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Anybody have a scs w/out fusion first?

backpainzzbbackpainzz Posts: 116
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Pain Management
I'm curious why after all the blocks, injections, tests...you name it, do I need a fusion when I would rather just get the scs first, I read many on here are fused, then must get the scs also, My doc said for me the fusion would be maybe 60-70% better. The problem area is L4-5/S1. I saw a rather nasty young anatheiseologist (sp) who laughed at me, after the facet block didnt work, I have never broken down and cried infront of anyone at home or never in public. That was my last hope of my life after fusion ending (facet block) rhizotomy...block didnt work so the problem wasnt in the facet joints. Such an a@#$%%$#@ I handed him my MRI papers, and he laughed and narly threw them back at me and said the radiologist are stupid and he didnt believe in them, they were stupid. I also told him the pain is in my buttocs, down my let leg and midway between my calf it is numb all the way down to my ankel... "Laughing I never heard of pain in the front". So while he is tying away laughing and saying I shouldnt be laughing, I was so humiliated and hurt, my husband kept saying she is in pain. I asked about the SCS, he said "if youd already been fused, "Id do it with out a problem," then He sad I could set you up for a trial. Without spending money out the rear, how do I find a doc that will do the scs, do Neurosurgeons implant them, or just the anathesiologiy pain docs? I really detest these new young doctors if its not AB Or C well it isnt possable. Even though I hate him should I let him set up the trial? Can I have a SCS without being fused first? Thanks Rose


  • Hi,
    I am disturbed to hear that you were laughed at. That hurts my heart. I have been in pain for about 5 years. I also have DDD. I did have a fusion done at level C5-6. It seemed to be the first option to address the pain. I was more than willing to give it a try. I was told it was a successful surgery in 90% of my doctor's cases. It was not a success for me but I have talked to tons of people that are not in pain anymore after being fused. I was eventually referred to a pain management doctor and have the SCS. The SCS does not fix any problems. It covers up some of the pain. Not all of it. I believe that doctors like to "fix" the problems causing the pain and surgery is the first option. At least you have been offered an SCS trial. The trial will give you a pretty good idea of what the permanent SCS will be like. The doctor can submit the request to your insurance company and see what they say.

    Take care,

  • I would file a formal complaint. that is uncalled for and unprofessional and he should be made to realize he needs to grow up and not humiliate patients.

    Second, PMs do SCS, NS, do SCS. You can find anynumber of doctors doing them now. The key is to find one you are COMFORTABLE with! One that laughs at you, NO.

    I saw two different PMs with mine and while the one I got a second opinion from recomended it, I went back to the first one because of insurance issues to have it done.

    You can get an SCS before or after a fusion. The issue I see is being ready to try one and fully understanding what it is and does. If you truly have an instability or nerve compression, trying to mask that pain without stabilizing the problem may be a bad idea. You really should identify exactly what your other options are before going with an SCS trial.

    I hope this helps.
  • I had a microdiskectomy, but no fusion. I am scheduled for a trial SCS.

    Your doctor is a butt head for laughing at you. At least you have a witness.

    What a jerk - and I don't care how highly recommended this doctor may have been. I had a rheumatologist who came very highly recommended, but he was too full of himself to treat me adequately.

    Good luck in your quest. It should not be hard to find someone who will not only treat your pain, but treat you with dignity.

  • I find with my herniated disc the pain is down the side of the leg but it does extend to the front also as well as around the ankle. I have the opposite leg of my herniated disc with the sciatica. Already 2 Orthos have blown me off. I'm awaiting a Neurosurgeon consult now but after all this time I have now problems with both legs. A chiropractor on youtube says the surgeons are afraid to accept anyone when their symptoms are rare so they don't want to take the chance. The Surgeon can order a discogram. I also went for a 2nd opinion PM Dr. for treatment. Keep looking for a Neuro or Ortho or PM Dr to hear you out. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Wow, It is so nice to get the support and info I deeply needed. I have had a discogram, 2 SNI, facet block, 3 epidurals, Lamnectomny, several MRI's,X-rays, and the most recent MRI does show severe degeneration. 2 seperate Neuro's 2 differant citys have said 2 level fusion. I hurt like h@#$, I guess, I am afraid of "life being over", This is stupid because of the pain but I still go out and way over do...yard work, house work, I go go go thats what I'm afraid of I guess I just need to bite the bullet and get fused, I have reasearched on here, asked tons of questions, and of course still asking. I Am going to tell the Neuro that refered me to him, and I am seriously thinking of writting a letter to the administrator, maybe even my insurance Co. of his "lack of professionalizzium. He even said "ya most people don"t like this of me, but I tell it like it is. It still upsets me. Thankyou all So much. Sincerly Rose
  • Like the others have already mentioned, the SCS is not a fix, but a pain management device. If there is a possible fix, then realistically speaking it should be explored. I love my SCS, but if the docs said they had a potential fix that would give me a 60%-70% chance of it working, I'd jump on it in a heart beat! In my mind and in my heart, I hope that some day there will be a way to fix my neck. Until that time I will gladly buzz away and recharge my battery as needed.

    Good luck to you

  • Hi Rose~I don't think that you have to like the Dr so much as you like his work,that is more important-to me,but it can be hard getting beyond that and disassociating yourself in that way-so to speak.

    I'm sorry though,that the doc laughed at you,that is pretty bad-to say the least.I understand how you feel,and personally I think it would take me a little time to put things into perspective before I could allow myself to go back to that same Dr.,but I have been in a similar situation(not with SCS),and I did go back.This time with my report in hand(one he didn't have the time of day for initailly)and I read parts of it TO him,because he wasn't willing to read it.I asked him what this and that meant,and he answered me.

    It sounds like he's willing to help you with the SCS,so that could be a good thing if it is something that you want.

    I wish you the best.. :)))
  • When I handed him the papers, I did question him on what I had read, on the MRI reports, and discogram, he blew me off, I also told him my pc sent me for an epidural...b4 I saw him or the neuro, and she was a regular anathesologist, specializing in child birth. My hubby showed him the area of the injection, Too High...Thats stupid, so everythng is stupid unless it was his idea. I already called the neuro that set me up with him, and they were quick to refere me to a differant one, I didnt go into spacifics, but I will let the neuro know of his unprofessionalisum. The Neuro sent me to him for facet blocks, wasnt the problem, I will go back to the neuro, and ask him about the scs first or at least the trial b4 fusion, and if it works possibly a permanant scs alng with the fusion, and I dont know the stability of my spine either, but hopefully I can get out of this pain. Thankyou Rose
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