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pacemakers for pain

My husband has been disabled for over 20 years with a severe back condition. He started out with what was to be a simple microsurgery becamed infected in surgery and had a very long comeback from a 23cc abscess that formed in his spine. He then several years later injured his back at work in an industrial plant rupturing 2 more discs above the abcessed area. They then did a spinal fusion of L4 and L5. He progressively got worse, had numerious back injections, also something called prolo therapy and nothing worked. He decided he did not want to live on pills so they recommended a pain patch every 48 hours which helps a little, however because he is so used to dealing with pain 24/7 he started getting what they called spinal cord flattening from C3 on down. At first we thought he had MS because he could not lift his arms to put his shirt on and could not alk more than 10 or 15 feet. The new surgeon did surgery from C3 on down but could not touch his fused area because it was so bad. Consequently he still has pain after all of this. He has no quality of life at all and cannot even go to the stores anymore. He can't sit at the show or vacation or anything. His only half comfortable position is on his side on the couch. I recently learned of a thing Medtronic puts out called a pacemaker for pain. Of course he is scared but I think if maybe this would relieve his pain even a little. He would like to know where we could find out the success rate of this and who is the best at putting them in. Also how long do they last and would you body become immuned to it. Any information would be a great help. Thank you. L
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232875 tn?1196109030
Here is the link to the pacemaker
good luck

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Avatar universal
i had a advanced bionics stimulator implanted in my right leg. the stimulators work well for specific problems, and my stim. didn't work for me. this doesn't mean yours will not work though. they have trials that you can do to see how well it works before committing to surgery
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Avatar universal

I have the TENS unit implant....I have 6 slipped discs in my back. I've had the unit in for a few months and I'm not sure what I think about it. I'm also going to attempt to get off all pain meds to figure out my base line of pain.

They can put in a temporary unit for you to see what it's like....I really found some relief with that, or so I thought. As I said, I'm still figuring it out. Be careful though...they just released a new model. Didn't bother telling me until the implant was in. They can program up to 20 settings and you can change the intensity and pulse width on it...Tingles to rolling pulse. You can also leave it on over night if you find it useful. Charging the battery in your behind is a trip too....me, and my bionic butt!

Without insurance I think it runs around 18 grand. If you're paying out of pocket REALLY take the temp one on a test drive.

Good luck.

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82861 tn?1333453911
I know Medtronic makes a pain med implant that supplies a constant supply of medication like morphine for example, to the intrathecal space around the spinal cord.  The pump must be periodically refilled, but I don't know what the procedure is or how often it's necessary.  I know it's helped a whole lot of people, but can be expensive if you don't have really good insurance.  From what I understand, there's a lot of "fiddling" involved initially to get to the right dosage.

Go to the Medtronic . com website and once there, type in the words: pain pump
and the different options will appear.

Another thing you may want to investigate is a spinal cord stimulator.  It's similar to the above-mentioned pump, but instead of meds, delivers small electrical currents to the spinal area.  Broadly put, it would be like having a TENS unit installed.

For either one, most docs require some time with a psychologist to make sure the patient won't have a problem having a machine implanted in his body.  Yes, it does happen.  Some folks have a terrible time after implant and then have to have the unit removed.  Not something to enter into lightly.
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st. louis, MO
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