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john65pennington's avatar

Does anyone have experience with an inserted body pain pump?

Asked by john65pennington (29070 points ) May 6th, 2012

After four back surgeries and a lower spine full of scar tissue, I have just about tried all the procedures available for relief, except an inserted body pain pump.

Back braces, tinge units, pt, pain killers and muscle relaxers have all been used without success. Surgery is not an option.

The only procedure left is a pain pump inserted into my spine.

Question: for those of you that had or have a pain pump inserted into your spine, what success have you received from it? Has the pain been lessened and to the point of returning to a half-normal life? I am just about to the desperation point with pain the scar tissue has on my spine and rightside muscles.

Any info is truly appreciated.

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4 Answers

Blueroses's avatar

I only know what I’ve seen working in clinical pharmacology. At first, the pca pump is set very conservatively low and there is a demonstrated psychological/placebo effect from pushing the button, whether or not drugs are delivered. (Rather like the “close door” button on the elevator that doesn’t do anything but makes you feel like you’re doing something). Most MDs put a lot of stock in this placebo, so if you aren’t getting real relief, don’t be shy about requesting a higher delivery dose.

john65pennington's avatar

Thanks Blueroses. This is uncovered territory for me and before I make any decisions, I am looking for as much information as possible.

Again, thanks. jp

geeky_mama's avatar

I used to work for a company that is one of the US-based producers of these inserted medical devices. As I ended up in the documentation department and was publishing content for physicians on the failure / success rates of these devices…my own opinion might be a bit skewed negatively as a result.

I would encourage you to carefully research devices and then choose your surgeon only after you’ve ascertained they will respect your choice of device (rather than push their own selected brand on you). Surgeons tend to specialize in one device..and sometimes their choice is based on less than scrupulous reasons. (In the words of Forest Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that.”)

Also, although I don’t know if your back pain is in any way related to disc problems—apparently there is new biologic medicine on the horizon (in a phase 3 clinical trial – nearing FDA approval) that would allow people to regenerate their own discs. For those that they interviewed the success rate was far greater than typical fusion surgeries and the procedure is out-patient and minimally invasive. If your back surgeries stemmed from disc problems perhaps the CBS news story link I’ve embedded will be of interest.

chyna's avatar

My mom’s neighbor had one implanted for her back pain after years of pain, several surgeries, pain patches, etc. I asked her recently how it was working and she said she couldn’t tell any difference with it. Keep in mind I don’t know the brand, style, etc.

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