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Old 04-05-2008, 04:02 PM   #1
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Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

Hi - I have had pain around my right SI joint and shooting pain down my right leg since Sept 07. Certain things make it flare up, like long car rides and any exercise (so now I am a couch potato). I saw a spine specialist who put me in PT, which just keep re-inflaming the area. And I saw an orthopedist who sent me to a pain specialist. When I finally got in to see the pain specialist (a DO spine specialist), she injected the SI joint and ordered an MRI, which I hope to have next week, to rule out any issues in the lower lumbar. Anyway - my QUESTION is - I am now experience more pain and a different kind of pain than ever before. It is very localized to the injection issue and feels like the tip of a knife has broken off inside the joint. I have less shooting pain and nerve pain in my leg, though sometimes my right ankle aches, which has happened before. Is is possible that the injection could result in more pain? I had the injection 5 days ago - do I just need to give it more time to work? I am very close to calling the doctor, but not sure she'll take the time to talk and patience to discuss this with me that I have found on the health boards before, so am looking to you all for help.

 
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:27 PM   #2
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

Yes it is possible to have severe pain after an injection. When you signed the release for the injection there should have been a list of complications on the consent form.

However, only being 5 days out from the injection, I would give it another week or so. If the pain continues to be high or worsens considerably, I recommend calling your doctor and letting him know what is going on.

Good luck and please keep us posted. We care.

 
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:38 PM   #3
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

Have you tried sitting on an ice pack? It isn't a fix but it might give you some temporary relief. I hope you can get the inflammation down so you can benefit from PT as it really does help for that area.

 
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:07 PM   #4
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Unhappy more SI joint injections

A week after having a cortisone shot in my SI joint, my pain continued to increase. It moved from about a 2 on the pain scale to an 8 or 9. I was nearly ready to go to the hospital, but I already have all the pain meds I could handle so figured there was nothing they could do. When I got in to see my doctor, I had a horrible experience. I don't understand what has happened to "bedside" manners. She wanted to do 4 more injections to block the nerves that feed the joint and muscles around it. I was hesitant, since my first injection resulted in disabling pain. I asked her a few questions and she was so short with me - cutting me off and basically telling me to make a decision quick or come back in a week. I think she'd only spent about 5 minutes with me at that point. I went ahead and did the injections yesterday and the pain stayed stead through the evening. I stayed home from work today and mostly laid in bed. The pain is better - maybe a 6. But now I am having muscle cramps in my upper back, probably from the stress of the past few days. I also had an MRI of my lumbar 2 days ago and my discs are perfect - no bulging at all.

I realize it may take 3-5 days for the injections to work, so I will be patient with these. The weird thing with the first injection, which went directly into the joint, was that I felt immediate relief and felt relief for about 24 hours before the pains started and continued to increase over the next 6 days.

I start PT in a few weeks - the earliest they can get me in. The doc says she thinks I may need to do another shot into the joint in 3 weeks or so... seems like a lot of cortisone to be getting within a month's time, isn't it?

Has anyone had similar SI joint problems? I am so confused because there is so much conflicting literature out there. I realize it is a hard joint to treat and everyone is different and reacts differently to treatment, but I'm about to lose my mind. I've been having problems for a total of 6 months; I've seen 3 doctors (a spine specialist, and orthopedist, and a pain specialist) and I've been through PT once already.

Any suggestions/support would be welcome.

 
Old 04-09-2008, 11:21 PM   #5
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

Hi! I'm so sorry the doctor was short with you-that is very frustrating when you are trying to learn about your condition, and are in pain I have been dealing with SI pain for many years now-I have bad arthritis in these joints. What has worked for me have been the injections. My doctor gave me a series of three injections (on both sides) last year-they were spaced out by 2 months apart. So, about 6 months later I was feeling a lot less pain. Then 6 months after that I did need another injection, and 6 months after that I had another. He told me that when the inflammation has really built up, sometimes it takes more than one shot to bring the level down. I know some people have also had the radio frequency (nerve burning) in the SI area-I have not had this done. I had the radio frequency done higher up in the lumbar area with good success. But, I was told by my doctor that the SI area is trickier, and that the success rate is not as high. So, for now I am sticking with the shots. I also did some PT-and learned some good exercises/stretches. However, I wasn't able to do them until the shots had given me some relief. I wish you the best-let us know how you are doing. Kera4

 
Old 04-11-2008, 01:09 PM   #6
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Question Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

Hi. My pain is subsiding some since the 4 branch blocker shots Tuesday. I am still in more pain than before the first shot I had in the join nearly 2 weeks ago. I regret doing that first injection completely. But, I guess most people do not react this way to it.

I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for specific chairs and office setups (where to have keyboard) or maybe some sort of lumbar support or cushion that helps with SI pain while sitting.

 
Old 04-16-2008, 07:42 PM   #7
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

I just posted in pain mgt, not sure where I was supposed to ask a question. Anyway, I had the first of three SI injections last week. I had them last year with great results, but can't remember if the first one worked or had to wait for the second. This one hasn't helped at all and I think I had a reaction to the injection, as about 30 hours afterward, ended up with what looked and felt like a bad sun burn on just my face. Blood pressure was fine but felt like it wasn't so figure it was a reaction. I have had 3 radio frequencies in the past 8 years, first one was great the last two didn't do as well and didn't last as long(6 months compared to almost 2 years with the first). Sometimes with any of these injections, it seems like either it doesn't help right away, or feels like it is worse at first.
And if you are not happy with your doc then find another one. There are some real winners out there and they make you feel like you are making up this long story about pain, but they aren't all like that. Good luck

 
Old 04-17-2008, 07:28 AM   #8
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

I suffered about 1 year of 6 steroid injections in my lower back every month (The facite joints of L4-L5, L5-S1 also to the outer joints of the sacrum), and it was a roller coaster of getting over the injections for about a week, some relief for about 2 weeks then a week of worsening pain until going back for the next round.
So for me it was a nightmare that I would not repeat. I hope you have more success than I did. Just be aware the this is a short term solution for something that some of us have to deal with for a long stretch. The only advantage I found that I was able to reduce the amount of anti-inflammatory drugs during that time.
I am now trying other medications to manage the pain.
I am on a disability pension because of the effects of pain that does not relent.
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25-Nov-2010: ALIF fusion L5-S1. 9 years of Chronic lower back pain. Nearly 18 months of pain across my upper pelvis, through my butt and down my left leg into my foot. Sciatica relieved by surgery.

 
Old 04-17-2008, 07:21 PM   #9
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

[QUOTE=Mary Anne9998;3534143]I This one hasn't helped at all and I think I had a reaction to the injection, as about 30 hours afterward, ended up with what looked and felt like a bad sun burn on just my face. Blood pressure was fine but felt like it wasn't so figure it was a reaction. [/QUOTE]
That's referred to as flushing - I get it for no reason but then again I have some autonomic nervous system problems that can cause it. In some people I believe it can be a histamine type response. It would be best to talk to your doctor or even an allergist as it could be the beginning of an allergy or med sensitivity that could make getting any injections a problem later.

 
Old 04-18-2008, 07:51 AM   #10
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

So should I not have them anymore? I really hate to stop the injections because by the time the second one kicks in they work for a while and if I can't get them then I will have to start another regime of something.

 
Old 04-18-2008, 01:27 PM   #11
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

[QUOTE=Mary Anne9998;3536211]So should I not have them anymore? I really hate to stop the injections because by the time the second one kicks in they work for a while and if I can't get them then I will have to start another regime of something.[/QUOTE]You should tell your doctor about it and if you are concerned about the reaction, pursue an answer to whether that is the cause.
If they really help you it would be awful to have to give that option up, but as with anything it's better to be prepared. For some people, premedicating with something like benadryl (under a doctor's supervision of course!) can help prevent reactions.

Last edited by aether4; 04-18-2008 at 01:31 PM.

 
Old 04-24-2008, 09:03 PM   #12
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

Well I called them Monday and as I had read about it, the doctor said to go ahead and go for the next one which was yesterday and to take a benedryl at noon. My appt was for 3. Got along fine but just about an hour ago, started having flush in my face and not it is on fire. While there for the injection, he said that it isn't what they are giving me to knock me out but rather the steroid that is doing it and he felt that it probably was a one time thing-not.....

 
Old 04-25-2008, 06:27 AM   #13
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

I have been living with SI joint pain since a fall 5 1/2 yrs. ago. Have had multitude of MRIs etc... Specialist just diagnosed this problem FINALLY this last week for me.. I have had 2 of the blocks for the SI joint. It took care of the pain..immediately..(this is the diagnosis for SI joint)..BUT the pain comes back. I cannot keep having steroids...my adrenal glands are not happy...so I have to choose other rootes. The Dr. said I could go for what sounds like prolotherapy injections...BUT they only work for 1/3 of the pts...he mentioned also the radiofrequency...and that in this area it is not as easy to get success...so I am left with a fusion of the SI joint. I do hope that you can find continuing relief...
The SI joint injections also caused me to flush (all epis did that to me)...like a major hot flash...I don't let it bother me. Again, I cannot take any kind of antihistimines..so I had to live with it. Good luck to you..

Sage

 
Old 04-25-2008, 05:24 PM   #14
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Re: Steroid shot in SI join = more pain?

When I woke this morning I could feel it there but the redness in the face wasn't as bad this time and by this evening doing alot better thank goodness. I have had the radiofrequency ablation 3 times with the last one being in November of 07. The first one I had last 2 whole years! The second one done by this pm doc didn't last 6 months and this one is still doing ok, although not as good as I hoped, as I can feel the nerves tingling again already. The first series of SI injections I had a year ago helped by the second one. This second one is finally working better than the first one but still have some pain. I guess it will continue trying to find this type of treatment because I sure don't want surgery. I have 4 levels of hernation so fusion is out of the question.
Good luck and thanks for writing.

 
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