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rohrer01
04-14-2010, 11:58 PM
Has anyone had an intrathecal catheter inserted into their spine for pain and THEN had surgery? Or the other way around? I'm going to talk to my orthopedic doctor about it. The pain specialist said some doc's will leave the catheter in and some won't. He said that once I had my fusion it would be nearly impossible to get the catheter in high enough to do any good for my upper spine. He wants to insert at about T7 and my surgery would be from at least T2 (if not higher) to L1. The neurosurgeon I see is adamant that the scoli surgery will take care of my pain. The pain doctor only thinks it will make it worse, then harder for him to treat.

ANY input appreciated!
:p

jrnyc
04-15-2010, 02:21 AM
Hi Rohr
have you tried other pain management before considering a catheter inserted into your body?

pain management doctors, from my experience, are often anti-surgery...or will say they treat pain patients after they have had fusion surgery and are still in pain...or worsened pain..etc etc....i havent seen them see eye to eye with surgeons....ever...in my experience....

i would be really hesitant to do the catheter insertion...especialy if you expect to have surgery...but that is just my opinion....i understand being desperate for pain relief....i have been going to pain management for years now...and am just considering surgery seriously since Monday, when my scoli surgeon offered me minimal invasive lumbar surgery....

best of luck with whatever you decide...
jess

rohrer01
04-15-2010, 04:28 AM
Hi Rohr
have you tried other pain management before considering a catheter inserted into your body?

pain management doctors, from my experience, are often anti-surgery...or will say they treat pain patients after they have had fusion surgery and are still in pain...or worsened pain..etc etc....i havent seen them see eye to eye with surgeons....ever...in my experience....

i would be really hesitant to do the catheter insertion...especialy if you expect to have surgery...but that is just my opinion....i understand being desperate for pain relief....i have been going to pain management for years now...and am just considering surgery seriously since Monday, when my scoli surgeon offered me minimal invasive lumbar surgery....

best of luck with whatever you decide...
jess


I'm so glad you found someone to do minimally invasive lumbar surgery! Yay! I am concerned about your 42* thoracic curve (from you other post). If that progresses, you may need a second surgery. :(

No one seems to want to give me botox. The only options given at this point are surgery, epidural, and intrathecal catheterization, and PT (which went over like a ton of bricks! - not going back).

Where are you having your surgery? I sure wish you the best. I did most of my rambling on the other post! LOL :D

Hang in there!

jrnyc
04-15-2010, 09:40 AM
Hey Rohr
not sure where you live..but your situation sounds frustrating! how many pain management doctors have you tried or are covered by your insurance...?

i discussed the thoracic thing with the surgeon..he said he doesnt think it will become a problem, and one doesnt fuse more on the chance something will go bad...cause there is a chance it wont....at least in my case....

did the pain doctor discuss facet blocks or nerve ablation with you also..??


best regards
jess

Lotta51
04-15-2010, 12:19 PM
I had my morphine pump placed in 2000 and it has worked wonderfully. I had a fusion T10 to L2 4 years earlier and had horrible pain until the catheter. They use marcaine with the morphine which has helped so much more. I am now facing more surgery and have to ask the docor tomorrow about this. The medications do not interfere with my thought process, I know this because I was just tested to further my education by Voc. Rehab. It does take a while to get adjusted. Make sure how bad you need pain meds as the only draw back with this is infection which would go right to the spine. I was told ther is a built in filter for this but do worry. I am perently trying to wean off from 24 mg a day down to 8 now.:)

rohrer01
04-15-2010, 12:52 PM
There is only one more doctor that I can try within my network. Maybe I will make an appointment with her and see what she has to say. And YES, an infection is my biggest concern. There was no discussion of facet blocks or nerva ablation. I'm not sure that would cover the large area where my pain exisis. It's pretty much from my waist to my head including my ribs and sternum. I get pain going down my arms as well. The epidural seems to feel a little better each day. I'm glad I got that done. :) I will be seeing my ortho doc on the 26th, so I'll see what he says. He still may not want to do surgery at this time. In that case, I will be forced to do something to keep the pain under control until I progress more.

Thanks for all your concern and experience!

By the way, Lotta51, how did they do the intrathecal catheterization when you were already fused? Did they go above the fusion?

Thanks again!

allycat
04-15-2010, 01:58 PM
Has anyone had an intrathecal catheter inserted into their spine for pain and THEN had surgery? Or the other way around?
Hey Rohr,
I've only heard of it being used for pain management AFTER. It's an interesting concept to use it prior to surgery to control pain.


The neurosurgeon I see is adamant that the scoli surgery will take care of my pain. The pain doctor only thinks it will make it worse, then harder for him to treat.

I didn't know there was a doc in the world that would admit, much less be adamant, that scolio surgery would take care of the pain. It's a bold claim but power to him if he can do it!


pain management doctors, from my experience, are often anti-surgery...or will say they treat pain patients after they have had fusion surgery and are still in pain...or worsened pain..etc etc....i havent seen them see eye to eye with surgeons....ever...in my experience....
jess

Jess,
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I read this! It's almost word-for-word what my pain management doc said. During my appointment with her right after I received the news I needed revision surgery, she had me so afraid of do the surgery I was convinced I would never go through with it. I wonder if pain management docs have a class in med school devoted to being anti-surgery?

jrnyc
04-15-2010, 03:42 PM
hey guys
becky...i've used pain managemnt for years and most pain docs will tell you how surgery wont help and you'll still need them after the surgery...

rohr...i will eventually have surgery in NYC with Dr Lonner....and minimal invasive can be supposedly done everywhere...supposedly for everyone...but i am sure there must be exceptions...it started with thoracic and is only now being used for lumbar.....i get botox shots in my upper back for muscle spasms...works great...lucky the epidural worked for you...they never worked for my lumbar pain...had 3 of them over the years...

jess

Lotta51
04-15-2010, 03:51 PM
Rohrer, I believe the went above. I was in so much pain that when they tried the one time injection, that would give me an idea how the cath would do and it worked so well I didn't ask any questions. It took a while and many visits for them to get the right drop rate, plus many oral meds in the begining. I believe after being in pain for a long time it is very hard to get it under control. I was also on an anti-seizure med orally. I only take a Soma at bedtime and the lowered pump now. You already have the pump in?

rohrer01
04-15-2010, 05:25 PM
No pump, yet. I'm thinking about it. My pain doctor has no experience with scoliosis patients. There is NO ONE in my area that does, for adults anyway. I'm nervous that it won't be as easy for him to insert the catheter into a crooked spine as he may think, since all he's worked with are straight backs. I had to be referred quite a ways away to see someone from the SRS. I'm going to talk to my ortho surgeon about it before I make any decisions. I'm glad it helps you. I, too, take soma at night. It helps me fall asleep, but I don't stay asleep unless I take a percocet with it. I wake up in a couple of hours in a lot of pain if I don't. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for the support!
((((HUGS))))