Stimulator or Pump
ihbflmom posted:
I need help. 49 years old, few back surgeries, ablasions, blocks, epidurals, meds, you name, I've had it.

This is my situation and I'm becoming very down about all the information.

I've been advised I can have the above mentioned done since nothing else has helped.

I've been told the stimulator constantly "tingles" and it is in place of the pain that is experienced. Then the morphine pump, can't be addictive, yet scary as hell.

Can anyone out there help me please? I'm so scared & nervous about this that I am at a loss.
ctbeth responded:
Before one has a permanent spinal cord stimulator implanted, one has a trial,whereby you'll be able to feel the sensations and know if it is going to help relieve your pain.

There are countless articles about spinal cord stimulation. You can do a google search and learn a lot in a few minutes time

Has your MD recommended these two options? If so, he or she should answer your questions

The companies who work with the SCS all have patient care representatives. Your MD can give you contact information and the company rep will gladly explain the entire procedure to you.
cweinbl responded:
First, take "cbeth"s" advice. Both the SCS and the IT pump have a trial unit worn outside the body for a couple of days. If, and only if, that trial machine seems to help, then you can consider surgical implantation of the real device.

However, we all respond to the Placebo Effect. If we think that a medication or treatment will help, sure enough, it seems to help. A month later, when you're in horrible pain, you realize that you are a victim of the Placebo Effect. So the real problem is that we cannot use the trial unit for a few weeks, to rule out Placebo. The infection chance rules this out.

Next, the REAL reason to use or not use one of these devices depends entirely upon your source of pain. If your most disabling pain is referent (the pain sharply moves down an arm, a leg or through your hip or groin), then the SCS might be a better choice because it can block or confuse the spinal cord pain signals going to the brain.

But if your pain is a deep, intense ache in your neck, back or hip resulting from too much sitting or standing, if you have bone grinding into bone from vertebral collapse or fractures in your spine; if your pain does not radiate but remains in one specific area, then the IT Pump is a better choice.

If you have one type of pain but have the wrong machine surgically implanted, you will have made an enormous, possibly life-changing mistake. All surgery entails morbidity. Some people who have a machine implanted to help with back or neck pain develop infection at the surgical site. Sometimes the infection is MRSA (methicillin-resistant). People die from this type of infection because most antibiotics are useless and the patient might be allergic to the only other choices.

Implanting a surgical device with a success rate of about 60% is a huge risk. If it doesn't help, you'll have to have it surgically removed. You can then only hope to avoid infection. And if you do, your pain will be at least as bad as it was before, if not worse.

The most comprehensive research on all types of spinal interventions is here:;12;699-802.pdf . Read it for yourself. Having been the victim of four failed spine surgeries and 43 years of degenerative disc disease, I know much more now than I did before I had those surgeries.