7-8 years ago, found a double dose of cymbalta cured my right butt cheek to foot severe sciatic pain. Following an accident in which I was rear-ended, the sciatic pain came back severe in the right butt cheek to the knee. was able to walk a block and a half before pain rose to level of limping with severe pain. Now, only get a quarter of block. Driving range is about 30 miles before the sciatic pain get almost unbearable. Opiods don't help. Don't like the cognitive effects and especially the dizziness. Have had 2 surgical spinal injections of cortisone with none to little relief. MRI shows OA bone spur and bulging disc compressing the sciatic nerve around the L-5/S-1 area. I expect the 3rd spinal injection to fail also. Am using a highly recommended Orthopedic group of M.D.'s. Spine MD says I will probably end up with a St. Jude's neurostimulator, MRI compatible ( if the MRI can be turned down to half power ). This would be after a 7-10 trial temporary lead implantation, and if the trial offers significant relief then permanent neurostimulator( 7year battery ) with iPAD controller you use yourself. Sounds good, except I read accounts of the permanently installed leads attached, move around, rip out.etc. Have heard no spine wants to touch ( remove ) the failed leads. This group uses the St. Jude's neuro stimulator exclusively. I have researched the Medtronic MRI unit that " learns " what burst patterns word based on your position ( walking, sitting, laying down, etc.).
My Neurologist is nearly vehement on just accept what I have now. He says he has to deal with these neurostimulator failures and these failures have nearly untreatable permanent back pain. He say's the sales rep's for which ever brand work solely on commission, no salary, which results in probably over-selling and that the Spine surgeon is somewhat dependent on the R.N. sales rep to keep re-programming the neurostimulator, and often with ongoing promises of that the next re-programming will work and doesn't.
My Internist says, probably go ahead with the trial. But, with the concern that neither of the current 2 brands are not FDA approved for full power lower back MRI's. He cautions I should think seriously about that with all the lower back problems.
So 2 questions: People's short and long term experiences with both brands. Second, how did you figure out the risk to benefit of implantation of a neurostimulators.