does anyone know the effects of having many cortine injections in the back? mine is L5-S1 and I am wondering if having 4-5 injections over many years has any effects? Has anyone had many lumbar epidurals over a number of years? any bad effects?
In my experience and from all that I have read, it is safe to have 3 epi's per year. More than that can lead to bone thinning and probably other things I am not familiar with. Few doctors will do more than 3 a year because of the possible damage. You should be safe, but if you are concerned ask for a bone scan. Hope this helps.
I have found doctors to have differing opinions on how often can ESIs be administered without causing the patient harm. I have seen a range of 3-6x a year. The steroid can patentially damage the tissues so the DR and patient need to measure the benefits/risks before doing them.
Here is a little info:
TFESIs (Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections) should be administered under flouroscopy.
TLESIs (Translaminar Epidural Steroid Injections) can be safely done without flouroscopy.
Google with "Epidural steroid Injections types" and you will see a ton of information.
Can anyone tell me if the cortisone epidural is painful. I realize it's worth it if my back pain eases up...still, I am some what of a whimp when it comes to needles (exxpecially near my spine). Also, how long do they tend to last. I will be having one done at the L5-S1 area on both sides. One last question. When the prev. post said 3/year were safe...is that 3 total or 3 in each spot?
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I had an ESI, and to be blantely honest, it hurt like a B*%#$ - but only for a mili-second. They gave me a sedative to relax me, but nothing was given to numb the area. The actual needle did not hurt, it was the medicine being injected in that caused severe burning and pain in lower back (L4-5, L5-S1)and down leg. Once it was injected it went away...
Good Luck! It's worth it if it helps!
I have had 3 injections so far. None of them have worked unfortunetly. Sometimes it can be a little painful, but just tell the dr . and he can numb it more for you. After he numbed it more for me, I never felt a thing. Hope this helps...iearn
Hi, I have had 7 epidural steriod injections within a year. The first 3 I had were into my disc and I had on every week. I thought most of the time you were supposed to have them at least two weeks apart but my doctored didn't want that. The next 2 ESI's were into my sacroiliac joints. One in each joint. The next one was a nerve root block. The last and final ESI was into my coccyx. I have to say the nerve root block was probably the worst for me. And also none of these injections worked for me. I suffer with a herniated L5-S1 also. I have had two back surgerys within a year. Both surgerys were a Laminectomy/Disectomy. The first surgery when I was 16, which failed (disc re-herniated, same level) and the second surgery was about 3 1/2 weeks ago, now 17. I do know that ESI help many people with their problems and you should try all options before surgery.
I was discussing the shots with my DO the other day and he said that there are different ones, ones with steroids and ones without and that I needed to be sure to ask for the package insert when gettting any of them. It seems that the package insert on the ones with steroids states that they are not to be used in the spine. I knew that before but now I had a doctor confirm it.
If you are even thinking about a ESI, ask for the insert. If it the one that is not to be used in the spine, refuse it!!!!! Sure, the print is small, but read it and then get back to the doc on it. It is *your body*. None of us want to be in pain, and steroids do help with inflammation, but if you really want to try steroids, ask for the oral ones first. They make you whacky, and hungry and give you an upset stomach, but they are approved for the spine, unlike the ESI's.
I've had the following injections from painful to ^$&$%#$ painful, in that order: piriformis @ femur (greater trochanter), SI joint, and epidural. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but the last 2 I mentioned make me cry every time!
Mine were always done using fluoroscopy, and I have had flushed cheeks and pain at the injection location for 2-3 days. Then I feel great for about 3-4 weeks.
According to my research, 4 is the maximum. These things cause muscle degeneration and bone loss, so I tend to request them when I need them most, which is during the winter.
The worst, though - double whammy!!!! SI/epidural combo. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!