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Hi i need advice

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in New Member Introductions
I have chronic neck, shoulder and severe head pain. right not my pain specialists says I have 3 bad disks in my cervical area, he found this after a discogram. My options are now the precision spinal stimulator or spinal fusion surgery. I am not sure what to do. any advice


  • I'm sorry to hear about your pain and welcome to SH.

    Have you ever been referred to a surgeon to see what they think? Are you currently on any medications, and how long have you been this way?
    Fusions are major and you need to research the risks and benefits, and decide if you want to go through it. You'll be looking at a long recovery and when it comes to back surgery, there is no 100% guarantee that it will take away your pain. My doctor told me that with surgery, esp. fusions, that there is a chance you'll get better, stay the same, or get worse. There are also risks involved with neurostimulators. If you pass your psych evaluation and do well with the trial (the number of days determined by your doctor), it will be a surgical procedure. During the trial, the unit is taped to your back, and the leads are implanted along your spine. You will be sore and won't be able to lay on your back or bathe for days. The maker of model's rep will be available with making adustments to the unit to offer you better pain coverage. My experience with that stops there, because I had a spinal headache and was losing spinal fluid. I had 2 blood patches done to seal it, and the leads had to be removed, and the trial was unsuccessful. I was sick for 2 weeks and couldn't pick my head up without the headache worsening viciously, and had nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and distorted hearing. I had no choice but to lay flat.
    There are a lot of people here with good outcomes, however.
    I'm recovering from a 2 level spinal fusion with hardware for a number of problems I developed since my last discectomy. I had L4-5 herniation, L5-S1 severe DDD and disc bulge pressing on the nerve, retrolisthesis (slippage), L3 benign tumor, Facet joint arthopathy, and DDD in cervical and thoracic levsls.
  • I am seeing a nuerosurgeon and a pain specialiasts. acording to the anesthesiologists i work with they are the best of the best. I am so sorry to here about your experience. I am 30 yo with a 16mth old.
    My NS said the surgury could make it worst or better and there is no gaurantee so he sent me to Pain spec. and they did discogram and steroid injections none of that helped. so pain spec. is now suggesting SCS or surgery. They said nothing about psych eval though.
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  • :) tovied, hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you are in contact with doctors and if they are giving you the two options i would pick the stimulator. :? it is still far less invasive than surgery. good luck and please let us know how you progress. get your questions answered and don't stop till you understand it all!!! :? all the best! Jenny :)
  • I am one of the ones that has a successful outcome with an SCS in my neck. I love my SCS and wouldn't want to be without it. If the docs have determined that your neck is stable and no worries about nerve damage then an SCS trial is awesome to have been offered. With me, my SCS is simply a pain management tool to allow me to have a life. Hopefully one day they will figure out how to fix me, but until then I will buzz away with my SCS.

    The psych eval in my understanding is driven by the insurance companies. It's no big deal and in my opinion, if a doc recommends a patient for an SCS, then they already feel the patient is qualified, but you know how it is with the bean counters.

    You are welcome to PM me if you have questions in regards to the cervical SCS. Most members have lumbar SCS's, I sport a cervical one.

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • Surgery should always be left as a very last resort as there are no guarantees that surgery will stop the pain. It is always good to try all conservative treatments before opting for surgery. Good luck and keep us posted.
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