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Need some info on epidural injections

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Old 04-25-2005, 10:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 54
justjustine HB User
Need some info on epidural injections


My name is Justine, and I would like to get some information about epidural injections. I had a laminectomy and discectomy about 8 years ago. I was pretty much pain free until about 2 years ago. I apparantly have some scar tissue problems in the L5-S1 region (this is where I had surgery)

This latest bout is the [COLOR=Red]MOST [/COLOR] painful yet. My orthopedic surgeon wants me to look into getting epidural injections around the surgery site. I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow and would like to know a little bit more before I commit to this.

Has anyone had these injections? and if so, do they work? does it hurt? and finally, what medication is used?

I am a little aprehensive about having anything injected near my back as I had a very bad experience with a myelogram (nearly died)

I'm glad I found this site and hope I hear back from someone soon.



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Old 04-25-2005, 11:45 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 110
acl828 HB User
Re: Need some info on epidural injections

Has anyone had these injections? and if so, do they work? does it hurt? and finally, what medication is used?

I've had them. In fact, I've had 5 since December '04. They all made me sore for a couple of days and helped me ZERO. That's not to say they won't help you. I don't know what it is that some people get relief from them while others, like me, shouldn't bother but it happens. You may just be one of the lucky ones.
It didn't really hurt me. It was more of a brief unpleasantness.
I know they put Lidocaine and a steroid of some kind in my injections.[/COLOR]

I am a little aprehensive about having anything injected near my back as I had a very bad experience with a myelogram (nearly died)

[COLOR=Blue]Understandable. Check it out before you do it. It's always better to get as much information as possible especially since you've had a prior issue. Good luck to you![/COLOR]

Old 04-25-2005, 12:25 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
JohnM61 HB User
Re: Need some info on epidural injections

I just had my second injection last week. The first round helped a little, but only for a few days. The second round has not helped at all. Like the other person said, it may or may not help. There is really no way to tell before hand. I know I had to try them. The procedure was pretty simple. Laid on a tbale under fluoroscopy. Took about 10 minutes. The doc numbed the area then injected a little lidocaine and steroid. It did hurt for about a day at the injection sight. One word of caution. Your severe reaction during the myleogram may have been due to the iodine based dye used in the procedure. MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE the doc is aware of this since he may use some dye to see if he is in the correct spot before injecting the steroids. Good luck.

Old 04-25-2005, 12:30 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 41
SydneyZ60 HB User
Re: Need some info on epidural injections

Hi Justine. I have had 2 series of epidural steroid injections, lidocaine & a steroid. Each series was 3 injections. My injections were virtually pain free and were over with in a matter of minutes. I didn't get any real relief until the last injection of the series, and then it helped me greatly - no pain, no tingling or numbness for almost 1 year. I had the 2nd series in September and have just begun to start feeling the pain again.

I would research this given your previous experience with the myelogram. Also, I don't think ESIs are a long term solution and they do have some side effects that you should look into.

Good luck to you!

Old 04-25-2005, 02:09 PM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1
srush HB User
Re: Need some info on epidural injections

Hi Justine, Hope your epi went well. I had my first 2 wks ago ...with only one day of relief during those 2 wks. Procedure was not painful at all, tiny sting. I am to return for my second injection tomorrow. I hope you are having a good bit of relief by now. I have had no surgery (yet). I have a disc pressing on spine and effecting left leg,,hip, thigh. Very painful, difficult to walk, not able to work for the past 5 wks. All this is new to me also.

Best of luck,
Suzanne in N>C>

Old 04-25-2005, 02:20 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 83
et318 HB User
Re: Need some info on epidural injections


ESI's can be performed in many ways. In someone who has had prior surgery, midline (interlaminar) epidural injections can be largely unhelpful. This is due to the fact that it is more difficult to have the mixture of anesthetic and steroid flow to the affected area. The difficulty is due to the presence of scar tissue. Be wary of any physician recommending midline (interlaminar) injections in your case. This may indicate their lack of training in performing more specialized epidural type injections. You will need those due to your prior surgery.

A transforaminal approach involves coming in slightly from the side of the spine. This approach is usually much more successful in persons who have had prior surgery.

Given the fact that you have scar tissue the physician performing the epidural injection may consider mixing some Wydase into the injection. There are some studies that indicate Wydase may be somewhat helpful in the lysis of scar tissue. I would not say the studies are overwhelming but some people have reported relief with the Wydase or other similary medications.

Epidural injections are hit and miss. Alot of the outcome depends on the mechanism of the problem and the extent of the disease. Some people have epidural injections and obtain years of relief while others find little to no relief. It has been shown that a series of three injections is best. Due to the amount of inflammation that can be present it may take the repeated doses of medication to achieve the desired effect.

Good Luck

Old 04-25-2005, 06:41 PM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 54
justjustine HB User
Thanks for responding.


Thanks for all of the great info. I should be ok with the dye. The problem I had with the myelogram was that the puncture site didn't heal and all of my cerebrospinal fluid was leaking out causing my brain to bounce off of my skull (sounds kind of funny now that I say it like that)

Well I figure anything is worth a try now. I just finished two years of college in the Medical Office Administration field and I was hired right out of my placement. I am supposed to start my new job on May 9. At the moment, I am not able to walk at all, not even to the bathroom. This laptop is my connection to the outside world. I don't know how I am going to get better in two weeks!!!!!!

I also wanted to ask everyone what they are taking for their pain. I am on Percocet and they don't do a thing for me. I also take Flexeril to stop some of the spasms in my legs and buttocks. You know the problem with these meds is that they cause constipation and I'm sure all of you know how unpleasant and painful going to the bathroom can be on a good day!!!!! And then throw a bedpan into the equation....yikes


Old 04-25-2005, 07:04 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 136
girl12345 HB User
Re: Need some info on epidural injections

I have a herniated disk in my lower back and upper back and neck pain. I have not had surgery and was told that I am not a candidate for it right now. I just had my second ESI injection in my lower back. My first one was a month and a half ago and helped with the leg pain. It helped for a month. I did not have any side effects. Last week, I got my second injection. I do not think that it will help as much, but I have to wait and see. I did get headaches and dizziness right after the injections this time, but they say that it is probably not from the injections, but from my upper back and neck pain. I hope that you get some relief from the injections. See if you can get sedated for the shots. I was and did not feel a thing.

I am currently on Skelaxin (muscle relaxer), mobic (for inflamation), gabitrel (for nerve pain), and ultracet (for pain).

I hope this helps.

Old 04-25-2005, 07:26 PM   #9
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Louisville, Kentucky USA
Posts: 87
Re: Need some info on epidural injections

Hello Justine
Welcome to the boards. You will find a great bunch of people here. I have about 2 or 3 rounds of caudal blocks. They helped at first but now they do not help. My pain management doc has told me that he wants me to go back to my ortho spine doc to get his opinion about what is going on in my back. That brings me to another point, does your ortho doc have a spine fellowship? I would not let anybody touch me unless they had a spine fellowship and all they did was spines. For example a ortho spine surgeon or a neuro spine surgeon. Have you had a mri or a ct mylegram to see exactly what the problem is. I have ruptured the same disk twice. They finally had to fuse me because I had become to unstable. Well got to go again I welcome you to the boards!

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