ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

SCI: Spinal Cord Injury -Inthrathecal Baclofen Pump Experience Part II

Updated on December 28, 2009
Side view of Baclofen Pump and view of catheter into the spine.
Side view of Baclofen Pump and view of catheter into the spine.
Rear Photo of Intrathecal Baclofen Pump
Rear Photo of Intrathecal Baclofen Pump
Left Rear Buttocks Incision
Left Rear Buttocks Incision
Lower Spine Incision
Lower Spine Incision

12/21/2009

After my baclofen pump surgery as described in part I and part II, I experienced some post surgery complications. I developed a spinal fluid leak. Yeah, crazy.

Apparently it is not unusual because of the way the surgery takes place.

PROCEDURE

The day of surgery I arrived at 5:30am, where I put on the 'high fashion' hospital gown, got hooked up to an IV, and within an hour was wheeled off to the executioner looking table where they perform surgery.

I WAS NOT AWAKE

The Anesthesiologist put some good stuff in my IV while we were talking, and then I was out!

When they implant you with an intrathecal baclofen pump, they implant either in your lower left or right abdomen belly fat, or (as in my case) the upper buttocks region a device the size of a ice cream cookie sandwich, see above image. then they run a catheter from the device through your lower spine around L-5/L-6 and directly along the spinal column puncturing and going into the spinal canal directly next to the spinal cord. They thread the catheter up to the desired location up your spine canal to (as in my case) about T-4/T-5 (depends on the injury) See above image also.

They then anchor the catheter to your spine bone somewhere, staple you back up and off you go.


POST OP

When I woke up, aside from having the usual post-surgery High (Awesome) I wasn't in any pain really. Probably the Morphine though. There was some soreness as expected and I could not twist or bend. The doctor was adamant about me laying down, so believe it or not, they released me to go home the same day about 2 hrs after the procedure. They wrapped me in a gurdle to keep pressure on my back and to keep me straight, and they told me to very careful when moving. In retrospect, leaving so soon was not a good idea.

When I got home I laid down the first couple of days. I got up a few times here and there and noted my head would hurt some, but then soon laid down again. Around day 3-4 I would sit up and after going from horizontal to vertical I would feel a deep ache in my head, I would feel a bit dizzy, and the pain would slowly increase until I laid down. I pushed it more later that day and well into the next day when I figured it was simply because I was hungry or thirsty. Soon after I noticed that the pain increased until it was literally unbearable and I was forced to lay down, or feel as if I would pass out from the pain.

I called the Dr. office, and they advised me to go directly into the ER because it appeared I had a spinal fluid leak?

Freaked out I went into the ER, and was immediately seen because I couldn't stand.

During the surgery, when they inject the catheter into the spinal canal, they puncture the spinal 'sac' which contains the spinal fluid. If the spinal fluid leaks, the pain is caused because spinal fluid flows up your spinal cord, around your brain, and then is later flushed down your spinal cord from your head. Yes, your head literally expands and contracts like a balloon at various intervals. Weird eah.

In the case of a spinal fluid leak, the fluid escapes around the puncture area and as such, it flows into the surrounding tissue, or in some cases outside the wound and externally. This drop in fluid creates a drop in pressure as well, so essentially the pain is caused because your brain begins to rest on the bottom of your skull due to a deficiency in "Cerebral Spinal Fluid" (CSF). Hence the term CSF leak.

The doctors gave me a CAT scan, and a blood test. The remedy in this situation is mandatory bed rest, an IV, and LOTS of fluids and LOTS of 100% flat time on your back for 2-3 days. If the leak heals then they will send you home with the recommendation not to twist or bend AT ALL, and lay down as much as possible for another week. OR, if it does not heal, then they would have to cut you open and re-investigate where there may be a spinal leak. In my case that did not happen.


DOCTOR FOLLOW UP

About a week after my surgery was my doctor follow up where the staples were removed. Surprisingly it didn't hurt. It felt like someone pinched your skin a bunch of times, but I wasn't grimacing at all. Having the staples severely restricted your movement but was good in some ways because it was a reminder of your bend/twisting limitations.


CURRENT STATUS

It has been a few weeks since my initial surgery, and I still have to be careful bending and twisting. If I bend or twist I will feel a pinch in my lower back, and/or a headache will soon follow. If I am to active (walking, or working around the house/etc) I will get a headache. I did not initially receive the baclofen in the pump because it takes several weeks to verify there is no infection, and your body tolerates the pump and catheter before they inject the medicine in you.

I go tomorrow 12/22 to have the Baclofen injected. I will update Part III after that!






Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • magic8ball profile imageAUTHOR

      magic8ball 

      5 years ago from Beaverton, OR

      Actually I just had the pump taken out and I found out that the catheter was not connected. I go to meet with the Neurosurgeon who took it out on Thursday to hopefully see how that happened or if it was mere negligence on the part of the Dr who put it in. I walk with a cane, so it is not like I am playing football or doing gymnastics.

    • profile image

      tywan115 

      6 years ago

      I am looking for such a post, thanks for sharing such valuable information.

    • profile image

      carlinchoudury001 

      6 years ago

      I am looking for such a post, thanks for sharing such valuable information.

    • profile image

      Warren38 

      7 years ago

      I believe what you have said is correct. Men nowadays are continuing to exploring options for them to look good. It’s not just for the physical aspect but for your self esteem also. Can you post more details of men that face post-surgical depression? Do you have the numbers or statistics or perhaps testimonies? Thank you.

      James Makker, MD

    • profile image

      rabuyo143 

      7 years ago

      Did your Neurologist do an EMG yet to see if a neural is being pressurized in your hands or leg yet. I would also obtain a Orthosurgeon or Neurosurgeon to see what their cure is and can let you know if it`s necessary to have surgical procedures. Get more than one viewpoint and trust you may obtain a Dr. to help soon.

      James Makker, MD

    • profile image

      Anne Webster 

      7 years ago

      Nice post. It is interesting to read and it is very useful for the readers Anyway, thank you for the information. I really appreciated your blog. I will check this out. Thank you and keep it up.

      James Makker

    • magic8ball profile imageAUTHOR

      magic8ball 

      7 years ago from Beaverton, OR

      They are kinda freaky looking back at them. What was I thinking? I am in the process of having it taken out now. So I'll have more photos again soon eah? Hehehe,

    • profile image

      Gail Holst 

      7 years ago

      i find those cuts terrible, . that I couldn't look on it any longer . .

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)