When I had my nerve block, I did not have the moon face at all. However, I have gained alot of weight since I was diagnosed with back problems in 2003. Whether or not it is attributed to the epidurals, nerve blocks or other meds, is questionable for me.
I have had numerous (on average maybe 3/4 per year for 12 years - sometimes more sometimes less) and I have NEVER gained weight or had a 'moon face' from them. In fact I've never heard of it until now. Although often times I recieve S/I Blocks which require less cortizone/steroid. But not always..in fact it took years of epi's before realizing that the s/i's worked well in accordance.
Call your anes. and ask him/her about your concerns.
Good luck! Brooke
Thanks for the replies! I had gained weight & got massive moon face from my epidurals last year & it took about 1/2 year for all of it to come off oh sooo slowwwwly. I had 3 chins, now I'm down to one and I don't want them back again<LOL>. I didn't know if the steroid injected w/ nerve blocks would be less than the epi's..or even if it makes a difference. Then again from research, it usually states epi's don't really cause systemic symptoms like oral steroids do...but it sure did with me! My docs also said the shots don't affect you like the pills. <riiiiiiight> I gained more weight & more bloat from those shots than I did when I was on oral prednisone for 8 months for a lupus flare. (actually i lost a few lbs on the pills b/c I could finally exercise again) And I started out on 40mg/day for almost 2 months & tapered slowly from there. Oh well, I'll just have to wait & see what happens.
I'm new to the message boards. I'm having a nerve block next week? I've had many facet injections without any sedation. Does the nerve block feel the same or is it different? Two weeks ago I had a discogram after having had chronic pain for 8 years. I got steroid injections every 3 or 4 months for the inflamation. The discogram revealed the mystery. I have two torn discs, L5 and L4 and the doctor feels the bottom disc is giving me all the joint pain. I hope I don't have to have a fusion. For now, I'm getting 2 nerve blocks followed by a rhizotomy where they will burn my nerves around my joints. I made it through the discogram, so the doctor said this nerve block wouldn't be painful. I do get sedation this time. Thanks for reading my story. Tell me yours. Pam
Last edited by cincygal10; 06-28-2007 at 07:22 PM.
When I had my nerve block, I was in twilight sedation - awake but not there. Anyhow, they did the injection and my surgeon helped me off the table. He asked how I felt and I said, I can't feel anything. I had no pain for the first 6 to 8 hours. I could not feel my leg period. In fact, I was unable to put any weight on it at all. Unfortunately I did not sustain any long term pain control. My doctor told me that the point of the test was to prove that my pain was coming from the L5 nerve root which it did. He was hopeful that it would calm the pain down and since it did not we went ahead with the fusion.
I have had quite a few epidurals with in the past year. I keep asking if an epidural and a block were the same and they say yes. But mine don't effect me that way. I can walk in and walk out........It is works wonders. But now I think I need my siatic nerve to be put to rest and feel numb for a while. What type of block did you get? How did they administer it?
How are the SI blocks done and different than the epidural? I have had two epidural at each treatment for each leg due to my L5. I have had 5 sessions so far this year. Now we are working on my SI and siatic nerve the end of this month with some kind of block. What can I expect?
I am new to the boards too! I only know what I had. I am trying to figure out my self about the difference and how they perform the procedure of the blocks and epidurals.
I have had gone 5 times so far this year for my L5 bulging disk. They administered each time two types of epidurals a transversal and some other kind. One goes straight into the cavity near the spine the other goes in horizontal. They also put them in both legs. The sedation didn't do much for me like some people. I end up feeling a delayed relaxation by the time I get home instead of during the procedure. Which I have odd affects to medications anyway. I was always able to walk in and out. So that's all I can say. I know the medication administered was an antamflamitory and a steroid. The end of July I will have a block for my siatic nerve. Do you know how they administer it and what the side effects are when you get home?
There are differences between an epidural injection and a nerve block. Epidural injections are used to deliver steroids to the affected nerve root. The purpose of the steroid is to reduce swelling to allow the body to heal itself.
Nerve blocks are injections of anesthetics, steroids, opioids and in cases of severe pain it may be necessary to destroy a nerve with injections of phenol, pure ethanol, or by using needles that freeze or heat the nerves.
If you have been receiving "injections" for a while, or taking steroids by mouth, you may have weakened your adrenal glands, or worse put them to "sleep"... When you take oral medications (prednisone etc/steroids) you are usually taking more than your body makes on a daily basis, when you come to the last part of that treatment, you usually wean down on the meds...that is to allow your adrenal glands to hopefully recover. If you adrenals don't wake up totally...you can develope adrenal insuffiency....which you may not be aware of...until you have a really stressful situation or illness or surgery...and at which time your body can crash...which is not pleasant, and can be really dangerous. If your adrenals fail to wake up totally...well, that is really not nice. If either of these situations arise, there are tests to determine what kind of damage has been done, as well as medications to help your body function normally. This is why we can receive only so many of the injections a year...or oral medications. If you have symptoms such as the "moon face/abdominal swelling...(oh yeah, the "pot") extreme fatigue, hypoglycemia, nasty personality and a lot of other symptoms, you want to discuss this with your physician. Drs. are usually careful...but it happens once in a while...it took me a long time and a lot of problems to get diagnosed with adrenal insuffiency...and I am still under treatment 2 years later, and probably will always be...but I am soooo careful. When I had the radiofrequency, my PM used a small amont of steroids...after he had told me he wouldn't...well, I kept on taking my daily med. (cortef) and gained 14 pounds...nice...talk about moon face...my eyes were slits. Last week I had the L5 transforminal injection, with steroids, and I stopped my cortef for 4 1/2 days...to compensate...much better...very little swelling (POT) this time... Sorry this is so long, but wanted to give you all an idea of what can happen, don't want to scare you, just want you to be aware of stuff they don't tell us about directly...other than, you can only have 2 or 3 of these injections a year..
I would like to thank you for sharing this information with me. Every ones replies did help but this sums it all up in a nut shell. I would like to thank all the other replies I have received also.
Thank you so much,
Thank you for your reply. I have heard so many people mention the moon face, weight, etc. Now will the blocks do the same thing? I had a block put in my pelvic nerve to stop the pain he deadened it only 98% since there were two side by side and he was not sure which one. I have never had a problem with it in 10 years. So I guess that is what a block for the rest of the body is like.
I took in the past prednisone for crohn's disease for a long time and went from 160 to 260. I had gastric by pass surgery and in December it will be my 3 year anniversary. I went down to 142. My last two visits I gained 10 pounds then four months another 14 pounds. I had no clue you could gain weight since it was not by mouth. So help me to understand can you have a procedure in June and can you start to gain weight starting in July and just want to eat? I have had some situational emotional eating too due to fear of change with a new family with step teens and one of my own. I also face denial since back when I was on prednisone that was the only medication they had and I had no choice due to the condition of it...
How can I tell if it's the epidurals? An again one good block should do shouldn't it for the SI nerve and sciatic nerve?
Baybreeze, I gained weight, about 10-15 pounds, but also had 16 injections in 6 months, my face looked like a basketball and I was meaner than a snake. This caused adrenal insufficiency, obviously. I will never have another injection, never. The PM Dr. who was doing the injection states this was for diagnostic purposes, ha! I have grade 2 spondy. Thank God revision surgery is at the end of the month. I originally had L4-5 fused in Dec. 06 it failed and now need L3-4 fused. Too long of story for here.
To answer your question YES it caused weight gain. One other thing, I have thyroid issues (low), which I think makes you more suseptible (sp need more coffee) to AI.
OMG, 16 injections in 16 months! Im not a doc, but everywhere I read it usually says either up to 3 injections per 6 months or 3 per year. I hope your body ended up recovering okay from all that and the adrenal insufficiency?
I just had a nerve block on June 8 by 2 days later started getting strong hunger pangs, though I didnt let myself eat more. But from just this one shot, I have gained weight already. All pants got tight and my face is very puffy! In that short of time from one shot. It worse last year when I had 3 epidurals, I gained alot more from those and had major moon face. Once the meds wore off, I very very slowly lost the weight and water over 8 or 9 months. And now it's back! pffffffft. I guess everyone's body reacts differently. When I was on oral pred for 8 months for a lupus flare before my spine problems started, I actually lost weight! Go Figure.