Considering a pain pump. Anyone have one who can advise? Thanks

I've had 8 back surgeries. I am now fused from S1-T5 13 levels. I've dealt with chronic pain for years. Injections used to give some relief but with all of my hardware and growing scar tissue they no longer work. I've tried many pain meds and was on Opana ext release with oxycodone for break-thru pain and I was dealing but with new government regs I can no longer get it and now I'm suffering. My Pain Specialist is recommending a Medtronic pain pump and it sounds good but I want to research it. Any help would be appreciated



  • PapaTree-  Welcome to spine health. There are several members here that have pain pumps, while waiting for other members to reply go to the top of the page to the search box and type in pain pump, scroll past the ads and you will find past discussions on pain pumps. One of the other moderators MEMERIANBOLT has a pain pump and I am sure she will be along to tell you her story. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,489
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM

    welcome to spine health
    all new members should take the system tutorial

    i have had a medtronics pain pump for 2 yrs., morphine filled. i will be perfectly honest with you, i would not trade it for anything. i was on all kinds of pain meds and nothing was working. now, i am only taking neurontin for nerve pain. but we are still trying to adjust the meds, with me i have so many underlying issues, we have had a hard time finding that sweet spot. but we will.

    the surgeon usually puts it right below your belt line in a pocket made from fat. he makes a small incision in your back to run the catheter into the interthecal canal of your spine. mine is at t1. if you do this, ask where yours will be placed. the meds stay in the canal, they do not go to your liver or kidneys. it only covers the pain and not nerve pain.
    depending on how your doses are set, you will have to have it refilled every 4-6 weeks. i also have a ptm (personal therapy manager), a remote device that gives me extra doses every 2 hrs. 

    if you get the right dose, it can change your life. the goal is usually getting a pain level or 6-8 down to 2-4.
    recovery was not bad, no lifting or bending, just letting the incisions heal.

    the way my surgeon did the trial was one shot of morphine in my spine, waited a while and did it again until i was comfortable. then he knew what does to use in the pump. i knew then, when the shot starting working, that i would have the implant.
    i'm sure i have left a lot out, so please, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me.
     when we first started talking a pain pump, like you, i came here for advice and support. i got so much more and as you can see, i'm still here.
    good luck with your decision and please let us know how you are doing.

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  • Hi memerainbolt,

    How long will the actual pump last, before a new one is recommended? 

    Must it be recharged? If so, how often?



  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,489


    For the kind I have, Medtronics, the battery is changed out every 5 yrs. A simple procedure. So, no, it does not need to be recharged.

    If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

  • Just noticed that this post is from Feb so not sure if the poster is still seeking advice. FWIW, I had one of the original morphine pumps installed and would never, never do it again. Send me a PM if you would like some serious but honest advice. I'm not going to post it on an open forum and would be more comfortable dealing 1 to 1.  Just don't have time for the negative comments or political bs these posts generate so would be glad to help, just send me a message if interested!  Good luck..

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,489

    Since his last questions on the 13th, he has not been back on the forum.

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