Hi - I'm new to this community and happy to see there is one! I've had chronic severe pain (mid to upper back, right side) for 12 years. It just came on like a burning knife through my back one day, and never left. It's worst when I sit, a bit better when I'm lying down. Over the years, I have run the gamut of doctors, PT, drugs, injections, blocks, psychotherapy, etc. As a teen (1973-74), I had multiple sponaneous collapsed lungs, causes unknown, and eventually I had to have a thoracotomy on both sides. Back then, it was a huge operation. They cut from the front chest all the way around to the back, my rib cage was shifted around and some ribs were spread wide so doctors could get in there to work on the lungs. For lack of a better term, they sort of "roughed up" the tissue inside my chest and "attached" the lungs to my chest wall to prevent further collapses. I have always suspected that scar tissue might be causing my current pain, but no doctor has ever agreed. Finally I was referred to a pain center, and they tried various injections, medications, etc. A 10 year old MRI didn't show much, and a new MRI done 2 weeks ago shows a bulging thoracic disc. I saw a neurosurgeon who said he believes the pain is not from the disc, it's from "intercostal neuralgia" - the nerve that runs in between the ribs. He suggested a spinal stimulator.
Does anyone have experience with intercostal neuralgia, or a spinal stimulator? On 12/4/12 I am supposed to have a temporary stimulator put in as a trial to see if it works. Any information on this condition, or successful treatments, would be greatly appreciated.
Lifeholes and CTBeth, Thank you so much for the information. I do want to hear about good and bad possible outcomes - the more info the better! I tend to not heal very quickly or very well, and that needs to be figured into my decision. Both of your posts are very helpful. After my original post I found that I could search the site and have come across more information about the SCS, but not anything about intercostal neuralgia, the diagnosis I was just given. This forum is such a good thing for chronic pain sufferers. I am not alone with my pain. That's something I need to hear over and over so I don't descend down into a pity-party. Thanks again, and good luck to both of you! Sarah TView Thread
Hi, I just read this post. I didn't think to search for "spinal stimulator" before I posted my "story." Do you still have the stimulator? I'm scheduled for the trial on 12/4/12 for mid-upper back pain - chronic, terrible. Anyway, I would love to "speak" with you!View Thread