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Pain pump

asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
edited 04/14/2014 - 4:45 AM in Pain Management
I have been referred to run a test to see if a pain pump would help reduce my pain. Has anyone had any experience with this device and did it help you?


  • The test is usually done by one of two ways, sometimes a catheter is used ( similar to an epidural used when a woman gives birth) to see if the medications delivered intrathecally are going to reduce the pain levels. Most of these tests are done in the hospital simply because of the risk of infection because of the penetration of the thecal sac.....in the second way of doing it, is a one time injection of medication to see how it impacts your pain. If you get a significant enough reduction in the pain, then it is considered a good outcome and the pump is considered as an option.
    The good news is that the medications used in the pump are at a greatly reduced dosage, so you need much less medication than you take orally , and it is delivered right into the spinal fluid so it is more effective and you don't have the systemic issues and side effects that we deal with by the use of oral meds.
    There are several threads here regarding trials and from members who have done quite well with the pump
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    a couple of folks have asked about it.
    I had one put in several mos. ago.
    I'm just now starting to get relief.
    It's a very slow process to titrate you up!
    I'm not a patient guy!
    But I give it a thumbs up!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • due to the medications delivery route, going slow is the best option because there is no way to combat accidental overdose intrathecally........so they go slow.......
    I'm glad that you are finally getting some relief and hope that this is the beginning of a new start for you.
  • I have had a pain pump for 4 years. It was the last effort to get the chronic pain in neck and back under control. I had been to pain clinics, tried many different medications, therapies. etc. It started in 1994 when I had a failed neck surgery at C-5-6 and I had the pain pump put in 2010. It was amazing how I really felt like I got my life back. I have had no problems until this past year when I was hospitalized and my oxygen level was down to 82. They said I had sleep apnea, pulmonary hypertension, and needed to lose weight. I had been using the CPAP machine during this past year but found it did nothing to help my symptoms and only lessened the amount of sleep I got. Now I need to use oxygen full time. I believe that the low oxygen level is more a result of the long use of morphine in the pump. Has anyone else had this kind of reaction after being on morphine for awhile? Thanks for any information that you can give. SAM
  • I have had my Pain Pump almost 5 years now and yes it really helps my pain. I am still on some oral pain meds and always will be. Every time the weather changes I have a flair up in my pain but there is a hand held device you can ask for at the time of your pump implant that you can use to give your self an extra dose of pain meds when you need it. Your Doctor sets it for you so there is no fear of over dosing yourself. I believe that some Doctors give them to their pump patients and some do not. My pump Doctor did not give me one and I did not know to ask for one. When I have my PP replaced I am going to ask for one. My dear friend J Howie is correct, it does take time to get your PP up to your magic setting so please be patient you WILL get there.
    IBecause I have the largest PP I only have to have it refilled every 5 months. Refills are a snap....all I feel is a needle prick. The girl that does my refills is just great.....she hits the port with the first try. I did have someone else do my refill and she had to fish around for the port but it was painless.
    Good luck with your PP. I hope you are as happy with yours as I am with mine.

  • asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
    edited 06/01/2014 - 10:53 PM
    Thanks for all the great information. It really helps to know what to expect and it is the only choice I have besides a third back surgery which the surgeon made it clear it will be a rough recovery. I see the new pain doctor Tuesday morning about the pump and hopefully getting my meds back up to a more effective dosage. Old doc started lowering everyone trying to get within some new guidelines that has really caused me a great deal of harm.
    Again thank you
    AL S
  • Lmr106LLmr106 Posts: 119
    edited 06/03/2014 - 5:00 PM

    I had the pain pump surgery and November 2013. I did well for the first couple of weeks and after that I started to have a leak from where the catheter enters my spine. This is a side effect that can occur sometimes, but is normally fixed with a blood patch. At first the surgeon was not sure if the hole was around my catheter, or around the port of the pain pump so I had surgery again in December of the same year. Surgery showed that it was up where the catheter enters the spinal fluid, so while I was out they did a blood patch. However, the leaking continued even after a week of bedrest. Eventually I ended up taking off from work for six weeks and having to wear abdominal binder in hopes of stopping the spinal fluid leak. I also had two more blood patches done in hopes of stopping the leak. I attempted to go back to work in February and after a week I had to resign due to continued leakage even while wearing the abdominal binder. Eventually, it did stop. I have not yet found a medicine or a medicine dosage that works well on my pain. There has been a slight improvement in my back pain, but I also now have pain going down the back of my right leg. My pain pump is in my back on my right side. I still have a lot of hope because even though it seems like a very long time there are still other things and other medication the doctor can try.
    I did not look into this as much as I should have before I proceed with the surgery. I believed that it would be somewhat of a quick fix, and obviously is not. Good luck to you and I hope everything goes well.
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
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