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Pain Pump

4jkasper44jkasper Posts: 231
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello everyone!
I was just wondering is anyone here has a pain pump and if it does the trick, my Doc and I have been discussing it. I am alittle afraid to go there but, I just can't stand this pain anymore, it is really getting me down.
Thanks ahead for any answers,
Jeanette :?


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,728
    Hi Jeanette,
    Everyone who has talked about them in this forum really likes them. I'm also giving it some thought. Less meds to the head!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • i have talked to both my ortho and pain dr about pumps. my ortho has reservations because they can have mechanical problems and they need to be filled up. sometimes people let the morphine run too low and they run out over the weekend. it can get plugged. and sometimes to some people it does not work that well. you have to take all of this into account and make a decision. i have heard from pain dr that it works well for a lot of people but he has more of a monetary interest in the pump. it is like anything else, research it objectively and make a decision based on your research. some people here have liked it and some have not. i know this does not help you but do research and ask questions from medical people
    good luuck
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I had a pump implanted about a month ago, and so far I'm happy with my decision. My pump has Morphine in it with some Baclophin. It has taken me from being on 50mg Fentanyl plus Lyrica plus Vicoden/Percocet plus Zanaflex....plus plus plus (you get the idea - the med list went on and on) to only a Percocet every once in a while (I took one tonight, which was probably the first time in a week or two). I need to go back for another post-op and get it recalibrated, so I'm not even at the best pain management it can give me (they warn you that it will need to be 'tweaked' after surgery to get the correct level for your body and needs)
    Just to clear up a few things Terror mentioned:
    There can be mechanical problems, but my understanding is that it's no better or worse than an SCS or any other like device. Many ortho's don't like them, (mine included), but mine also pointed out to me that if he's seeing someone with a pain pump already implanted, it probably means that it didn't work since they are there to get his help (meaning, they don't see the many of us that it worked for, because then we don't need to be seeing those doctors anymore!) The pump does need to be refilled, about every three months, but it's a very simple 5 minute office visit. They numb your skin around your pump, then stick a needle into the rubber port on top of your pump (all internal) and refill it. Really a nothing deal. And the pump does run out, but the doctor gives you a sheet that tells you when you need to come in for a refill based on how much medicine was put in your pump and how fast it's being transfused. So really if you don't get it filled up in time it's because you weren't being responsible for getting into the appointment when it's due (and you're told this information three months ahead of time, so there's really no excuse). Plus if the pump starts to get low on meds it begins to beep to warn you (kinda like the 'gas light' on your car, but audible! :P )
    There is a trial that you could do for the pump that is pretty non-invasive, and gives a fairly accurate view of whether the pump would be something that would work for you. I'm happy with my decision, but it definitely doesn't mean it's right for everyone.
    Please feel free to PM me with any thoughts or questions!
    Take care- Janiel
  • I am the same in almost to the letter, I am in a stay, of non work, drives me daily crazy, As in what my wife has told me, I am driving her nuts, Now the Comp spys are watching my garbage, I understand what there problem is, It is me.
    I just do not understand, I want to return to work, They are the ones that are stopping me.
    Now with a pain Pump, they will surely not allow me to return.
    And at Fifthy, what do I do now.?
    This is a big Decision for me.
  • This is a Question I need a answer to.
    Are you able to go back to teaching, With this.? Or any Job.?
  • Hi Jeanette, I'm in the same boat too and my options are to have an SCS or a pump implanted. I have read the good, bad, and ugly regarding pumps. I know the outcome differs from person to person, but the biggest concern I have with the pump is reports of severe nausea, vomiting, and headaches. How can someone get sick if the medicine is going directly into the spinal fluid? Do they put in anti nausea medication like phenergan into the mixture?
    I have tried the stim trial and it didn't work out, and I rather try a pump trial to see which is best. I have a lot of back pain and I'm guessing part of it is from severe DDD in L4-S1. The pain gets worse when I sit, stand, or walk. Laying down is my life, and it's no way to live. The pump sounds like a reasonable idea, but for 75,000 dollars it better come with a 100% moneyback guarantee.
  • nothing with backs are 100% guarantee
    surgery=1/3 get better, 1/3 stay same,1/3 get worse
    implant device=50-50
    pain pump-50-50
    these are from my dr when i discussed all of them.
    all of back meds and proceedures are a crap shoot. too many variables according to dr such as scar tissue, nerve damage, bone problems, etc
    i have had 4 surgeries, and i was ok until my L3 blew out due to extra pressure put on it after my other fusion, I actually got worse. I was on my way to no problems except pain now I can't walk without pain
    at least i tried and gave it the old college try
    i knew my odds when i had surgeries and i was willing to live with them
    good luck to all in pain
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Workman's Comp cut me off from all my pain meds. I had C5-C6 fused December 2006. Still having chronic pain. Been told by at least 2 different doctors that I could have died thru the detoxing. I am battling both the extreme pain and workman's comp. My original neurosurgeon cleared me and said I should be active. When I asked him about the pain he basically told me it wasn't his problem. Does anyone have a similiar set of circumstances and what do I do next?
  • Is there someway you can get your medicine on your insurance or pay out of pocket? I think you should get in with a pain specialist. That neurologist should have referred you instead of handing you that line that is not his problem.
  • Was just wondering if you guys ever tried a TENS unit? They're real good for the pain...doesnt cure the back problem but definitely eases the pain a lot and its totally drug free and nothing gets put into your body!Body Clock TENS are really worth a look in if you got a sec...they have a range, Libra's brill as it sits right in the middle: value for money and high quality (real low return rates on them apparently)...Body Clock are premier, they also sell to www.tensunit.com who have a sale on right now!
  • and she had me try it, it didn't touch the pain. I would love it if it had worked on me. Right now I'm on such high doses of pain meds that Iam basically home bound because I don't dare drive while Iam on them. But, if I don't take them on my "schedule" the pain is so bad I do nothing but cry.
    Iam not able to try the SCS or the pain pump right now, Iam waiting to see how the ole' SSD appeal goes, can't affors to try anything without SSD. My husband was just cut down to 32 hours a week. This does not help our situation at all.........So, for now I guess I'll stay in my drug indused haze.I hate the way they make me feel but can't go without them either, so what do ya do???
  • I had my pain pump put in in 2003 with a combination of Baclofen, Dilaudid, Clonodine. It's been the best thing that's ever happened to me. I still have some pain and still take some oral meds but nothing like I used to. Until this year when I started having problems with my low back due to L4-5 disc and severe arthritis/scarring I was doing really pretty well finally. I have had 4 cervical operations to fuse (c5-6 anterior), correct (c5-6 posterior), fuse (c7-T1), remove all the hardware and re-fuse (remove all as I the plate put in the front bent and I had trouble breathing, took out the back and put in longer plates and fewer screws). I have herniated discs above and below the fusions (c2-4, T2-3)from weakening due the fusions and also another car accident it was just the lesser of two evils, severe cervical muscle spasms, migraines, etc. Just last summer I started having trouble with my low back and right leg which has turned quite severe but before that I was finally able to walk my dog and drive safely, think about having a normal life again, going back to work. I had greatly reduced the amount of oral medication I take (it's still a lot less than it used to be and I've been on almost everything mentioned on this site. With the exception of the medication for infections, that is. Dilaudid apparently runs smoother through the pump than Morphine. Just be cautious whatever you use about extreme dry mouth. Best of luck. I just found out my doctor is leaving the area. If anybody can give me some good recommendations to follow up with for pain specialists in Denver/Aurora, CO who do pump refills, I would so greatly appreciate it.
  • My doctors are considering putting one in and I'm curious about how the trial goes. Is it painful and are you sedated for the procedure? Thanks
  • i believe there are 2 types of pumps, one is a glorified tens unit where a current is passed through your disk, and the other one is one where pain meds such as morphine, dialaudid or fenatyl or pumped in. both need adjustments to get to the maximum level and benefit and i believe you are sedated when they are installed. i decided to have surgery to correct problem rather than rely on pain pump last year. i wanted to solve the problem not mask it. you have to make sure you get in to get pump refilled on time or no meds. you have to be very proactive with it. some people swear by them and others don't like them. at least try it if your dr thinks it will help and if not have it taken out. my pain dr says putting it in is like putting in a pace maker device for heart. do you want electric pump or meds pump?
    good luck
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Six operations on my spine. The last one fused S1 through T11. Yep, I'm basically fused from my tailbone to just below my shoulder blades.
    Some months back I had a morphine pain pump trial. It was great. The first time in 15 years the pain was gone. Then the bladder quit working. In goes a Foley unit.
    The second trial used a dulaudnum(?) mix. Didn't do anything for the pain. Problem was the nurse took the tube out wrong and I got air into the spinal fluid. Two days later an ambulance takes me to the hospital where I spend a week yelling in pain. I honestly thought I was going to die.
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