Vicgirl when I first had the spinal stimulator fitted my back and leg spasms started to subside and I thought great, short lived they have returned,before the implant you had an inkling on when they would strike and prepare yourself because I knew my leg would let go, now there is no warning, just severe stabbing pain and before you now it your on the floor.
I have been lucky with mine no lead migration or problem healing, well there is one problem a fluid sack built up on one side of the implant battery, this has now turned into a cyst and causes a few problems when knocked pain wise, I also found the battery pack is in the most awkward spot as it gets caught on hard chairs bench tops and on the edge of the belt line on my waist. I have little fat and that is where the problem lies, when I wear tracksuit pants you can see the battery pack shape clear as day. But like you I have no regrets as pain is a lot lower and I get sleep and for me that out ways any inconvenience that resides.
Ah Don, now that has got to be one of the big downfalls of the stim for slim people I reckon. I have just had my battery replaced a couple of weeks ago, now have ANS/St Jude's 'Eon Mini', which I believe is the smallest battery out there and you can still see it clearly on me. Such a small bulge compared to my pump though - probably half the size - that cosmetically it doesn't bother me too much. I tend not to knock mine too much - with my muscle spasms and contractures in my feet I spend a lot of time in a wheelchair - but a big hassle for me is finding pants that don't sit directly over the top. Especially as with revisions, etc., that area has been opened some five or six times now!
Can they drain your cyst or do anything to manage it otherwise? I know following one of my revisions I developed a seroma round my battery - basically the pocket there just kept filling with fluid - and dr had to drain it a few times before it eventually settled itself down.
Laura I was fitted with the new small battery as well, they chose that one as they thought it would not show much, new jeans pose a big problem as I have 2 pairs which are low waisted and they sit exactly where the battery is positioned. I am just at the wrong height, it lines up perfectly with the underside of bench tops and some kitchen chairs the back rails.
As for the cyst my surgeon has had a good look at it and his biggest concerns are if they drain it there is a risk of leakage and then infection which would mean removal of the stim, the same if they operate higher risk of infection, they are hoping my body will eventually absorb the cyst if not they will have a look when the battery needs replacing.
I had fluid build up as well, 2 weeks after the operation there was a very painful spot and when I got up from sitting one day I felt this big rip and then what felt like hot liquid running down my leg on the inside, this is the same spot the cyst has evovled.
vic girl, you have clarified one of my questions, just purely from interest i had wondered if one could have both the pump ans the stimulator- i had never come acorss someone with both! now i have. When i lost my pump from infection, they did consider the stimulator for me instead as i was now having all the additional pain as a result of the crush fractures, nerve impingement. eventually they decided against it for 2 reasons. first, because of the MS they need to do periodic MRI and that would not bepossible with the stimulator and the other issue was that they felt that because i have to rely on pushing up through my hands and arms to lift myself and transfer (my remaining leg really is not much use- they said those kinds of movement particularly in the early days after placement were possibly more likely to cause the leads to shift- i was happy enough to get my pump back and now they are using clonidine instead of just morphine, it is actually more effective. ubfortunately when i try to lie down at all i get severe pain down my leg due to impingement and the clonidine helps that a little but i do occasionally wonder if the stimulator would mange that abit better. i will be having a nerve block soon and ifit helps they as talk of doing an ablation.
as for spactcity, i get extremely painful bladder spasms at times, especially when i have my sp catheter changed- even with a dose of vlaium on tope of my probanthine the nurse just about peels me off the ceiling! there was talk of botos into the bladder but you are right about cost- i would have had to pay about $500 from memory and it owould have to be repeated every 4 months- thats not sustainable for me at present. they did also consider baclofen into my pump and i woud be surprosed if that did not work, he flet it would help my bcak a bit too but i mentioned my remainin leg is not fantastic- the MS hasaffected it, it seeems that when i stand to transfer and my knee locks, it is a degree of spasticity that is giving me that control to he though if he added the balofen and it helped the bladder spasm i would probably lose control of my leg and would not be able to use it when transferring from chair to chair- that would be a major difficulty so i will just continue to be scapeed from the ceiing every change- its only every 6 weeks and i always have the same continence nurse, she has been very good and gets it over and done with pretty quick. most admit, i am due for a change now and thinking about it gives me the hebe jebee's! oh well we do what we must!