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Old 08-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #1
seahunter
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Well, I got wired up Tuesday

Just a quick note to maybe ask for some positive thoughts. Last year I tried a spinal cord stimulator trial.

http://www.spine-health.com/treatmen...n-chronic-pain

http://www.spine-health.com/video/sp...-implant-video

Ended up getting Meningitis and being in the hospital for six days - not good. Well, we're trying it again, and so far so good. The implant was difficult, took about twice as long as normal, but it is working well so far. Still pretty sore from the insertion site, but that is "normal". They basically insert two leads in along your spine that run to a tiny computer and battery pack. At this point since it is a trial, the computer and battery are external. When I do the final implant, they will be surgically implanted in the backside - yay me. I have been playing with my remote and getting ussed to the feeling of the stimulation which distracts the pain feeling. Boy, this thing is super sensitive and I just had a sneezing attack that kind of hurt a lot LOL. It stays in for a week, so I still have a few days to go...

Thanks for reading!

Greg
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:47 AM   #2
kab449
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Hope this gives you the relief from pain you are looking for. My dad had surgery done 25 years ago to clean out his spinal canal caused by arthritis. It was causing excruciating pain that became intolerable even with drugs and injections. It has allowed him to live a very active life. He will turn 86 this year.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:07 AM   #3
seahunter
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Thanks Keith! Yeah, we've tried a few different approaches, including numerous epidurals over the years. Hope this works!

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Old 08-24-2012, 03:07 AM   #4
DQDick
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We'll be praying that it's just what you need!
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:16 AM   #5
seahunter
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Thanks a lot Dick, much appreciated!
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:21 AM   #6
CATCRAW
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I really hope this works for you - back pain has to be the worst. Prayers are being said for you that it reduces your pain.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:38 AM   #7
Champ_49
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Hopefully all is well and you can get a new lease on life. Good luck!

Dave
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:45 AM   #8
steelpony5555
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Hope it works out for you, be sure to write back on the progress cause it appears I am headed for the same treatment. Just got back from my first epidural shot to the neck for that pain and once we get that done my Doc os gonna work on the lower back and that is one of the things she mentioned. I was just never thrilled bout hardware stuck in my butt lol lol...
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:47 AM   #9
seahunter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by CATCRAW

I really hope this works for you - back pain has to be the worst. Prayers are being said for you that it reduces your pain.
Thanks Ron, appreciate the prayers! Going in this afternoon for some readjustments on the leads.

Greg
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:49 AM   #10
seahunter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Champ_49

Hopefully all is well and you can get a new lease on life. Good luck!

Dave
Thank you Dave! So far, so good...
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:58 AM   #11
seahunter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by steelpony5555

Hope it works out for you, be sure to write back on the progress cause it appears I am headed for the same treatment. Just got back from my first epidural shot to the neck for that pain and once we get that done my Doc os gonna work on the lower back and that is one of the things she mentioned. I was just never thrilled bout hardware stuck in my butt lol lol...
Hi Dave, will do. Yeah, those epidurals are not fun either. I get four of them about every two to three months. He does not want to keep doing that because they have they're drawbacks and too many is not good. I know, I'm not real keen on the battery implant either, but at leasst the technology is getting much better to where the batteries are lasting I guess as long as five to seven years now before needing replacement. Hope your epidural to the neck works. Not sure if it's the same as the lower back, but if it is, be prepared for it to actually hurt worse for a day or two maybe before it "kicks in". The added fluid actually pushes on the nerves and it hurts worse at first, then as it dissipates, you start to get the benefit of the steroid. Just so you know what to expect, I'm sure they told you though.

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Old 08-24-2012, 10:00 AM   #12
Ozz
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Hang in there Greg, we will be thinking of you and your speedy recovery!
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #13
seahunter
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Thanks Ozz!

Just got back from my "tune-up" this afternoon, and they adjusted some of the settings. Doc is very pleased with the trial, as am I. We already discussed it today, and decided I will do the permanent implant in about four to five weeks. It is actually done by a neurosurgeon because of being at the spine and they'll have to shave some bone to get the paddle leads in.

Thanks again for the kind words.


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Old 08-25-2012, 04:00 AM   #14
Steve and Susie
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I've never heard of that procedure but sure hope it works well for you. Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. I have a lot of back problems from rolling a tractor over on me 5 years ago. Two of the cart ledges are completely crushed, letting bone to bone contact at wrong positions, and it lets me know real quick. I was joking with my doctor and said, just hold there a minute and I'll go down to the hardware and get some of that expanding foam for you to shoot in there. He said, you think thats funny, but, they actually have a foam like that now, and are starting to use it in certain instances. In your case, within 10 years you could get relief exactly that way. He said they are using it in some joints now, but have not tried it in backs yet because of the added spinal cord and nerves there that they have to be so careful with. Anyhow, good luck with your procedure and hope it works for you.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:13 AM   #15
seahunter
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quote:Originally posted by Steve and Susie

I've never heard of that procedure but sure hope it works well for you. Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. I have a lot of back problems from rolling a tractor over on me 5 years ago. Two of the cart ledges are completely crushed, letting bone to bone contact at wrong positions, and it lets me know real quick. I was joking with my doctor and said, just hold there a minute and I'll go down to the hardware and get some of that expanding foam for you to shoot in there. He said, you think thats funny, but, they actually have a foam like that now, and are starting to use it in certain instances. In your case, within 10 years you could get relief exactly that way. He said they are using it in some joints now, but have not tried it in backs yet because of the added spinal cord and nerves there that they have to be so careful with. Anyhow, good luck with your procedure and hope it works for you.
Thanks a lot Steve. Wow, rolling a tractor over on you - sounds like you're lucky to even be alive. Yeah that bone to bone is painful. Part of my pain is from the facets hitting each other. I've never heard of the foam procedure, I'm going to look that up. Thanks again for the reply!

Greg
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:50 AM   #16
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Greg,
Keep us posted on how you are doing! My pain management Dr. wanted me to do this also and I was leary of trying it. I've been to so many Dr's over the years that I don't know who to believe! Praying that all goes well for you and that it works on the pain!! Hang in there!

Donna
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:17 AM   #17
seahunter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ka9vrx

Greg,
Keep us posted on how you are doing! My pain management Dr. wanted me to do this also and I was leary of trying it. I've been to so many Dr's over the years that I don't know who to believe! Praying that all goes well for you and that it works on the pain!! Hang in there!

Donna
Thanks very much Donna! I know what you mean. I've had so many consults I can't count them all, and have tried so many different things. I really like my pain Doc, and feel really good about this. I am getting some very good distraction so far, and getting nerve feeling in places that are numb, and relief even in my feet which have peripheral neuropathy. I will keep you posted!

Thanks,

Greg
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:03 AM   #18
Wild Horse
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I have the neurostimulator implant from medtronics. Where will yours be located ? lower spine or cervical? Mine is cervical. The implant is for RSD. My leads migrated, and a year ago they had to go in and redo the entire procedure, including scraping the spine to attach the lead. Second surgery was a single paddle lead, first was twin leads. The recovery darned near killed me the second time. It is my understanding that they have good success with the implants in the lower spine. Mine in the cervical, not so much...
It's a good device that helps alot of people. I wish you lots of success with it. Watch the coughing, sneezing and sudden twisting/stooping....it's kinda like peeing on an electric fence. Bill
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:18 AM   #19
Wild Horse
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Well heck, I just re-read my post...sounds kinda grumpy. Sorry about that, didn't mean it that way. I'll tell you that my recovery from the first surgical implant was not that bad...the second one, they had to not only scrape the spine but scrape the scar tissue from the first surgery and they messed up a few nerves in the process. So, don't mess around after the first surgery and you won't have to worry about a second one ! Actually, no one knows why the leads migrated, and they say that they migrate more with cervical vs. lower spine. Your only worry about the battery is, don't let it go down to nothing. That will actually de-activate it, and it often requires surgical replacement of the battery. mine is just under the skin, lower back right side. Takes me about 1-1/2 hours to charge every 3 or 4 days....just strap it on while watching tv and you're good to go. I'm not sure which unit you are getting...with mine, I wear two med tags. You have to watch things, like no mri's and no defib with some of the units.
You have any questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them...I've been living with the implants for 3 years now. My trial didn't have the best of results, but we were at a point where anything in this world was worth a shot.
Bill
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:36 AM   #20
seahunter
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Hi Bill, thanks for the reply. Sorry you had the problems with yours. Mine is low back. The worst ones are L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1. I also have pudendal nerve entrapment and the peripheral neuropathy. They will be using the paddle lead. The doc said they grow in better (scar) and have less tendency to migrate than the percutaneous wire leads.

I know what you mean about the "shocks". Raise an arm, twist to get out of bed, etc. I had a sneezing fit during the trial and couldn't reach my remote right away...

As for the trial, it went really well. Since I had the infection the first time, they were eager to get the trial leads out sooner than later, and we felt they were in plenty of time to know how it was going to work, so they pulled them early. They got really good coverage, and it really helped all my problem areas. My doc uses Boston Scientific units and St. Jude products. He is going with the Boston Scientific as he said he liked the unit and the paddles just a bit better for my particular situation.

Now we are just waiting to schedule the permanent implant. Like you said, the paddle leads are a bit more involved with having to take some bone out to fit them in. I'm hoping to actually get general anesthesia for the procedure, because my two trials were let's just say not very pleasant and he had some difficulty getting the leads in. I know I'm in for some painful recovery if the trial is any indication. I felt like I had been stabbed in the back for the first three days of the trial. But hey, at least it takes your mind off of your back/neck pain - LOL...

Sounds like I should get at least a week out of a battery charge. The paddles, since they are more focused than the percutaneous leads, use less energy. I still don't quite get how it charges through the air .

Thanks again for the comments!

Greg
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