Pain Clinic and SCS and TENS Spinal Trauma

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Hi, I have posted on here previously about my husband whose has just had his 7th op to try and control all the different pain he is in after an accident following a disc into his spinal cord at L4/5.  Pain was put down to various things so he has had 2 lower spine, 2 hip, 2 shoulder and 1 neck op's.  Unfortunately it is getting worse.  He has been referred to Pain Clinic and they have given his a TENS which has had little success although he is perserving.  Does anyone have experience of what will be the next step from the Pain Clinic, I think our ultimate goal is a Spinal Cord Stimulator, but two questions, firstly how many other hoops will he have to jump (!!) through before he gets considered for a SCS and secondly is there anyone that has had sucess with a SCS that didn't with a TENS.  I just don't want to think that as the TENS isn't really working a SCS won't either.  Thanks for reading.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I have nerve pain and am being looked after by the pain clinic here. But unfortunately we don't have a spinal unit, I live on an island. So it can be tricky having to fly to the mainland every year to get checked.

    How long has your husband been injured?

     

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    • Posted

      He was injured during work 5 1/2 years ago, he has gone from being a big strapping bloke who could do everything to a man who is in constant pain, now walks with a stick, can't always get dressed on his own and can't walk very far or lift anything of a weight, he is 43, it is so sad but I am so lucky he manages, somehow, to keep smiling although I know he does have to work hard in not being down and snappy.  It just seems no one can pinpoint what is wrong so slowly one by one the specialists are signing him off their books and we are now just with the pain team.  He is still working but I think it is too much for him but what can we do, we have a family and mortgage etc although we think he may be able to give up in about 3 years hopefully.  It is just demoralising as I keep pinning my hopes on the next specialist will be the one that can help him.  How are you on a day to day basis.
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  • Posted

    Gosh, I totally understand. Even the doctors who are trained don't know what we go through and how different all our bodies react to this injury.

    I hope you find something to help. I'm trying to find something too, so if I do I'll let you know if you haven't already tried it. xx

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  • Posted

    Hi,I think we've "spoken" before.My hubby had 2 discectomies/laminectomy ,numerous injections of all descriptions at L4/5.After an accidental overdose of pain meds he was referred to pain clinic where they changed his meds etc & whilst they help they do not control his pain.He had Cauda Equina with the last disc rupture which permanently affected his bladder & bowels and has significant nerve damage which resulted in him having to use a mobility scooter & give up work.To answer your question ,he was given a tens machine & a tens "sock" by the pain clinic,neither of which worked.He asked the GP to refer him to a pain consultant.You can go private or NHS.He was referred to The Walton pain clinic.The consultant was of the opinion that a SCS might help & put him on the waiting list.We were lucky that hubby's health insurance with work had just been renewed when he left so was still valid.We then asked for a referral to Dr Barani in Leeds who fits the Nevro stim which doesn't buzz.We saw him & he agreed hubby needed to trial it.He had trial in January which saw about 30% reduction in pain,which was great.Due to problems with wound site ( hubby has very problematic skin) two procedures for full implants had to be cancelled but he is having the op on Monday.

    I would say:visit GP ,request referral ,if you can afford it (about £150) ask for private referral .You can always revert t NHS after consult.

    tens machines for ths type of pain are useless.

    Dr Barani was prepared to put hubby on his NHS list after consult.We thought that as we had cover we might as well use it & leave the money for someone on the NHS.

    Quality of life is important.Press your GP for this referral.

    Good luck.Let me know if I can help.We are in Cheshire by the way,the consults were at The Walton (Liverpool) & Leeds.You have the right to treatment anywhere in England.Not sure where you are.x

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    • Posted

      Thanks and yes we have spoken before, I will keep everything crossed for Monday and hope that not only does the op go well but he has a big reduction in pain.  Also I hope you will be ok too, it is very stressful when they go in for a op not just the normal worries but also managing expectations.  Thank you for all your replies it is nice to know that we are not alone.  We have our next appointment on 2 June at pain clinic but not sure if it is for the nurses or with the doctor as you can never get to the bottom of who you are seeing up here in London.  But really good luck for Monday and let us know how you get on and pass our best wishes on to your hubby.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the good wishes,much appreciated.Really think you should see your GP for referral .I believe the Nevro was originally trialed at Guys & St Thomas in London,so they will have pain specialists there.Like my hubby yours has tried everything suggested with little or no improvement.Ths is te last chance.It's unlikely to take away all the pain & have him doing cartwheels but a reduction in pain is worth the risk.Please see if you can get your GP to push your case.Good luck.Let you know what happens x
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    • Posted

      Hi, we have been accepted for the SCS, still got to be deemed as eligble but the Consultant was happy to put my husband forward which has got to be good news.  How is your hubby, hope all is progressing well.  Has he found a reduction in pain, have been thinking of you. x
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    • Posted

      Hi,that's great news!We are in hotel in Leeds after going for 2 week check up.Op was on 18th.A problem with hubby's blood pressure during surgery - went up to 200,so they had to wake him up & carry on with local anaesthetic.Anyway,he came out of surgery at 9pm and three Nevro people were there for the turn on.They explained device (hubby was still a bit out of it) & set it to therapy mode.Two wounds,one about 2 inches where leads go into spine & one on the left side where battery sewn in both glued no stitches.Drive home next day was nerve wrecking but we got there.Stim left on therapy for 5 days then programming started on day 6.Pain level at start was back 9 legs 7 foot 8 as at today it is back 4 legs 5 foot 8.Hubby delighted ,I am relieved.Quite a few problems with wounds though.Lots of clear liquid seeping out so had to have dressings changed every day.Hubby is allergic to most plasters so that has added to the problem.GP swabbed the wounds but no infection -phew.Today able to leave dressings off & Dr B told us he thinks hubby might have a mild reaction to metal in battery !Anyway,hubby is a happy bunny & fingers crossed he will be able to start reducing meds.He was told to maintain dosage etc until wounds calm own .Marked change in his manner & he is a lot happier .😄Going back home tomorrow ,he is not allowed t drive for another 4 weeks.All in all a successful  & stressful 2 weeks!I'm so pleased that you have moved forward.It's great that you have some hope.Will update again soon.x
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    • Posted

      i understand you completly my accident at work was four years ago this august and this is the month that i am hopefully having the SCS trial

      like your husband i was regarded a strong person mentaly and physically

      but keeping everything in and trying not to get angry has taken its toll ,the

      pain is not possible to describe to any one else and the morphates and other pain killers may help a little but with ths high doses taken

      it messes with your head making you space out and rabbit on at high speed, dizzy and spaced out so you may read the same page of a book many  times even now as typing im seeing double,so we have a choice with living our daily lives, take the pain until you freeze and cant  and dare;nt move, or take the meds and get spaced out, still with pain zombified and hardly moving either.

      hoping the SCS implant gives some pain relief have they offered your husband  SCS implant ?

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    • Posted

      Hi,I hope you have success with your trial.Jst remember,don't expect miracles & follow their instructions to the letter.Any non chemical pain relief has to be welcome,although they do like you to reduce any morphine based drugs before trial if they haven't told you that then don't worry.My husband's perm implant was done two weeks ago & although they've left meds up to him,he is no longer taking breakthrough Tapentadol relief which is a good thing.Once the wound site calms down a bit he hopes to drop/reduce all his meds.Good luck
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  • Posted

    Khi ,i fully sympathise with youre husband as i am having similar problems after years of waiting in between ops, first a discectomy and then a fusion L4/5 and it has caused more problems than it has cured , the Pain Clinic hasnt really helped at all ,apart from boosting one medication i was on and removing another which made the pain worse again , these people dont seem to listen to anyone when you tell them of youre problems ,and you have to wait upto a year to speak with them again ??? whats that about , the 3 day patch works for a day and a half at the most the other day and a half you are left in pain , and they dont listen !!! ,and as for their spinal injections ,they do nothing at all .
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  • Posted

    If any one suffer from pain or disorders orthopedic care can help you.  
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    • Posted

      Yes oesteopaths can help but not for nerve damage.They can make things worse if you have disc problems.Any kind if hands on treatment is best left alone as it usually aggravates problem.My husband's second disc bulge was as a direct result of physio and he ended up as an emergency discectomy with Cauda Equina.The biggest disc bulge the Neurosurgeon had ever seen.It is important to get a firm diagnosis before any interventional therapy.It is also important with an SCS to get an Anaethestatist who specialises in pain not just a pain consultant.I have a recurring problem with a sacro illiac injury being unable to walk & I get treated by an oesteopath,very painful but it works.Diagnosis is important
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  • Posted

    Hi i have failed back surgery for approx 10 plus years which left me with chornic lower back pain and hardly any feeling in the soles of my feet , i also had Pins and needles and numbness in my feet and legs.

    I was becoming misrable and a zombi through taking so many pain killers and having several types of treatment, injections In my lower back .these helped but were short live relive,the consultant of the pain clinic reverred me to st thomas hospital pain clinic london.

    i was interviewed an examined and offered a place to a 2 week residental assessment at their pain clinic with the view of a spinal chord stimulator

    folling this i was offered a implant of a new type by a company called Nevro i was one of their trial patients just under 5 years ago , it gives Good pain relive linked in with the things i learned on the 2 week program

    i am a happy person and work full time

    I still have the odd bad day but this is usually dew to over doing this and not learning to pace my life

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