eight screws and fused L2,3,4 and L5. But your idea that there may be a pinched nerve could be possible for my pain. Being I really didn't like and have no faith in that doctor I might try another surgeon, this time a neurosurgeon instead of an orthopaedic surgeon. I really don't have sciatic pains going down the leg or hip but pain in lower back, right side or middle only. I took the 1st Gapabentin thia morning--300mg's and with dinner I am supposed to take 2 more. So it's as you say chronic pain or fusion pain. Or a damaged nerve root? Or damaaged facet joints?
    As far as Microdisectomy that they do in the Lazer Spine Institute it sounds like being they only advertise a one inch incision so it sounds like their proceedure would not work for a large area but maybe only good for a one disc area like a laminectomy. But maybe I'll send the LSI institute the MRI only just to get a free review anyway. The Illinois Back Institute gives info also on the internet.
    But thans for the info and I hope to hear back from you. If I find anything new that might help you from your pain isues then I will let you know.

    Cheers, Jerry B.
    bj1208 replied to mrpozjb's response:
    Hi Jerry

    I hope the Gabapentin works for you. It really has helped me.

    however in concerned at the directions giving to take it. Normally dosing starts at 300mg a day for several days then slowly increased as the side effects can be too much if dosing us done improperly.

    I'm on my cell phone so I can't copy and paste sites for research but you can go to and look up Gabapentin.and read about it. You can also call your phamacy and talk to them.

    there have been some members posting that their physician prescribed large dose to be taken without slowly dosing. And we have advised them to contact the doctor as it was prescribed incorrectly. Upon doing so the doctor admitted they did not know the med had to be slowly dosed up.

    please revisit this with ur doc or pharmacist to make sure ur being given right dosing.

    let us know what you find out.
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~
    ~~ Joy ~~
    mrpozjb replied to bj1208's response:
    Hello BJ:
    Thanx for the advice. As far as Gabapentin my doc's prescription is for 300 mg's for breakfast and 2-300 mg's before going to sleep. So far I"ve been taking 1-300 mg's for breakfast and 1-300 mg's for sleep. But so far I haven't noticed any pain relief. But I will be patient. Right now I am working on my anemic problem with the Gastro and regular doctor. So I have temporarily put the back pain on the back burner until I figure out the gastro problem.
    You bring up some good points about Microdisconmy is done where no other disc operation or fusion has been done.. Also that in a fusion operation facet joints can be inflamed and nerve roots can be damaged,
    Being that the orthopaedic surgeon mentioned nothing about this except to say that I need another operation because I am not fused.
    Therefore it might be a good idea for me to be examined by a neurosurgeon this time for their opinion instead of another Orthopaedic surgeon.
    What do you think?

    Best: Jerry B.
    bj1208 replied to mrpozjb's response:
    Hi Jerry -

    Oh please call me Joy - BJ is a name of a charactor I used when I used to write stories (long time ago!! LOL) - short for Billie Joe - anyway~~

    My preference would be a Neurosurgeon - both are accredited by boards of surgery but I just found with my dealings thru the years (2006) that I have trusted Neurosurgeons' word against Orthopedic Surgeons - don't get me wrong both are good - just my preference -

    I truly believe you should be seeing a Pain Specialist to help control your pains both before during and after surgery - I see a PHYSIATRIST Pain Specialist.

    They go deeper into pain management control based on patients' needs and are far better than most regular pain clinics that tend to get you in for shots after shots even though most injections don't work - most regular pain clinics see us as $$ - well at least ones I dealt with in the past. Boy sounds like I have lots of dealings - and I guess I have -

    The PHYSIATRIST Pain Doc can help you with managing your pains in your legs by increasing the Gabapentin to a therapeutic dose as well as any back pains too.

    Don't put this on the back burner too long - you don't want to have to go in as an emergency patient.

    Oh most times in regards to any surgery you need to research them on the internet - write down questions from what you read about - and see the doc again and ask questions.

    Before my first surgery I had a list of 45 questions to ask - from how long the incision would be, how long my stay would be, how long recovery (always 6-12 months maybe longer depending on surgery) why can't I have this surgery etc., My first surgeon had horrible bedside manners where when I asked a question he looked at me each time red in face - so it took a while to answer each question. LOL

    So do research - even on your Gastro problems - write down questions - if you are too shy to ask surgeon ask us!! LOL There are lots of us here on the support site that have been thru the wringer ~~ Let us know ~~
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~
    ~~ Joy ~~
    mrpozjb replied to bj1208's response:
    Hello Joy:
    Hope you are having a good summer. I just read an article in the Cleveland Clinic arthritis newsletter that states patients who have had back fusion operations can develop sacroilac pain in the S1 joint. Thought I would tell you about this.

    Best: Jerry B.
    bj1208 replied to mrpozjb's response:
    Hi Jerry

    having a good summer so far. Just been a little cool so haven't really been in our pool that much (in ground no heater) and we usually are in the 100's by now and we have been in 80's to maybe a low 90. Temps at night been in 60's to low 70's and the 60's have been keeping pool water has been too chilly especially with metal in back. Ugh

    yes I have real bad facet joints and the major problem is at the L5-S1. Shots do no good so not sure what thus new doc will find.

    hope you are having a good summer too
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~
    ~~ Joy ~~

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