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Post Pneunomectomy

DonMc1DDonMc1 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I am considering Spinal Cord Stimulation. I have had chronic pain for 5 years following a Left Pneumonectomy. The pain is centered mostly around the left side of my chest and basically feels like my ribs are broken. The only relief is from Gabepentin, Lidocaine Cream and lying down for hours at a time. I am having an almost impossible time finding anyone who has had a Spinal Cord Stimulator put in for Post Pneumonectomy nerve damage. Will be having the one week trial soon to see if it would be of any help. Have tried most every other possibility except opiates which will be a last resort. If anyone out there has had a similar experience I would appreciate any feedback. Only input from someone who has had a Pneumonectomy and Spinal Cord Stimulation would be helpful.
Thank You, Don Mc.


  • Welcome to Spine Health. I don't believe any of our members have had a Pneumonectomy, but we do have some pretty experienced SCS members. Mine is for both my legs below the knees. It's just one piece of pain management that my doctor has mapped out for me. I find it interesting that you place a stimulator in front of opiates for pain control. Unfortunately, I take opiates, muscle relaxers, and have a stimulator. I'm a little jealous in that you can take Lyrica and get some assistance. I'm what they call sensitive to the nerve type drugs. Feel free to ask questions about your upcoming trial and life with a stimulator, we'll do our best to provide you with some assistance.

  • Thanks for the input Dave. Am trying to retain a clear head through all of this so opiates and any other drugs that might incapacite me are pretty much out of the question for now. Have a physical allergy to most types of pain killers. They affect me differently that others. Have a tendency to take some in Maine and wake up in Chicago. lol Point is I'm trying to keep that as a last resort. Had my Left Lung removed in 2005 and have dealt with pain from nerve damage since. Hopefully the stimulator will give some relief. If not well, don't know. Tried Lyrica but upset my stomach too much so changed over to gabapentin (neurontin) and it helps some but makes me drowsy so can't take as much as I would like. Anyway, thanks for input. Maybe someone who as had a pneumonectomy will spot this and reply.
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  • Don, is the pain from the pneumonectomy itself or are you having post-thoracotomy pain syndrome? I don't know what surgery you had to remove your lung, but a thoracotomy is a common one, so I thought I'd ask.

    I can't help you with the SCS, but I do know there is at least one other person here with post-thoractomy syndrome (this is pain over the rib area due to the nerves cut in the area) who, like me, had a thoracotomy for back surgery in the upper lumbar/thoracic area. Thought maybe knowing others are in the same boat might help (mine is too recent to know whether I'll have long term pain from it, but the good thing is I have a thread started in the thoracic forum, where you can see who has had that surgery).

    Good luck getting some long term pain relief :) Nerve pain has been my bugaboo for 3 years and I am really sorry you are suffering!
  • I get some sensation in the nipple area with 2 out of my three programs. Wasn't intended, but is helpful as at times I get pain like , well like being tweaked. Most uncomfortable, rubbing it helps, but that just plain looks weird if anyone catches me doing it, so I'll take the accidental coverage.

    Pure speculation on my part, but if it is a pain located away from the spine the chances of getting some relief sound plausible to me. Spinal pain seems to be harder to combat, but they are getting better at it all the time.

    You are the only one that can actually make the choice. Many of us here have an SCS for Shoulder, arm, hand pain.

    Here's to good luck, no matter what you decide.
  • There are some of us that have to work exceptionally hard to keep stimulation OUT of that area, so keep the faith. :-)
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  • Thank you for your input! Yes it is pain over the rib area due to nerves being cut there. Feels like broken ribs much of the time. Going on 5 years of this. I would be very interested in exploring the thread you started in the thoracis forum. How would I get from here to there? Appreciate your help.
  • don, this is my thread:


    just a couple of people have had thoracotomies, from what i can see!
  • BionicWoman said:
    There are some of us that have to work exceptionally hard to keep stimulation OUT of that area, so keep the faith. :-)
    Thankfully what I have now requires one of those unusual head positions to achieve coverage there. So I only get coverage is when I want it, along with the strange looks...
  • I have a tripolar paddle at T7/T8, for bilateral low back, hip, leg, and foot pain.

    With certain configurations, I get stimulation that goes up through my abdomen, ribs, just into my lower scapula on the back, and right through the girls in the front. And, when we're working on low back coverage, my reps will occasionally hit certain other spots that are way too personal.

    My reps are both pretty relaxed around me, because they know they can be. Ever since I made him aware of the issue, one of my reps always asks "are you lovin' this program or is it lovin' you?" and when too much stimulation is going to personal areas, I'll say "knock of the foreplay, we don't have that kinda relationship." =))
  • Thanks for the laugh. It should be noted that the two of us should never be in the same room with certain programs running, we might go to jail.

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