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Go see a surgeon or go with PM's SCS

DaveNHDDaveNH Posts: 58
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I just finished up a series of esi injections for a problem with my C6/7 disc. I have a slight bulge that bearly presses on the nerve and a bone spur that is distoring the
nerve as it exits. Plus the channel is narrow. (Stenosis) Pain is right neck, shoulder arm and BOTH hands mimic the same pain. During the day I can can get by with a couple of hydro's but laying down at night is when it really comes on.

My PM doctor gave me a DVD about SCS
and said that I would be a good candidate. I watched the
DVD and did some research and was wondering if

Do most go with the SCS after surgery? The thought of
having a device attached to me really scares the out of me
and with 80% chance of up to 50% pain relief doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy.



  • If there is a documented problem that they think can be fixed I would pursue that before an SCS. If that does not work, then I would look at the SCS. I have one and it works. I do not think that I would choose it over a possible solution to your pain.

    Now, with nerves and surgey there is never an easy answer. I suggest you not do anything without some second opinions.
  • also would seek a fix to the problem first. However, with my 3 surgeries, my nerve pain just got worse, so definitely get multiple opinions.

    I've heard about people being skeeved about having the SCS implanted. Truthfully, when you have done every single thing there is to do and yet you suffer daily horrid burning pain, you won't feel that way. You will feel blessed to have anything to try as you go out of your mind otherwise.

    I love my SCS. I lovingly run my fingers over the very prominent box area on my upper hip (where the implanted pulse generator is). I sit every day and relax to the buzzing that I feel instead of horrid 24/7 burning nerve pain.

    An EMG proved I have permanent nerve damage. There was nothing else that could be done.

    However, I will caution you, if you continue on being skeeved out about the SCS, do not try it. Statistics will be very high that it will not work for you. Must have a good mindset going in or don't bother. It is major surgery and not worth putting yourself through it if you already can't imagine dealing with it.

    For me, my choices were going out of my mind pain, an SCS or an implanted pain pump (supposedly, no one ever really discussed this with me). The SCS has been an absolute God send. There should be a psychological evaluation prior to the trial - don't proceed personally unless you have the evaluation and make sure you "pass". (Almost all docs and insurances require this.) They are looking for traits that would make a person a BAD candidate for the SCS. Save yourself the time and trouble. That's why there are trials first.

    Good luck,

  • Dave,

    I am of the mindset that if there's a surgical procedure that has even a 50-50 chance of fixing things, I'd pursue that before ever considering an SCS.

    I was offered an SCS to control my headaches on the eve of surgery to possible fix the problem permanently. The surgery was successful in that it got rid of the worst of the pain, however complications created new and exacerbated old problems. So a year later I had an SCS implanted because there is no longer a viable fix.

    I can easily say that I would not have been able to appreciate what the SCS offers me, were it not for having tried every other conventional treatment. I had the PM doc working overtime trying to help me out. When no more options were available I agreed to try the SCS and it has been the best thing ever!

    If you haven't talked to your NS yet, maybe consider doing that. Find out if your NS even feels you would benefit from any type of surgical procedure. You may be surprised by the answer.

    Hope you get some sort of resolution soon.

  • Thanks for all of your replies.
    I'm calling my NS later today for an apointment.
    I watched the video and all of the people who had them installed where post op. Originally when the problem stated, it was masked by my lower back L4/L5
    problem and narcotics. After my lower back surgery
    the neck pain reared it's ugly head. (Layer cake)
    My NS at the time suggusted traction and PM ESI.
    He said at that time I might have a little of what was in my lower back - happening now in my neck.

    Well I tried the traction and ESI and it did not work. I like to see if what the NS did for my lower back would work for my neck. Stenosis and neural foraminal narrowing. I think they can just grind off the osteophyte.
  • I went to see the NS today and he handed me the DVD on the SCS right back to me and said, "We're a long way from needing to look at this right now."
    After a physical, he thinks that a CT-scan with mylograph will show where the pinching is.
    Currently waiting on a return call with the date and time.
    Maybe this will turn out like my lower back problem
    and a little house cleaning in the canals will fix the problem.

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