Spinal cord stimulation: Will Nevro help when Medtronic didn't?

Posted by 24swart @24swart, Sat, May 30 9:42pm

Hi there,

Need your input.
I am 53 and suffer badly from chronic back and nerve pain in my feet, calf, etc. spinal stenosis, arthritis and severe disc degeneration. Basically need new spine with better cartidge. I have had 3 spinal fusions – 2005, 2011 and 2019 (L3-S1 & C5 – C7). Now issues with bone spurs pressing on sciatic nerve and continued disc generation and vertebrae movement above L3. No neuropathy thankfully.

Tried Medtronic trial did not work. Headed to my Dr on 6/2 in Boston to meet him and the Nevro rep. So badly need relief “gabapentin” not doing it. Please share if you could your results on Nevro. I am at a loss as my Dr does not want to do surgery as its very complicated last resort. My posture is terrible as well.

Thank you, very much appreciated.
Andrea

My only suggestion as both a retired RN and a patient with multiple level fusions in both lumbar and cervical spine is to ask many questions. FYI, I am doing well with a Medtronics spinal cord stimulator. If I had not had it work for me, and was looking at different brands, I would want to know:
– WHY do you think your brand will work when X did not?
You don’t want them to say nebulous things like “our technology is better”.
-Specificities, please! Exactly why will it work better?
– Modalities?
-Your specific problem is best treated by what/because?
-Can they explain why they feel their product is best for your problems? Specs? Data? Trials. Make sure they explain this so YOU can understand – it’s their job!
– Presumably you DO get a trial?
– Is this the same surgeon involved with Medtronics device? What and why does he think this may be better (or does he?). Any Pain physicians involved?
– Check with current/former patients as to customer service of Nevro vs others.

I was also offered “option” of more surgery/additional fusion level and I opted to try something else. Surgery was my last resort if things got even worse. I was on pain meds by end of day 1-2 Vicodin. Aspirin and EST. Heat, ice. Used a cane occ. Limped. I have no idea if this stimulator will work/help for how long (been since late January). Hardest part for me were all the postop restrictions so things would “set in”, but I managed to make myself behave. (Amazing!) My original surgeries were in 2011. Began having sciatica pain a few years ago, my diagnosis is moderate/severe spinal stenosis, DDD, bulging disc here and there. Too bad they didn’t have dependable artificial discs offered then as I might have considered it. Right now I can do much more, off one antidepressant, maybe take aspirin once or twice daily, EST if needed. I still do use ice/heat for muscle spasms as needed. But I garden, walk, maybe 1/2 Vicodin if my neck is bad. (My SCS is only for my lumbar area.)

I hope you find some answers and relief!

REPLY
@wisco50

My only suggestion as both a retired RN and a patient with multiple level fusions in both lumbar and cervical spine is to ask many questions. FYI, I am doing well with a Medtronics spinal cord stimulator. If I had not had it work for me, and was looking at different brands, I would want to know:
– WHY do you think your brand will work when X did not?
You don’t want them to say nebulous things like “our technology is better”.
-Specificities, please! Exactly why will it work better?
– Modalities?
-Your specific problem is best treated by what/because?
-Can they explain why they feel their product is best for your problems? Specs? Data? Trials. Make sure they explain this so YOU can understand – it’s their job!
– Presumably you DO get a trial?
– Is this the same surgeon involved with Medtronics device? What and why does he think this may be better (or does he?). Any Pain physicians involved?
– Check with current/former patients as to customer service of Nevro vs others.

I was also offered “option” of more surgery/additional fusion level and I opted to try something else. Surgery was my last resort if things got even worse. I was on pain meds by end of day 1-2 Vicodin. Aspirin and EST. Heat, ice. Used a cane occ. Limped. I have no idea if this stimulator will work/help for how long (been since late January). Hardest part for me were all the postop restrictions so things would “set in”, but I managed to make myself behave. (Amazing!) My original surgeries were in 2011. Began having sciatica pain a few years ago, my diagnosis is moderate/severe spinal stenosis, DDD, bulging disc here and there. Too bad they didn’t have dependable artificial discs offered then as I might have considered it. Right now I can do much more, off one antidepressant, maybe take aspirin once or twice daily, EST if needed. I still do use ice/heat for muscle spasms as needed. But I garden, walk, maybe 1/2 Vicodin if my neck is bad. (My SCS is only for my lumbar area.)

I hope you find some answers and relief!

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Thank you so much for your advice. On it, will be asking these probing questions. All the best to you and glad to hear your feeling better.

Liked by wisco50

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I have been dealing with back issues for 20 years: Chasing relief! The numbness started in about 2005 after disk surgeries L3-S1. In about 2014 the Neuropathy really started to kick in bad. I get sick over anti depressants, and have been the route of opioids which gave me relief, but only a small amount, and I feel at a high cost.
2017 I tried the Medtronic Spinal Stimulator. Had to have the leads removed before I could leave the hospital as I could not control my legs. (I hear now that the leads may have gone into the spinal canal, and not the Intrathecal canal).
Later that year I had a Medtronic Intrathecal Drug pump installed. I do get relief, but not much even after the Doctors have turn up the medication to high.
This year, 2020, I had a trial of the Nevro Spinal Stimulator. Worked great. I'm having to wait for the virus issue to end so I can have it install. I'm so ready!
The Doctor was not able to get the Medtronic leads into the correct level on my lumbar so he went up to T12 and went down to L3, because of the scar tissue. Bad results. The Nevro leads go T12 up to T8. For me it was doable. In addition, the Nevro is on a higher wave length. Worked well for me in the trial of one week.
I had to give up work at the end of 2018 and am now just hoping for relief/quality of life. I'm hoping the Nevro will work for a long time as it did with the trial. Good luck!
(Demographics: Male, age 60)

Liked by wisco50

REPLY

Hello – I also tried Medtronic and my pain increased during the trial. I had shooting pain down my legs during the trial. I am looking for relief. I have tried several pain meds along with Gabapentin and other meds without relief. Michelle

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I sure wish you good luck with this venture.

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@genomacc

I have been dealing with back issues for 20 years: Chasing relief! The numbness started in about 2005 after disk surgeries L3-S1. In about 2014 the Neuropathy really started to kick in bad. I get sick over anti depressants, and have been the route of opioids which gave me relief, but only a small amount, and I feel at a high cost.
2017 I tried the Medtronic Spinal Stimulator. Had to have the leads removed before I could leave the hospital as I could not control my legs. (I hear now that the leads may have gone into the spinal canal, and not the Intrathecal canal).
Later that year I had a Medtronic Intrathecal Drug pump installed. I do get relief, but not much even after the Doctors have turn up the medication to high.
This year, 2020, I had a trial of the Nevro Spinal Stimulator. Worked great. I'm having to wait for the virus issue to end so I can have it install. I'm so ready!
The Doctor was not able to get the Medtronic leads into the correct level on my lumbar so he went up to T12 and went down to L3, because of the scar tissue. Bad results. The Nevro leads go T12 up to T8. For me it was doable. In addition, the Nevro is on a higher wave length. Worked well for me in the trial of one week.
I had to give up work at the end of 2018 and am now just hoping for relief/quality of life. I'm hoping the Nevro will work for a long time as it did with the trial. Good luck!
(Demographics: Male, age 60)

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@genomacc Are you close to a Mayo Clinic? It sounds like you need a surgery like mine. A fusion surgery. I feel for you for I have pain down my legs and back. Sleeping is sometimes a problem so I have to take a sleeping pill. I get up early, because I hurt just laying there. The neurologist said they could put in some kind of pain Thing. But my surgeon told me if I did that and decided to have the fusion surgery it could cause more infection. So I decided against it. I am a good candidate for the fusion surgery. They even did a test on me to see if it would work. The assistant surgeon told me the surgery will help me. I can't wait to get rid of this pain. I know I will hurt afterwards, but I have 3 pain pills I will take and will they will be sent home with me. They are Percocet, Tramadol, and Valium that is suppose to help my spasms after the surgery. It's a long surgery, but I'm so excited that I only have to wait till the 9th of June. I have waited a long time.

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God bless you and I have many of the same conditions that you listed. I also suffer from ulnar nerve damage in my right arm/ hand and underwent 4 surgeries at the elbow level and hand. They are aware of c5/6 & c6-7 nerve compression but can’t seem to get help from anyone. Oh, herniated disc at c2-3 and in lumbar region. No longer able to get pain meds as that was the only thing that helped me and I was very responsible using my Norco’s. Tried so many things, I can’t even list them. Ever had surgery on my neck or back and pray I can avoid it. Handling Workers Compensation claims for over 20 years, I never had a claimant get relief from spinal cord stimulator but rather caused more damage and doctors labeled them with failed back syndrome. Medicine and procedures change and hopefully if u go this route they can provide you the success rate. I also have Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, severe depression all a result of years of neglect from the many doctors ignoring my complaints of pain and burning in my hand. Well now it is in my feet, right worse with atrophy.
I am curious what u find out and the outcome if you move forward with the procedure.
They need to allow us chronic pain suffers pain meds. Very cruel, but good luck and your not alone

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Thank you. I'll try to let you know if/when I get this procedure. I think this anti drug movement is cruel to people like you and I. People with real pain!
I've never been an illegal drug user, or much for alcohol… I'd rather have an ice tea. But the politicians are coming down on the Doctors so they are at risk if they take care of us, and issue opiates.
I'm over 20 surgeries, to the point I cant remember just how many.
Be safe. Be strong. Dont give up. God bless. Gene

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@lilypaws

@genomacc Are you close to a Mayo Clinic? It sounds like you need a surgery like mine. A fusion surgery. I feel for you for I have pain down my legs and back. Sleeping is sometimes a problem so I have to take a sleeping pill. I get up early, because I hurt just laying there. The neurologist said they could put in some kind of pain Thing. But my surgeon told me if I did that and decided to have the fusion surgery it could cause more infection. So I decided against it. I am a good candidate for the fusion surgery. They even did a test on me to see if it would work. The assistant surgeon told me the surgery will help me. I can't wait to get rid of this pain. I know I will hurt afterwards, but I have 3 pain pills I will take and will they will be sent home with me. They are Percocet, Tramadol, and Valium that is suppose to help my spasms after the surgery. It's a long surgery, but I'm so excited that I only have to wait till the 9th of June. I have waited a long time.

Jump to this post

I hope the best for your outcome. I am not close to a Mayo location, however I'm not working now and only have health insurance in San Diego county, in California. I recently changed Insurance companies and currently I am very happy with my care. I'm waiting for non-emergency surgeries to be allowed again. I'll be having the Nevro spinal stimulator installed. I'm not a good candidate for fusion. The prior scar tissue is a problem now. Let's just keep pushing on!

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@genomacc I'm surgery is out of the question, but I'm hoping the Nevro spinal stimulator will help. California huh! We lived on the west coast f or 20 years and now back in Iowa, our home state. We lived in Seattle the first 11 years and then San Diego for five years, boy do I miss the weather and ocean, but too many people but it sounds like that's where you live. We moved back to Seattle, it was great until we had to move back to Iowa. I love being home, but just don't like the winter weather. Still miss Seattle area. Our spring has just started to feel like summer or else it was cool before with a lot of rain. Take care of yourself. It's not fun being in pain. I know and thank you for the good outcome wish. I was tested to see if it would work and it came out good and the assistant surgeon sad the surgery will be a success.

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@fatsfat

God bless you and I have many of the same conditions that you listed. I also suffer from ulnar nerve damage in my right arm/ hand and underwent 4 surgeries at the elbow level and hand. They are aware of c5/6 & c6-7 nerve compression but can’t seem to get help from anyone. Oh, herniated disc at c2-3 and in lumbar region. No longer able to get pain meds as that was the only thing that helped me and I was very responsible using my Norco’s. Tried so many things, I can’t even list them. Ever had surgery on my neck or back and pray I can avoid it. Handling Workers Compensation claims for over 20 years, I never had a claimant get relief from spinal cord stimulator but rather caused more damage and doctors labeled them with failed back syndrome. Medicine and procedures change and hopefully if u go this route they can provide you the success rate. I also have Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, severe depression all a result of years of neglect from the many doctors ignoring my complaints of pain and burning in my hand. Well now it is in my feet, right worse with atrophy.
I am curious what u find out and the outcome if you move forward with the procedure.
They need to allow us chronic pain suffers pain meds. Very cruel, but good luck and your not alone

Jump to this post

@fatsfat No wonder you are depressed. You have so many things to cause pain, just fibromyalgia is enough. I had that when I lived in Seattle, must have been from the moist weather. It would come and go, but I haven't had it since we moved back to Iowa.

My heart goes out to you and my prayers to. I didn't know that they had stopped giving pain meds for you and others. How mean could that be, very mean! I will be sent home with the same pain pills I have in the hospital. My surgery is sneaking up on me. We leave for Mayo this Saturday. Have to have more tests and then surgery on the 9th. I'm excited, but yet anxious. I have faith it will all work out ok. My husband is great to help me, but I'm concerned about him taking care of me when we get home. He's 69 and still works a full time job at home for Wells Fargo as a Cyber Secuity (sp) That's what I have trouble with is my spelling from being like this for so long. I use to be the best speller.
I hope you have someone to help you. It's just the pits to be in so much pain. I hope the stimulator will help you. Bless you.

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@lilypaws

@fatsfat No wonder you are depressed. You have so many things to cause pain, just fibromyalgia is enough. I had that when I lived in Seattle, must have been from the moist weather. It would come and go, but I haven't had it since we moved back to Iowa.

My heart goes out to you and my prayers to. I didn't know that they had stopped giving pain meds for you and others. How mean could that be, very mean! I will be sent home with the same pain pills I have in the hospital. My surgery is sneaking up on me. We leave for Mayo this Saturday. Have to have more tests and then surgery on the 9th. I'm excited, but yet anxious. I have faith it will all work out ok. My husband is great to help me, but I'm concerned about him taking care of me when we get home. He's 69 and still works a full time job at home for Wells Fargo as a Cyber Secuity (sp) That's what I have trouble with is my spelling from being like this for so long. I use to be the best speller.
I hope you have someone to help you. It's just the pits to be in so much pain. I hope the stimulator will help you. Bless you.

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Thank you and yes, every day is a struggle to keep going but I trust God has a plan and I try to hold into that. Praying to keep fighting but the emotional part of all of my pain and inability to plan anything with my family is killing me, little by little. Yes, Florida was a pain pill mill for some time and after years of suffering I finally agreed to take a pain medication because everything else they was throwing at me failed, I didn’t want to try anything else. Well as soon as I did and I got some relief, especially for all the issues with my back, they stopped allowing pain meds for chronic conditions. I had a doctor that was still prescribing them because she knew the law change was not directed to patients like me. Well she left due to an illness and doctors in Florida are scared to write scripts for them. I don’t have the energy to start all over again with new doctors. With this virus going on, hard to do anything now. I know this is not a way to live and I just pray to stay alive and fight and hopefully all the over the counter medication will not do damage, along with all the other meds, facet injections,radio frequency ablations and injections that I feel made my back worse. The nerve damage that continues is a whole other pain and unbelievable pain that I have to endure.
Thx for responding and I pray your surgery is successful and your husband is strengthened in every way. Yes, my husband is wonderful and I hate how our lives have changed because of my issues and depression and I am grateful for him and how he puts up with me and my mood swings and short fuse. My dog is my life line.
Keep in touch if u can. God Bless

Liked by lilypaws

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My Medtronic is helping with spinal stenosis

Liked by lilypaws

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Hooray! Mine is also! Sort of a more uncomfortable day today, thinking it could be weather related.

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@wilcy

My Medtronic is helping with spinal stenosis

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@wilcy Fantastic! I'm so glad for you. My Neurologist mentioned putting something in me, but my surgeon said if I had surgery it could cause infection. I think the surgeon knew I needed the surgery. Even my primary care doc said I needed the surgery. My husband has been very controlling and doesn't want me to go out of the house, so I won't get a virus or get sick before my surgery, but he just cares a lot for me and loves me. Take care and sending lots of love.

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