Any Spinal Cord Stimulator/NHS None Surgical Success Stories in the UK?

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A brief history: 10 years back pain on and off in severity, 2 years extreme leg/foot pain in left side, foot pain right leg (and back pain). Bottom 2 discs are bulging, lower disc the problem.

Had physio, acupuncture, spinal injections, nerve block, 3 MRIs. On max dose of Gabapentin, Naproxen, Codeine. Just been through NHS surgery consultations and they’ve decided not to operate based on what they can see (spinal cord not compressed, purely a pain issue). Referred back into system for pain clinic, waiting now for appointment.

Pain restricts my mobility to the point where I rarely leave the house and suffer continually from high levels of pain despite heavy medications. I’m 39.

Has anyone tried a SCS and what was the outcome? Hoping someone has or can point me to other things tried. 

UK people ideally - US very different, NHS severely underfunded and we cannot get the same level of care in the majority of cases (or afford private care).

Thank you in advance, I know not many success story patients check on these boards, but hoping some still do.

 

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Gosh poor you. Know what you mean about NHS,ive just been packed off with painkillers and only two physio appointments, in too much pain to go out let alone work at the moment so cant afford a pound a minute for physio. Hope someone can give you some helpful advice.
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    • Posted

      Thank you, wishing you better times too, hope someone can help with advice. It took me around 3 months to start decent treatment initially so with persistence you should get there and hopefully it will help you, keep chasing though, if you don’t they will palm you off repeatedly. I tried years ago and got nowhere but had no choice this time due to foot pain. Just because things didn’t work for me doesn’t mean they won’t for you, you’ve options ahead of you. 
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  • Posted

    Did the nerve root blocks not help at all? Also, was there anything specific that triggered the pain in the first place? I really feel for you. I have no experience of SCS. I am recovering from a herniated disc. I’m not pain free but am hopefully getting close to it. The two things that worked for me were hot water bottles and moving as much as possible. I know you say the pain keeps you house bound. Is there any way that you could carry on moving through the pain? I know it’s tough but has definitely helped me. Pain does not equal damage and you may see some positive results if you can build up walking a couple of times each day and gradually extend. Good luck.
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    • Posted

      Hi, unfortunately not, no, had hopes but no improvement I can see after block. It’s debilitating due to being in both feet mostly, after only a few minutes the pain kicks in when standing or walking, plus back pain when sitting. Never had to deal with anything on this pain scale and fairly hardened after years of back issues so despite trying to keep moving am fighting a losing battle daily. Would need a reduction in pain to have any kind of life, however much I persevere with it, and I do, always managed my pain until two years ago. No traumatic injury, walking down stairs and disc bulged again 2 yrs ago, intense pain, leg pain instant and remained unchanged on that side, possibly worse if anything. Other foot started with pain a year ago, initially numbness.
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    • Posted

      ... for 10 years give or take I was an ardent walker, that’s how I managed my back pain, forgot to say.
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  • Posted

    How are you doing today? Im fed up with the pain and am getting anxious and quite down as a result. Going to follow your advice and really start nagging the Doctors etc. im surprised ive made hardly any improvement in last three weeks, and cant put up with in the long term.
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    • Posted

      Foot pain is bad at the moment, I go through cycles of bad pain following travel etc. You're in the early stages, with the right management it will very likely go away over the next few weeks or months. Unlikely you'll be like this long term, just a few unlucky ones have that (I'm one of them, 2 years now, after a long period of back pain). I have a mixture of nerve irration and nerve damage - or so they've told me. Good luck and keep on it, don't let things slide, that's when things could get worse for you. Physio, no bending or twisting or carrying things and rest but also keep moving slowly. Don't stop moving, that's really important, you won't hurt yourself more with gentle walking but you will hurt yourself if you come to a halt. Hope any of that helps, I didn't really get too much help at the start of this from GP's but kept pushing until I got referred to the MSK service, then surgical team, now pain management team. It's been none stop chasing and going to appointments.

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    • Posted

      It becomes a vicious circle dosnt it, too much pain to function properly and so feel unable to exercise which in turn makes it worse.Thanks for advice, i hope you can find the care that you need, you sound brave enough to seek it.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Camilla, if you have any questions I'm happy to help if I can, not medical advice but can tell you what has helped and what hasn't. Wishing you a recovery soon x

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