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pain pump implant

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Pain Management
hello all, my name is Joel and I have question regarding pain pump implantation. I had a pain pump implanted 4 years ago. At the time and before heading into the surgical suite, the doctor explained once again the procedure. He stated that he would form a pocked in my abdomen for the pump itself and he would threat a catheter around my side to my back and into the intrathecal space. Well, when I woke up from surgery, I came to find that he had changed the plan while I was under. I did not have the pump implanted in my abdomen, but in my back, just the the left of center and at the belt line. After asking why he did this he said it was just easier for him to do this and better for me. Well the pump kept sticking out of my back and rubbing against anything I sat on. Withing 25 days, the pump site was red and swollen and I was running a temp. I called him first thing monday morning and he said to come in immediately. After looking at the site, he admitted me to hospital via ER and I was having emergency surgery to remove the pump and clean up the infected site. I spent 5 days in hospital and was diagnosed with MRSA. I now have a new pain specialist in a different city and when I told him my story he was shocked. He stated that he had never heard of any doctor implanting the pump in the back, regardless of the reason, due to the complications that I experienced. Now I have to live with MRSA for the rest of my life thanks to my prior doctors decision while I was under. I want your comments on this. Is this something that I should seek legal council for? Has anyone else had this happen to them? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions/comments. Thanks Joel


  • Wow - what a ride, huh? I just don't know how I would act should something like that happen to me.

    By the way, welcome to Spine-Health.

    That's horrible your doctor would make that decision before discussing it with you and offering you that as an option. Even if there was a medical reason for him doing the procedure the way he did, he should have or could have discussed this with you before surgery as a "contingency plan" or "Plan B" should complications arise preventing the original procedure being performed.

    You said you had the implant 4 years ago. I am assuming this whole nasty scenario occurred about 3-1/2 to 4 years ago. If that is the case, then possibly a legal issue of "Statute of Limitations" would apply? I'm not real sure what (if any) restrictions you would have due to that.

    Good luck. I sure hope someone knows a bit about this (Medical Malpractice, Prescribed Periods and Statute of Limitations) and can guide you in the right direction.
  • I'm sorry to hear about this terrible experience you had. I just had my pump surgery and it was implanted in the left quadrant of my abdomen and they tunneled the catheter around to my lower back. I don't understand what on earth would make that surgeon decide to put it in your back last minute. He'd better have a good explanation other than "oh, it was easier to do it that way". Maybe he's not qualified as he claims to be. I trust my surgeon 100% since he also did my fusion and I always have the utmost confidence in him. Anyway, I don't know anything about pursuing this matter legally and all I know is that there are statutes of limitation like Jeauxbert mentioned. What are you doing now to manage your pain? Did you have another pump put in or did you go back to oral meds? Again, I'm sorry this happened to you and I hope that things go your way. Take care
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  • If he had talked about a plan b then I would have understood, but he never mentioned anything other than putting the pump under the skin of my abdomen. How he can get away with this without my consent is just crazy! Thanks for the comments.
  • I am for now back on oral meds. morphine 30mgs 3xday with norco up to 4 x a day for break through pain. Also on skelaxin, cymbalta (for the depression that came about from the results) I feel ok, but with the pain pump, I felt no pain at all. My doctor is seeking approval for a 2nd pain pump implant. I am sure he will get it. For now, I can do nothing but wait. Thanks for the kind words. J
  • I may be wrong but doesn't MRSA clear up over time? I mean it shouldn't be effecting you now, Right? I know the pain is real but from what I know MRSA lives of surfaces of things and if you touch the object with MRSA on it you can potentially infect yourself. Again not sure but think I was once told that MRSA is in your body at all time, especially the nose, but doesn't cause problems because it isn't in the blood stream.

    I guess I am uncertain as to what you are asking. Are you asking if the doctor caused the MRSA? Because of the placement change did the doctor contribute to you getting MRSA? Is your pain from the infection of MRSA or are you talking about pain that caused you to have a pain pump in the first place.

    I know first hand it is hard to do anything legally because you have to have a doctor that is willing to stand up in court and say, this or that was not standard care and was done wrong. If you can get one to say it to might find it harder to get them to stand it court and talk bad about a fellow physician. I know of people who have done it...but I couldn't get anyone to stand up and say my ortho. deiveated from the standard of care. I hope it all works out for you. Please let us know if you do get a new pain pump.
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  • Welcome to Spine Health.
    My goodness. How could a Doctor do that to you!! Of course the pump is going to protrude. Had you been informed of this ahead of time I am sure you would have denied hem this option. I am so very sorry you had to go through this and I do hope you get the second implant like you want.
    I do not know about legal actions, that is something you need to talk to a Lawyer about.
    I am seeing a PM about having a pain pump implant this week.
    Best of luck to you.
    Patsy W :H
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