I have been a caregiver for my husband for the last six years or so. In his mid-40s he began experiencing terrible back pain. We went to our primary care (who is wonderful!) and immediately identified his issue and said to us "because of your age, you are going to have a Hell of a time finding someone to take you on as a patient." Well, unfortunately, he was right. We went from doctor to doctor - orthopedists, chiropractors, you name it. Not only could we get a straight answer on his condition, no one wanted to go near him. In the meantime, we tried injections, physical therapy, even acupuncture to try and help his pain level. Nothing helped. We even went to the Hospital for Special Surgery and they wanted no part of it.
We finally found a wonderful surgeon in New Jersey who finally identified the issue. Kyphoscoliosis, Scheuermann's Disease, and extreme myofascial spasms. He was scheduled for surgery. After 11 1/2 hours of surgery, he now has rods, screws, and stabilizer bars from C7 to T10. He spent two weeks in the hospital and two weeks at in-patient rehab. He came through it like a champ. He went to PT for several months three to four times a week. It was tough but he did great. Everything healed properly.
One problem - he still has terrible pain.
He is on a pretty heavy list of meds (transdermal patches, narcotics, etc.) as well as other meds to manage the side effects. He tried doing some PT again this winter in an attempt to avoid atrophy. While it improved his strength and stamina, it didn't help his pain.
We are looking into some bracing he can wear under his clothes to help try to alleviate the pain. If that doesn't work, the surgeon is suggesting a thoracic peripheral field stimulator. He isn't sure how he feels about having something like that. I told him it is completely his decision, as I'm not the one in constant pain.
I have tried very hard to support him and am always doing research to better understand his condition and find something to help him.
So my question is this...
For those of you who have had a thoracic peripheral field stimulator implanted, has it helped? Do you think it was worth it? I am willing to do anything to help him get his life back.
Thank you very much,
Spine patient caregiver