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Nerve stimulator to stop back pain
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help4backpain posted:
Has anyone ever had one of these nerve stimulators implanted for the pain of spinal stenosis? How has it worked for you? Pain Management says it should block the pain signals from the back to the brain, but my rheumatologist is skeptical. I'm trying to get more information on this procedure before I agree to it.
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annette030 responded:
I would do more research before agreeing to have this done. What does your primary care doc think of this procedure?

Things to ask the surgeon ahead of time: What complications are possible? What is your personal rate for each of these? How many have you done? What is the infection rate for you personally?

If the surgeon answers there are no complications, he is perfect, or he has done less than 100 procedures, run do not walk away from his office. You should not trust him. Many places and people will say if a surgeon has done less than 100 procedures of any kind, he is still practicing, and still a beginner. You want an experienced surgeon, in the procedure you will have done.

Take care, Annette

PS-Also leave if he has no numbers or answers to your questions. GOOD doctors keep track of things.
 
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Peter_Abaci responded:
Using implantable devices to treat pain is a big step to take and something that you should spend a lot of time researching before moving forward with it. What I think you are describing is typically called a spinal cord stimulator. For spine problems, spinal cord stimulators are sometimes considered to treat pain in patients who have had prior spine surgery but are still struggling with poorly controlled pain. This situation is often referred to as "failed back syndrome" which is primarily a syndrome invented in the US because we do way more spine surgeries than other countries.

Spinal cord stimulation generally treats the radiating pain that goes down the leg from the back, but is often less effective in treating the pain localized to the low back itself. The technology involved is similar to what is used in pacemakers. Some of the potential complications to consider include wound infections and it is not unusual for the implanted leads (wires) to move or be positional, meaning they don't always cover the painful area. The stimulation creates a vibration sensation within the leg that can diminish pain sensations for some patients.

I hope this helps but be sure to research more and be careful about relying on manufacturer created educational videos that could be overly biased.
 
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ctbeth responded:
I have an implanted spinal cord stimulator, but I don't have spinal stenosis.

You can get more information, initially, by googling spinal cord stimulator.

Your pain management MD should answer your questions and have a contact number for the company representative or a patient ambassador, which is someone like I am- someone who has had a spinal cord stimulator for a while.

If your pain management MD thinks that you're a good candidate for this treatment, before it is surgically implanted, every patient has a trial, or temporary unit for at-least a few days.for you to actually feel the sensations and know if this treatment is going to be effective for you.

In my region of the USA, the actual surgical implant is done by a neurosurgeon.

Of what is your rheumatologist skeptical?

This is a well researched, well documented, hardly new or uncommon therapy for neuro-genic pain.

There is plenty for you, as a candidate for spinal cord stimulation, to read, and many academic articles for your rheumatologist to peruse.

This isn't a weird or new treatment.

Spinal cord stimulation has been used for many years as a safe an effective treatment for intractable neurogenic pain.

This, along with the trial that allows the patient to actually know ahead of time if the stim will be effective against his particular pain sensations, can make a significant improvement in quality of life.

I, as most, haven't been able to completely eliminate the need for opiate therapy, but spinal cord stim has enabled me to reduce my mess by greater than 50%

The trial isn't terribly uncomfortable and the implant surgery is done, usually, on an outpatient basis. For me, it was a fairly easy surgery and recovery.

So do the google search, read as much as you can, and talk to as many people that you can (who have implanted spinal cord stimulation).

For me, it has been near to a miracle.

I hope that you can get the mind of relief that I have.

My email address is posted at the end of my story. Click on my name or little picture and you can read about me, and send me an email, if you'd like.

Best wishes,

Beth


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