My name is Pete, even though my username says "PeterJ", I prefer Pete.
46 y/o, blew my L5/S1 in about 2003 (actually initially injured it 15 years earlier), and did the usual dance of pain meds -> PT->epidural->recovery->wash, rinse, repeat, from 2003 until 2009, when I had an L5/S1 laminectomy/discectomy with instrumentation done.
Went about a year or so, feeling great, and suddenly the "wash, rinse, repeat" cycle started all over again. Went from episodic pain medication (percocet) to 10 mg Norco at night, and 4 tramadol during the day so that I could function at work. On top of this I also started taking muscle relaxers regularly. First Soma, which when combined with Norco, made me completely non-functional, then skelaxin, and now Baclofen. Pain management doctor diagnosed me with Post-Laminectomy Syndrome.
Moved into a home in 09/12, and foolish, independent me, insisted on helping "move small boxes", and consequently blew up his L4/L5. Went back to the neurosurgeon, who blew it off as "normal pains for a 40-something guy with back surgery" and sent me on his way.
I immediately went back to the pain doc, who did a CT and found the herniation, PLUS arachnoiditis in my L2-L4 region. That was December of last year. (The Arachnoiditis then explained why I always complained of deep, bilateral 5/6-10 scale pain my thighs, which I told my neuro).
Fired the neurosurgeon.
To make a long story short, three epidurals later, and Q6 norco (or 10 mg percocets) for 5 months, led me to consider the SCS trial.
The trial was amazing. 80% relief. In fact during those 4 days (it malfunctioned the 5th day) I took 2 norco only. So, in the second week of June, I had the permanent (Medtronic) SCS put in. For two weeks I had 90% pain relief. Now I am down to about 60%. Part of it was that oddly, I had not had a lot of low back pain for the past month. But the leg pain was always there. Well it started a week ago and I went to two different Medtronic reps and they couldn't get coverage of that area.
So in short, I experience about 2/3's relief with the SCS (can't sleep with it, it keeps me awake at night) and have to go back to the doctor and ask to have back the (unfilled) prescription for Norco that I handed back to him two weeks ago because I said "I'm done with this stuff. The SCS works great".
So, that's where I am. Better, but far from where I wanted to be.
L2-L4 Arachnoiditis. L4-L5 Herniation, L5-S1 Discectomy/Laminectomy with Instrumentation. SCS Implant. C5/C6, C6/C7 DDD