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steeldove (@steeldove)

Anyone tried Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain?

Neuropathy | Last Active: Oct 31 4:59pm | Replies (395)

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I've been out of Mayo Connect for a couple of years, but I decided to jump in to this discussion.

I had a Burst DR spinal cord stimulator implant two years ago and found amazing relief for the pain in my feet from small fiber idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. I estimated an 80% reduction in the burning pain. I have tried all of the medications for neuropathy, and lots of off label meds, with very limited success. Lyrica helped but the side effects put me in the hospital. Recently I tried desipramine, and it was helping with the pain, but caused bladder issues – urgent need to urinate up to 24 times a day – end of yet another medication. I've been taking morphine sulfate contin for a number of years, and I know it helps me manage the pain.

I've been meeting with the Abbott tech every three months or so, to adjust the settings on the controller, because I was having increased pain. I met him again last month, and I seem to be getting the message that the stimulator is losing its efficacy. I rate the pain most days on a scale of 1-10 and lately I've been having more 7 and 8 days.

Some of you know from personal experience the interaction between chronic pain and mental ill- health, especially with depression and suicidal ideation. The interaction is very real. I'm alive today because of the good health professionals who have been treating me for 15+ years.

I'm going to see a neurosurgeon at the end of this month to discuss the possibility of a dorsal root ganglion stimulator. My understanding is that it can do a better job of targeting specific pain. I'm ready to try something new because my pain is increasing and is interfering with my ability to function. My pain specialist is prescribing yet another medication for me to try, but by now I don't hold out much hope.

I had surgery on my ankle in April, because I was rolling my foot more and more often, with more and more pain that would last longer. It was a Brostrom procedure, with a placement of a permanent internal ankle brace. I'm still recovering from that, but I'm pretty sure it will prevent me from further ankle inversion. The pain I have could be from the last time I rolled it. But the combination of ankle pain and neuropathy pain has been hard.

The point of this post is to learn what others have experienced with regard to the long term efficacy of a spinal cord stimulator. I had hoped that it would be a more or less permanent pain management tool. Maybe it is, maybe it's not.

I appreciate any information you can share.


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Replies to "I've been out of Mayo Connect for a couple of years, but I decided to jump..."

Hi @jimhd, It is really good to hear from you and how you are doing. Thank you for sharing. I'm hoping others will be able to share their experience with the Burst DR spinal cord stimulator implant. I did see an article from Jan 2019 about the Burst DR stimulator. Have you seen it?

New Data Reinforce Benefits of Abbott's BurstDR™ Spinal Cord Stimulator


Hi, Jim. I had my first stimulator implanted in 2012. In July of 2018 I had an updated version of my Boston Scientific implanted. I now have all day coverage on a silent level and I can add sensations where and when needed. I am looking forward to a dorsal root implant as I have small fiber neuropathy and complex regional pain syndrome in both feet. I have been told about people who were in wheelchairs able to walk with this implant. I am allergic to most meds. I do use oxycodone when all else fails – all else being stimulator, lidoderm pain patches, lidocaine and prolocaine cream, tens unit. I also have Degenerative Disc Disease and arthritis throughout my spine – top to bottom! Have also been dx with myofascial pain. I wake frequently with pain especially in hips and thighs. I need further investigation into that problem. I have a DO as my PCP and he has healing in his hands in doing OMT. I also have a DO for pain management . He is incredibly talented and knowledgeable about CRPS. I do like my stimulator. I am more active now as I am a caregiver for my husband who has dementia and non -Hodgekins Lymphoma. Our ages are 75 and 80 and I believe it is a miracle that I am functioning as I am. My faith in God sustains and uplifts me. He is nurturing me as I nurture my husband. I love being taken care of by my loving, merciful, generous Father.

Hi @jimhd, I'm so pleased to be reading your posts! I've wondered how you were doing. So good to hear from you again.