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Nerve Stimulator
An_257861 posted:
Had stimulator November 2013 and it worked great for about two weeks. Instead of stimulation going to my back and buttuck it either stims my stomach or down my leg. Have gone to have it adjusted so many times. The tech says I have weird nerves. Anyone experience similar problem>
cweinbl responded:
The tech is covering for a malpractice mistake. The single greatest reason for SCS failure is a lead that is inappropriately placed, or that moves after surgical implantation. Both are a result of physician error. Placebo effect makes you "think" it's helping. Then, after a few days or a week, it's not helping any more, or it seems to be in the wrong place. Lawyers make a living from this.

It's also important to do your own research before agreeing to have any machine surgically implanted in your body. I did; and here it is:;12;699-802.pdf . It tuned out that I was not a candidate for the SCS, as my most disabling pain is nociceptive, not neuropathic. But the research results would have frightened me away regardless.

The long-term (12-month) success rate for the SCS is about 60%. That low success rate does not instill confidence in me. Of course, the physicians who make millions of dollars repeating the same procedure never tell you what the odds really are.

Plus, the SCS and the IT pump are only for chronic pain patients who cannot benefit from oral, IV, IM, Trans-buccosal and Trans-dermal medications. It's a huge risk for you to take if you simply want to avoid some medication side effects. Some people do this because they fear medication addiction. Again, this is a critical time for research, as the real rate of addiction is less than 3% (less than 1% when opioid patients with a prior addiction disorder are sorted from the database). Here are the facts from extensive government research: and .

It's also critical - really critical, to ask the physician how many times she or he has done this surgery and how many times it has failed. YOU are the customer and you have just as much right to ask your surgeon questions about experience as you would with a plumber, teacher, carpenter or any other job. You should also ask for references, HIPPA laws not without standing. If you don't ask, you're cheating yourself.

We're fortunate to live in an age of easily-obtained facts via Internet searches and other forms of research that you can accomplish from the comfort of your home, as I did above.

Knowing what I do now, from research, I'll gladly deal with medication side effects, which are pretty easily dealt with. Having no history of addiction disorder, and based upon the research, I now realize that it's not at all a risk for me. I might one day be a candidate for the intrathecal infusion pump. But I'll wait until the success rate climbs from 60% to about 80% for patients with nerve damage and prior spinal fusion.

I wish you the very best of luck. Perhaps your SCS can be tweaked for improved efficacy. If not, more surgery might be required to remove it. Good luck.
tuloud54 replied to cweinbl's response:
I Appreciate how you document your post with arefacts! I had a pump implanted in Nov 2013 and really grateful that it has helped my pain and also my mind. Your research helped me study before I had pump. My main decision was based on getting relief 24/7. It is not so easy to get pain pills and any pain relief as it was 5 or 10 years ago. I was not ok with what one dr thought was adequate relief. Drs all have different opinions and there is no consistency to depend on. My pain was intractable and I got tired on wondering if my pain was going to be covered this month or not.It is no way to live but a sure way to think about dying! If I had been able to get the patches/Fentanyl and pills/Percocet that I needed to cover my pain every month.I never would have got the pump! This was a choice I feel I was pushed into in todays climate of drug abuse.Honestly feel most mean well as no one would wish us to suffer needlessly. I could not risk my life anymore because in my 56 years I had never thought of dying. Running out of meds at the end of each month, I kind of added to my list of options!!! That was not OK. I would rather have died on the operation table than exist as I had. My pump has been a Godsend for me. Again,in todays environment, the facts need to take in the reality of what we face daily trying to get our pain covered.Your doctor may have been caring for you for years but if you were to begin anew,doctors are not so eager to help. Thanks for all you help daily. Wish this board wasn't needed but glad we have people that do want to help! Unless you have been there it is hard to understand. God Bless Tom
tuloud54 replied to tuloud54's response:
Implanted in Nov 2012. So much for my mind! Stay safe and positive folks. Peace. Tom

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Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

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