I've been here a couple of times for help, and I'm back now at a very low point, and really appreciate more of your valuable help. I'm confused still and just really want to stop being in pain. The pain has got worse and I'm in constant daily pain from when I wake and I seem to be tearful constantly because of all this.
At my last appointment a month ago the orthopedic doctor suggested a nerve root injection, which I'm now on a waiting list for. He then freaked me out a lot by suggesting anything could go wrong and I could end up paralysed if he hits the wrong place. The date is getting closer, and I'm terrified of going ahead and of not, as I don't know what else is out there to help me. Due to a hospital mix up, my first ever pain management appointment got cancelled and I have to try to get back on a waiting list of up to 3 months for that. I've heard exercise could help so am trying swimming. I really am at a very low point in terms of how much more of this constant pain I can take, and appreciate any viewpoints, either to reassure me that a nerve root injection is not that dangerous or for other ideas. History again below, and thank you.
1.Dehydrated disc at L4/5 and L5/S1 level noted
2. incidental note of 7.5mm Tarlov cyst at level of S2
3. L5/C1 level diffuse disc bulge extending into the right extra foramina area and impinging on exiting nerve root at this level. Minimal associated facet joint degenerative changes.
4. Normal signal internsity of the bone marrow and spinal cord
Take a deep breath and relax. My PM doctor had to go over the risk factor sheet and have me sign it, and of course all of the scary stuff was on there. There are risks with any procedure, but the odds are about a million to one, especially if the doctor has done the procedure several times and is using fluoroscopy (X-Ray guided needle).
I will keep you in my prayers.
I'm sorry to hear about your back. Mine is giving me h e double toothpicks also. I had a nerve root injection in my neck at c7-t1. Mine was inflamed and it was a bit painful but not that bad. If you have the option of getting sedated, you might want to do it, I did not. I have to agree w/scoot about the scary warnings, all legal stuff. Also, I am obviously not a doc, but the nerve root is away from the spinal cord itself. You will be fine. May I suggest you stay on the list for a pain management doc, they are lifesavers if you find a good one. Mine moved after 2.5 years. Keep posting I'll be watching for you. Try and have a nice day! matt3507
Hi there I can certainly understand everything you said and I mean everything. I had a nerve root injection done 3 months post microdisctomy, I was in pain and was ready to get relieved of it. My doc said that would be the best way to go. Sorry to tell you but my experience was not good at all. I ended up with more pain in places that I didn't even have before. I would have kept the pain I had in a heartbeat compared to after the epidural. I went in having low back and left buttock pain, I came out with severe pain in lower back, in both legs, including my feet. I had it done in August and it is not November and I am finally back to the pain I started with. Water therapy helped get me back to where I was initially. I had found a good doc and he prescribed exercises for me. I think it is good to be honest with you, the kind folks here on the health board told me that they felt 3 months post surgery was a little early for a injection. Oh! how I wish I had listened to them. There is no guarantee, none whatsoever, you have to live with your decisions. If I had to do it over again, i would've done anything but that injection. Please know there are good ways to make our situation better, however it takes patience, patience and more patience, research, research and more research. You have a good start, you are in the right place. I wish you the very very best in your decision. Blessings!
Thank you all so much for the words of advice-a real mixed bag! I keep finding the more I research, it's so hard to know which way to go with your own back isn't it? I have felt very confused often about my situation and still don't know what this injection aims to achieve, to properly weigh up the pros and cons. Given my MRI results, is it simply a step towards temporary reduction in the inflammation to take a bit of the "impingement" away, or could the inflammation be the main reason for my pain, and the injection could make me long term pain free? I often wonder about this bulge that is mentioned too, and if it will simply get worse over time. Basically I think I really need to know if I am being completely naive in thinking there may be a long term way of "mending" my back, or should I start accepting a life of medication and pain management to mask this daily pain I am in? I still find it so very very hard to contemplate a long term future like that as a relatively young person.
Finally I'd really appreciate anyone's viewpoint on my treatment route so far. Is it worth me looking for a second opinion based again on my MRI results and path taken so far (two steroid injections only)? I have found my doctor (othopedic surgeon on UK NHS) extremely uncaring and he has knocked my trust in him several times by the manner he has treated me. Thanks again for help as I do feel very lost in knowing what is normal and what is not.
Hello again J. I can definately understand your frustration with the whole situation as I have been down this road for over a year now. I have seen too many doctors and heard too many opinions. My current family doctor doesn't seem to believe in pain management, I get the feeling they would rather see me "suck it up and deal with it" than get some relief. I was sent for physical therapy, but after the initial evaluation my condition worsened to the point where I could hardly walk at all and had to call into work. Strong pain meds make me sick, so I suffer from nausea whenever I have to take them. My only option at that point was to have an injection, just to get the imflammation down enough to proceed with physical therapy. Steroids do not agree with me either, I have terrible "steroid flare" usually a day and a half after the injection, and they last three or four days, hot spine, headaches, more nausea and itching, not a fun time, but it does go away. I go through with it because it is giving me some hope for improvement. I am going through P.T. and it is helping. Hopefully someday soon I'll be able to say that I am doing much better without any more injections or pain meds.
Hope You're Feeling Better
Localized disc bulging posterolaterally right L-4-5 indicating annular disruption, abuts right L-4 nerve root within the neural foramen.
Disc protrusion posterolaterally right at L5-S1. Mild diskogenic vertebral sclerosis.
Mild foraminal narrowing left T9-10 and T10-11 and right T9-10
Mild disc bulging at T11-12 with mild effacement of the anterolateral aspect of the thecal sac greater on the left.
Moderate degenerative changes C5-C6 and C6-C7 levels
yes, I too had 6 sessions of PT at the end of which I was told it wasn't working for me. I was prescribed one painkiller that did nothing, then another that made me scared to take again as it made me super drugged and had my heart racing. Does anyone think a serious attempt at core strengthening exercises-pilates, yoga, swimming, etc-could actually work? I am so worried about the nerve root block that I guess I am desperate to find an alternative.
P.S. Has anyone heard of Busquet exercises or the RPG by Souchard?
Bumping this back up, appreciate any advice as still really in two minds about going for next injection given that it seems it could go either way to help or make me worse.....
Does anyone think a serious attempt at core strengthening exercises-pilates, yoga, swimming, etc-could actually work? I am so worried about the nerve root block that I guess I am desperate to find an alternative.
P.S. Has anyone heard of Busquet exercises or the RPG by Souchard?
Last edited by jacquelineforde; 12-02-2008 at 03:04 PM.
Reason: vocab missing
I have had the nerve blocker, and it was wonderful, however it was short term and only lasted a few months... It was a great three months though. I'm now going to disc replacement. I have tried EVERYTHINH including being on Oxycodone, which only made me sick. My severe pain is only on occasion, but the nerve pain, which is the most annoying is ALL the time, that is what the blocker dealt with, I still had the other pain... Plus the positive about going for the blocker is its really only supposed to help the doctor narrow in on the specific pain. I reccommend it, but just know it won't last forever.
I have had 3 and they have all worked. I have an excellent pain management dr. I am usually sore for about 48 hours after the injection but as long as I lay down and rest I am fine. The actual procedure doesn't hurt at all and you probably won't remember it. It can take up to a couple of weeks to start working so don't get discouraged.
Re: Very recent Facet Joint Injection, appreciate advice again
Been a while since I started this thread (originally for previous nerve root injection), and had facet joint injection four days ago. To date my history is 2 SI injections, 1 nerve root block and this fact joint injection all over 2 year period. I'd really appreciate input on this one as I'm extremely tender still and not sure if that's to be expected. Rested first two days then walked around and got sudden extreme pain after couple of hours so had to lie down yesterday and same happened today. More pain that before injection and different, sharper. He did 3 injections if that's significant.
Full back history MRI is at start of this thread but basically DDD and bulging disc L5.Is Facet Joint injection normal progression based on my MRI? Thanls so much, as always, for input.
1.Dehydrated disc L4/5, L5/S1
2. 7.5mm Tarlov cyst at level of S2
3. L5/C1 diffuse disc bulge extending into right extra foramina area and impinging on exiting nerve root.
I've had more injections than I can count. The anticipation is worse than the actual procedure. For me, the doctor puts in some numbing medicince first, then does the actual injection. If the nerve is really inflamed, it's a little painful (sorry, have to be honest), but nothing more than you are used to if you suffer from nerve pain. You'll feel it going in, but it's really not bad, (I am a big sissy) so, if I can do it, you can too!
Good luck. Relax and don't worry! It's not bad at all!