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Neurotransmitter or Not?

edited 08/12/2014 - 4:54 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I was wondering if any of you fellow back/neck pain sufferers have any experience with a neurotransmitter.
I go to my Dr. on Wednesday to see what they decide to do for me.
I have had a laminectomy/decompression at L4-L5 and L5-S1 in 2006. I had an ALIF on my L5-S1 in Dec. 2013. They wanted to do L4-L5 but it was unsafe to do through the front. I have had continued pain in my back and groin and have had 3 epidural injections. I recently had a new myelogram and the PA had to stick me 6 times to get the needle in, due to scar tissue. I have herniated L4/5, L3/4 and have Osteophyte, and facet joint anthropy.
The Dr. said I can do surgery which will be more complicated than the other 2 I've had, or have a neurotransmitter installed in my back in my spine. The surgery would fix the problem and the neurotransmitter is like a tens unit and I'm supposed to have tingling and numbness all the time but eased up pain possibly of 50 percent.
If any of you have any experience with the transmitter please share with me. Thanks


  • pain relief. It is not as effective at treating mechanical pain, and it certainly won't address the facet joint issues. Since you only had the recent surgery in December, you are still well within the year or so post op to see what the outcome of the surgery may be for you. Nerve pain can take up to two years to heal , so you still have some time to see what if any nerve pain resolve you may get.
    I have moved this thread to the appropriate forum so that those with scs units can assist you with your questions....


  • edited 08/12/2014 - 9:56 AM
    I go tomorrow to see my neurosurgeon to decide which procedure is best. I do t really know much about the internal stimulator. I would really appreciate it if anyone can share their experiences.
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  • chrelseycchrelsey Posts: 90
    edited 08/13/2014 - 2:42 AM
    I had a laminectomy (L4/L5) in 2010, multiple lumbar ESI's, radiofrequency ablation, epidural lysis of adhesions, and a cervical fusion - all in 2013.

    In November of last year, my neurosurgeon said my only options were a three-level lumbar fusion, or the spinal cord stimulator. He felt that the three-level fusion could potentially cause more problems than it solved, and that the SCS could perhaps buy more time before having to have that surgery.

    In mid-December of last year I did the SCS trial, and on Christmas Eve I had the permanent implant with percutaneous leads. I was fortunate in that I experienced 60-70% pain relief from it. Then in April of this year - when my coverage changed - we discovered that my leads had migrated, and the decision was made to go with a laminectomy and paddle/leads. I had that surgery eight weeks ago, and am again experiencing good coverage.

    The thought of having the SCS was a scary one for me - but the good thing is that you can have the SCS trial to see how well it works for you before ever committing to the permanent implant surgery. If you don't get good coverage with the trial (a 50% reduction in pain is considered to be a successful trial), then you likely wouldn't want to have the permanent implant. I know that it is more difficult to get good lower back pain coverage with the SCS - but not impossible. I would say my lower back pain has been lessened 50%, and my leg and foot pain 75%.

    I suggest doing all the research you can - and ask your doctor all the questions you have. Being informed of all of the pro's and con's, and familiarizing yourself with the procedure can help in making an informed decision.

    Best of luck as you continue your pain relief journey!


  • Thank you Becky! I went to my Dr. today and he said because I have degeneration that was not present when I had my ALIF in December, he doesn't want to do another surgery on my back. He wants me to try the stimulator. I have an appointment with the psychologist in Sept. He said he or pain management will install the trial/screening test leads and stimulator. If it works he will install the permanent leads and stimulator. I am very nervous.
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