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Looking for suggestions. New to this forum.

Hi Everyone. I have loved this forum as I am a back pain sufferer and have been for quite awhile.
Have had all the various types of treatment.....everything from chiropractic, accupuncture, physical therapy, etc., etc.
As far as operations, I initially had a laser spine procedure that did not work at all. From there I became a patient of
a large nuerological facility in Phoenix, Az. I received various injections and nerve ablations for 2 years which were all
unsuccessful....(does anyone get relief from these? All I have ever read are negative results from patients).
Of course, after all these unsuccessful attempts my PM doctor tried to sell me on getting a spinal cord stimulator.
She said it was either that or I would be on pain medications for the rest of my life!! Well, I decided to go with the
stimulator and went thru the 3 day trial. It was heavenly bliss!! The next step, of course, was the actual permanent
stimulator procedure which went well. Had this done January of 2013. I guess I should tell you where my pain was
coming from.....getting ahead of myself here. My problem area was my lower right back......the L4,L5.S1 area.
The pain would originate there and then spread forward across my right hip area and then my right groin area.
Anyway, long story short.....it relieved about 50% of my pain. The lead was placed on my spine in the thoracic area.
The wires traveled down to the battery on my upper left butt cheek. In January of this year, I had to have a revision done
as I had lost 20 pounds last year due to a thyroid condition. The wires in the back were rubbing against my ribs
causing all kinds of nerve pain. Of course, the surgeon said he had never heard of this before. However, it was funny
that I had read on several spine forums that this can happen when a patient loses weight. This time they placed
the battery just under my bottom rib and above my hip area. It was a really tight fit as I didn't have alot of "meat"
there. Bottom line.....I have been having continual problems with this. The skin in that area is constantly swollen and
hot to the touch. It is very close to my spine which I don't like. If I happen to sleep on my left side during the night,
I pay for it the next day. I was told the only other alternative was to have it taken out. The surgeon seemed
rather indignant that it was causing so much trouble! My Pain Managment doctor had to up my meds from 15mg
Percocet three times a day to Opana 10mg three times a day. I have been on that regiment for about 10 months.
Have alot of breakthru pain but she won't give me anything for that.
My husband got transferred to San Antonio for his work. I just arrived here about 2 weeks ago. I had an appointment
with a spinal clinic here that we were told was the best. Didn't get to see the doctor but had my appointment with
his P.A. This gentleman seemed very on top of it. Looked at my history and told us that spinal cord stimulators
are only for back pain that results in leg and foot pain. Pretty much said that I had been mislead!!! This was
shocking to both my husband and myself!! He did examine me and put his finger right on the very spot where
my pain originates. They
have me lined up for a injection for the hip area.
However, their clinic does not prescribe the type of medication that I am on. They prescribe very mild pain medication
which I think is great for people that can handle that.
So I am going to follow thru with this and see how it plays out. Probably will be going thru withdrawal symptoms
as I am being prescribed a much smaller and milder pain med starting here in about a week.
So there you have it...........my three year nightmare of back issues. Hope I haven't bored all of you!!
Didn't mean to write this much but wanted to give you all the "big" picture.
Do any of you out there live in the San Antonio area? Would love to hear about your experiences with your doctors here.
Sorry again for being so long winded!!
Desert Girl


  • Welcome to Spine Health. http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-message-resource

    The new pm office that you are seeing is correct, the spinal cord stimulator is used to treat neuropathic pain and is not supposed to be used to treat low back pain since that tends to be mechanical in nature and not neuropathic.
    Unfortunately, there were some pm doctors who implanted these devices for the wrong reasons, and patients wind up having them removed because they aren't offering effective pain relief.
    Hopefully, this new office is on target since they were able to pinpoint the pain and that the injections will offer you relief.
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 08/26/2014 - 10:54 AM
    Hi & welcome! I live just north of Dallas Texas. Fingers crossed that the procedures will help & you won't need pain medications any longer. It seems like many of the pain clinics here aren't comfortable prescribing more than a few Hydrocodone. If you find that you need to go back to your previous medications I know several people here who have their medications prescribed by their GP & go to a clinic for procedures. If your pain makes it hard for you to drive very far you are considered 'Geographically Isolated' & GP's can prescribe within the 'narcotic guidelines' for this state.

    I hope this helps. Mine is a small private pain management doctor but I used to go to a huge clinic that was part of the big chain in Texas. I've never had any difficulty getting or filling my prescriptions. ;-)

    Are they removing the stimulator? Will they have to leave the wires in?
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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