Spinal Cord Stimulator and Second Opinions

It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. Life’s ups and downs, what can I say? I’m wondering if anyone else has had one of these implanted with success. Did you feel as though you needed a second opinion about this? Did the leads irritate your trigger points in that area? Did the device cause problems where they implanted it? I have bursitis and irritable bowl syndrome. I’m concerned about this thing causing irreversible problems with those. I’d appreciate any feedback. Here’s what happened, if you’re interested, and why I’m trying to get a second opinion.

Due to retirement, I have a new doctor who absolutely will not prescribe pain meds. I was referred out to Pain Management with only a 7 day, lowest dose pain med with which to taper off the pain meds. Needless to say, I was still detoxing when I saw the PM Physician’s Assistant for the first time. They were able to get some of my records from another doctor who had done an MRI with contrast (FM MRI?). Unbeknownst to me, according to the PA, all of my discs are bulging and at least 2 of them are compromised. Now, they know that I have fibromyalgia, among other diseases. They know that my fibro can cause horrendous bouts of vertigo and continuously causes issues with my ribcage and breathing.

PM/PA also vehemently refuses to prescribe the pain meds I was on for my various conditions. Matter of fact, he wants to see me off all meds. The actual doctor for this facility resides in another town. He only visits this office to do spinal injections and neural blocks. Having only read that MRI from 2017 and listening to me go over everything I’ve done for my pain, the PA tells me the only option left for me, at this point–I’m in my 60’s, is to have a spinal cord stimulator implanted. I was still processing “all discs bulging . . .” when he launched into that discussion.

I was given no printed material on this device/procedure. I was supposed to take him at his word. (Yeah, right, I did way too much of that decades ago while trying to get the fibro diagnosis.) Once I’m home and I’ve come out of my shock, I research this and the first thing that pops on every search engine I could think of using were the lawsuits associated with the surgery, devices and between companies who make this device. I bring this, and other, concern(s) up at my second visit. PA vehemently states that lawyers are nothing but paid professional liars. Now, I know not to believe everything on the internet, but when you’re reading the actual court documents, that’s different.

When I was taking too long trying to get info I should have gotten at the first appointment and not jumping up and down to schedule this procedure, he got pulled out of the room to take care of another patient. I was left to discuss this with the facility’s manager. A person with no medical background. I quickly left. Once home, I called my insurance’s customer service line to discuss this and ask if I’m allowed a second opinion for this. I am. Then I called my PCP to have them schedule it with the Pain Management group I wanted. That took some doing. Guess I’m not supposed to know my rights.

Thing is, none of the PM, or for that matter doctors, in my coverage area will go anywhere near pain meds because of the threat of the DEA flagging them for it. As for the first PM I went to, we’re done. It’s their way or the highway. How dare I know my body or the complex pain it goes through 24/7. I’m not a medical professional. I feel like we’ve swapped one possible bad treatment for another. This place felt like a PM mill for SCS. There are chronic pain sufferers who aren’t drug seekers. Oh, and I’ve complained not only to my insurance but also to my Congressional reps. For all the good that’ll do.

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I hope you find someone who gives you a second opinion you can trusts and that you are Confident with the risks and benefits of the procedure . It seems if you do see someone new you have to go through the same process of explaining your entire history and possibly having more imaging done on your spine . Try to be patient with yourself and whom ever you see , often stress is a trigger for more pain. My brother went to Chicago several times for this procedure and it was not successful for him , that said there are probably a lot of success stories. Good luck and keep our group posted !

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You can get a 2nd and 3rd opinion if you want, as it’s your right. With that being said a lot of people have bulging discs w/o pain but for those that do have the pain - it’s back pain along w/fibro, & other issues.

My back is bad & I’ve had a couple of fusions, lots of injections, nerve blocks & cauterization, etc (too much to put down). Nothing helped so I was finally “approved” for the scs. I did research on all the devices on the market and what I wanted from my device. If you have to have MRI’s in the future get a device that is capable. Before they will install a device inside you, they will do a trial to make sure you get at least 50% relief. If you don’t get that much then the device isn’t going to work. Granted during the trial & surgery the reps will be all over you & keeping in touch. After the installation good luck getting in touch with them. I’ve had mine for about 2 years and there are good days & bad. Where the battery pack is still hurts but it’s a trade off for less pain in my back, hips, & legs.

Prayers you get relief.

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CDFRANCE26 Now, see, I’ve not had surgical fusions, injections nerve blocks or cauterization. And yet, the first time I saw the PA with Pain Management, he told me the scs was my last option. I’ve pretty much given up on being referred for a second opinion. It’s been over a week. Every time I talk to the office about this, they’re like, “Why do you need that???” ::: Sigh ::: Between that and my sneaking suspicion that the actual Doctor at Pain Management might be getting something out of doing this, I’ve decided not to pursue it. I’m taking herbs (white willow, frankincense & concentrated Curcumin) for my several conditions. So far, while I can afford them, they’re working almost as good as the “better living through chemistry”.

Thank you for the info and the prayers. It’s greatly appreciated.

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One other thing you can do with these doctors is tell them you want a discogram done. This is a test to see if the pain is coming from your discs. Best of luck!!

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Thank you, I’ll look into that!