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Implants for sciatica ?

Started by MamaDukes on 04/18/2013 7:34pm

Good day,
Hello everyone! Twelve yrs. ago, I had a failed fusion surgery on a Torn disc in lumbar 4-5 which also resulted in a sciatica. I have been getting nerve blocks every 4-6 months from my pain doctor, but now they are not helping much at all.. On a quick question to a neurologist, he said it may be time for an implant. Does anyone know what he means and what the chances are of it actually helping me? There are days that I can not walk and the pain is beyond excruciating! The meds for the actual back do not help these leg issues at all. Over the years it has spread from just the left leg to both legs! Some of my family members swear there is a permanent nerve block that can be done for me, anyone with information on that either? I am new here and any advice or info will truly be appreciated! I am 52 this month, a mom , wife; and home maker. In other words I do it everything but without pay checks, just love! Thank you!
Mama Dukes

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1 Response


I wonder if your doctor is talking about getting you implanted with a neuro stimulator or spinal cord stimulator as others may call it. It's actually not that big of a surgery and can help quite a bit. I had quite a bit of sciatic pain also and was on a bunch of medications for it and still the pain was bad. I still got my injections about every three months or so, but those don't always work. I've now been morphine free since August of 2012 and it's because I had a neuro stimulator implanted in my back. All it does it make you feel like you are vibrating..but you aren't, the nerves in your back are being stimulated by one or two wire leads that they implant in your spine to specific areas of your pain. You do have to charge your battery on a regular basis....which by the way is normally implanted in one of your butt cheeks.
When I had my trial test to make sure I would benefit, it lasted 5 days and I wanted to keep the damn thing because even though they said I'd still have back pain, I didn't! I got my permanent one implanted and there are some tricks that you have to learn...and one of them if getting your technician (mine is Medtronic) to adjust your settings every couple of months because things do shift and after about 6 months you can have it set to adjust automatically. Mine knows when I'm laying down or sitting or standing and it adjusts accordingly. I can always adjust it manually too...but I don't have to! My stimulator is on 24/7 and I have to charge every 2-3 days, which only takes a few hours but you can do what you want while you are charging.
Every body is different and have different results....I even know someone who it didn't work on at all, but the main thing you have to do is stay in contact with your technician/representative, they know how to adjust the stimulator up or down the wires in your spine and exactly how to adjust to your comfort.
There are two companies currently being represented in my area and that's St. Jude and Medtronic. The doctor will give you two different videos to watch along with reading material and they want you to make the choice as to which company you feel is right. You can also go to the web sites of these companies to do more research. It isn't a cheap surgery, but it is well worth it.
Nerve blocks and burns don't always stay that way and the pain will come back. I had nerves burnt and the nerves grew back within 3 months. I only went with the stimulator because I was pretty much out of choices and like I have stated, it was the best choice....but does take some restrictions for about 6 weeks to 6 months. No bending or twisting or lifting more than a gallon of milk. The wires had to have a chance to fuse with scar tissue so they wouldn't move around. I have no weight limitations, I can bend and twist now, but it did take some self control not to do those things.
I'm hoping your doctor is talking spinal cord stimulation because I do believe it would help. You can always ask.

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