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What would you do?

meydey321mmeydey321 Posts: 2,435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Pain Management
If you had a choice in dealing with chronic back pain and sciatica, would you stick to oral pain meds or go for an SCS or pain pump? My doctors think a pain pump would be good for me and help me gain back more functionality. It won't take the pain away and I may need BT meds, but my question is IS it better? I have moderate nerve compression caused by post op scar tissue and it is also causing additional back pain on top of what I already have. My pain level used to be around 4 on meds, and now it averages at 6.5 to 7. Any worse than that I would be on the phone with my doctor. I would like to get it down to a 3-4 which I have found tolerable with medication of course. I know having this procedure is invasive but I need it also because of permanent nerve damage. No matter what I take, the pain is constant and anytime I want to do something it feels worse. I don't want to live in bed forever.


  • For me, it's not what I would do because I already did.. ;)

    I chose to look at the SCS/pump options because I wanted to get away from the oral drugs, the side effects, and being so dependent on my doctor for every little change. I chose to go forward with the SCS trial first, because I felt like it would put the most control directly in my hands on a day-to-day basis. If my SCS hadn't been successful, I would have gone forward with the pump trial next.

    I still need some medication with my SCS, but it's much lower doses than I was taking before and much less frequent. I'm also pain free for a significant portion of my day.
  • Either! If you are being given the option to do the SCS I believe you owe it to yourself to study up on it a bit and take the test drive!

    If you can get coverage in the areas you need you sound ready for an SCS. It is a very different form of treatment and you have to be ready for it. The sensations have been described as anything from warm and comforting to an annoying buzz that did nothing but add on to the top of the pain!(that's a description used most often when people do not have a succesful trial)
    I got a tingling that was much akin to the sensation of a limb falling asleep, the sensation that is right about half way, tingling but not to annoying and not painful :)

    One of the things we who have done the trial and those that have gotten the perm version agree on is that it really needs to be done by people who have exhausted their other options. often it leaves you wondering, is this realy a benefit? People who have chronic pain that lays in the middle of the scale like you describe often think these thoughts. What if? Is it? For me doing an 8 day trial let me cover good and bad days. I saw that it was so incredibly easy to drop my Norco usage from 6 tabs daily to 4, with no problem at all. I questioned my trial still, I saw that within 4 days of the end of the trial I was no longer able to maintain the 4 a day and am back at 6. :( When the SCS was in place a bad day could be tingled to an OK day. Something that I have not been able to do any longer with Norco. EVER. It really allows me to tingle the pain away.

    I'm just wrambling, right now, as I am trying to gain a little relief from a worse than normal pain day after two days at Disneyworld without my SCS... I'm waiting my H.M.O. to approve a permanent version! I wish they would hurry up!

    Please if you need better answers or I left things cloudy as mud, ask me to clarify things! PM me, I will try and describe anything from my personal experiences so far.

    I'm praying my tentative April 20, permanent version placement is approved SOON!

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