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Intrathecal Pain Pumps - Success Rates?

Fireblade-USMCFFireblade-USMC Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Pain Management
This the only thing I have left. My basic research shows that success declines with time after surgery with 1 year of success being 15%. My Dr thinks its more like 25%.

Does anyone know of hard data and research for this?
How are you doing with your Pain Pump?




  • If you will type pain pump in the search box at the top of the page you will find some information on them. People who have them love them and they have helped their pain a lot.
    I am waiting for my first appointment with the Doctor who may be doing my pain pump implant. I have not had the trial yest so do not know if it will even help.
    You can also check out my post "Pain Pump Appointment" under the "Pain Management" section and you will find a lot of good information about them.
    Best of luck to you.
    Patsy W :H
  • All I know is that if you get at least 50% reduction in pain from the pain pump or stim, the trial is considered successful. I'm not sure about the other stuff you mentioned but I'm sure you can learn more by researching online and taking to your doctor. Let me know what you find out because I'll be getting a pump soon and of course I'm very interested. Take care
  • Sorry, I like statistics. The problem with all this PM stuff is its all to much some people like, other's don't. You can't get a real answer with real numbers.
  • Hello, I had my pain pump trial back in June of this year, it was deemed a sucess, but... I was put on morphine (pain med) in the pump along with bupivicain (for numbing). The dose he set the pump at for the trial was pretty high and I slept a lot of the time for several days, except when I was up getting sick from the morphine, and itching like a maniac again from the high dose of morphine. Sure it helped with the pain, I was so drugged that I slept. We did agree to go ahead with the implant and "use different medications to lessen the side affects". Well when I woke up after surgery in August of this year, I learned that the dr. used morphine anyway as the hospital didn't have on hand the particular (fentynl sp?) that he planned to use. So he just put the morphine in and set me at a lower dose per ml. per hr. Ok I thought this is good, he agreed to change out the med when I went in for my first follow up appt. This didnt happen either. He said if I wasnt having any side affects that he would leave it and slowly raise the level till I couldnt tolerate it and then make the switch over. Well since the surgery I have had way more numbing of my legs so they have been playing with the level of bupivicain.. still no change in the numbness in my legs, and I still have some very painful days where my back is concerned. They keep assuring me that they are still "tweaking" my dosage... Hmm I go in on the 19th for my first re fill so we will see what happens then. But today, right this min. the way I feel, it wasnt all that big an improvement for me. Once the meds are changed I may change my mind as well. I am still on oral meds as well... kadian 30 mg 2x day... gabapentin 650mg 4x a day and percocet ?? mg as needed for break through. I thought I was supposed to be weaned off oral meds when I got the pump, but still haveing as much pain as I do still on the same oral meds, and the pump full of morphine and bupivicain... not sure about this cocktail... dont seem to be much help at all some days... Good luck to anyone else that goes the route of a pump, hope your results are better then mine...

    MissT ~X(
  • I wore a medtronic infusion system model #8627L18 for 6 years from 7/03 - 6/09 with no problems. Had it replace with newer synchromed II 8637-40 this past june 6/09. It worked fine till 11/1/09...the motor began stalling...first thought I had flu, got flu shot 2 days later...couldn't hear the friggin beep...by wednesday 11/4 it had stalled completely and back pain set in and I knew it was pump...went to pain clinic next day and was told the motor had stalled. So, now I'm going through wicked narcotic withdrawal and, of course, back pain. The problem is I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict clean and sober for over 6.5 years, so the oral narcotics are out of the question unless I absolutely can't stand pain,...I phone the medtronic rep 11/6...she tells me this has never happened before. I"m the first. They say my Doctor is out of town and no one else will perform operation...it's now Sunday 2 weeks later 11/15 and I still don't know when the operation will be. Then today I decide to google all this and find out the FDA has recalled both models I've used, and in many instance for stalled motors. At this point, I don't know what to do...do I let them put another one in? I am on disability, but the pump lets me teach guitar lessons to augment my income, I couldn't do it without...not sure what to do....would love to hear suggestions. Thanks!
  • I like to know about your meds if any is workin for ya? Ive been on alot of them myself Im lookin into pain pump Ive had 2 serg. fused from L-3 to S-1 have alot of pain in rt leg and foot! I live in the Indiana area. Dr. not helpin me fast enough been like this 12 yrs.
  • this message is for Greg thxs
  • Like MrsWings, I'm still on ER and IR medications until my intracecal dose is adjusted high enough to be beneficial. My pain is also the same and I'm waiting to see if I'll function better with the pump.

    Leon, I'm sorry about your situation and I would go back to the first Medtronic pump because it worked fine and you didn't have any trouble with that model. That's just my opinion, and I hope they get you into surgery ASAP so you'll feel better again.
  • I was reading on the net about pain pumps and read that the success rate for the pump is 80% the first year then drops to 40% after that. I am sorry I did not bookmark the page so I could direct you to it.
    Patsy W
  • hello,
    I am on my 3rd Medtronic pain pump in 17 years. to try and answer the 80% relief the first year and 40% a year later.
    my only thought is tolerance to the medication in the pump. you may need something stronger in the pump, 2 benefits 1.better pain relief and 2.you will go longer between refills.
    My pump was started on morphine the first year, it lasted 6 months Dr switched me to Dilaudid for 16 years now.

    pp :H
  • I for one don't care for the statistics, I used to be overly concerned with them. My new Nero, been treating me for 9+ years, said something to me one time and it really struck home. I asked about the stats on the surgery he said "I don't talk stats, lets say I have a 99% success rate, and you are in the 1% that doesn't work, the stats don't matter in that case." Made sense to me, I trust him and he has never let me down. I am looking into a pain pump as well, and I go on the 11th and am asking for a referral for a pump. Good luck
  • Ok its been a while now that I have had my pump (morphine/bupivicaine cocktail), and I am still trying to be positive and keep thinking that they are still tweaking levels to get to where I need to be. But, this past week has been a living hell for me. On the 1st I was in the ER in so much pain I thought I would pass out just from the touch of my clothes on my back. The Dr there (small town ER) didnt have a clue about the pumps, how they worked, the meds, nuttin. I was pretty frustrated. I was given two 50mg shots of demerol to help me get thru the weekend till I could get to my pain doc. As I have been going in for increases my side effects are increasing. Started with some nausea, itching, and now swelling and very intense pain. My dr says that the water retention is causing all my nerve endings to be pushed to the skin surface causing the hyper sensitivity. So on a water pill for 5 days to bring that down and increased my kadian 30mg 2x a day up to 3x a day for the same number of days... back in on Thur. to have the morphine removed and fentynal put in. They tell me that this will be much stronger then the morphine was. Im wondering if anyone else has had any severe reactions to the morphine in this form, if they have been changed to any other cocktail and if so what. If the new med dont work I dont know where I will end up. Im just so darn frustrated. This was supposed to be the best thing to help aleviate my pain, and so far its not doing much but making me sick.... Good luck to anyone going this route, its a process.

    Gentle Hugs,
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