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Anyone have successful SCS for thoracic pain?

Hey All! Been awhile since I posted, been through a divorce and problems with one of my kids. I lost my insurance when the div was finalized and had to go on Medicaid. I have had no pain management doctor since January, weaned myself off fentanyl, MSIR, Lyrica, toprimate, and Savella. I have seen two pm docs that take Medicaid, one offered me an SCS saying she thought I had a 50-60% chance of it helping me 50%. SO Isaw another doc who said no meds, only ESI's. Been there done that. It has been a long 7 months, all I get is Cymbalta and carisiprodol from my primary care. The last month has been almost unbearable in the upper lumbar/thoracic area. I have a failed fusion at L2-3, central herniation at T11-12 and several bulging thoracic discs, per my last MRI in 7/2014. I am desperate enough to consider the SCS though I hate the idea of having surgery, no matter how minor, for something the doctor thinks will help so little. Also, this doctor is almost 90 mins away, I will need the trial and psych eval, I rely on my former in laws to get me around... It is just problematic overall. SO I was hoping if anyone has had success with thoracic level pain, it would be great to hear their story. Have a Great Day!
Fused L2-3 to S1 and at C5-6. I have a central herniation @ T11-12 and multiple bulging discs in my thoracic. I also have fibromyalgia and suspected arachnoiditis, awaiting my results of a recent MRI.


  • Have very similar problems to you and nothing helps! I was told SCS is not used in thoracic area. I have had facet injections, 3 rounds of therapy, trigger point injections and of course pain management. I declined ESI due to bad reaction to dexamethasone shots. Please do not be bullied into ESI's as they have some long term effects from many I have talked to. One thing you could ask about is gabapentin. Or there is a cream called voltaren which many primary docs can get you samples for free. It may take the edge off. Many doctors are afraid to prescribe strong meds due to idiots who misuse them which leaves us truly needing them suffering. Will be praying for you!
    Unrelenting pain
  • BluesMannBBluesMann Posts: 3
    edited 09/01/2015 - 11:19 AM
    Not familiar with SCS, but ESI can be very helpful, or cause side effects. Also there is a limit on how many levels can be treated how often due to limits on dosage in a year. I have had chronic thoracic radiculopathy for two two years, no relief yet, but seeing my neurosurgeon this week to discuss. He saved me from having lasting nerve damage in left arm and leg in the last two months , so will be happy to share any info that may be useful.

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    Gary Mann
  • for responding. I will not have any more ESI's because I had a weird reaction the last two times my former PM dr attempted them. He was doing them in the thoracic area and both times my heart rate, bp, and oxygen level went very low. The first time he thought it could be a fluke but then it happened again and he said it was likely pressure on the vagus nerve. He had to remove the needle after injecting a very small amount of the steroid. Both times I had to lay down in another treatment room for about 45 minutes until my bp started to go up. That doctor said he would not even attempt any more ESI's on me. I have had many esi's over the 17 years I have had back problems, some were very helpful. I have found a doctor who prescribed me a low dose of MS Contin ER which has helped somewhat.
    Fused L2-3 to S1 and at C5-6. I have a central herniation @ T11-12 and multiple bulging discs in my thoracic. I also have fibromyalgia and suspected arachnoiditis, awaiting my results of a recent MRI.
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