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Pain pump & abdominal hernia - problem?

Hi, I had an accident ten years ago, to cut a long story a bit shorter I ruptured two thoracic discs which caused spinal cord compression, I had emergency surgery, then a thoracic fusion with titanium rods screws & plates the following year. I've also got DDD & several bulging discs at all levels of the spine. I've been left with a high level of pain & can only walk short distances with the aid of crutches. I've been using Fentanyl patches for several years 175mcg every 72 hours. Because of nerve damage at the time of the accident & long term use of Fentanyl I had a colectomy (large bowel removed) six years ago.
After a long wait the pain clinic have now secured the funding for a pain pump (I'm in the UK) however there's now a hold up, as I have a large abdominal incisional hernia, the pain clinic think it might be dangerous to put the pump in when a hernia is present, but the colorectal surgeon didn't know anything about pumps and thought it would be fine to leave the hernia until after the pump's been fitted. I'm due to see the pain consultant next week, does anyone know anything about this situation, I would be very grateful for your thoughts/opinions please, many thanks in advance.


  • Hello and welcome to Spine Health.I really can't advise you on what to do but as you know the pump will be placed in your side between your hip bone and your ribs. Here in the US Doctors make you wear a tight binder while the pump is scaring in. That keeps it from moving around. But still I think I would like to wait until the hernia is closed up and healed first. That is just my own personal thoughts.
    Best of luck.
    Patsy W
  • charryccharry Posts: 5,657
    edited 09/15/2012 - 11:15 AM
    I would get the Surgeon to do the hernia repair especially if you're having pain at that area and most Surgeons will do the surgery when you are symptomatic.

    I don't see why this would affect your getting a pain pump either as the placement isn't in the abdomen. I think it may be an issue wearing a tight binder though as you're not supposed to wear a tight binder with a hernia. I hope you would be able to get the pain pump. All the best. 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
  • Thanks to Pat & Charry for the replies, I just wish the Doctors would make up their minds & get on with things! It's great to have found this forum, thanks for the support.
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