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Old 06-10-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
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Question Questions About - Lumbar Epidural Injections -

I am new here so will in brief explain my injury - All L disks are herniated - S1 S2 as well and then those "spacers" are messed up between the disks, and tons of nerve damage and pinched nerves, arthritis, scoliosis, stenosis, degenerative disk --- I think that cover the spine

So I went to a pain clinic for the first time today and they strongly suggested Lumbar Epidural Injections - which I would very much like you all to share me your thoughts on PLEASE.

The Dr told me it is a type of steroid and will do wonders for my pain level???

I was on oral steroids 2 times and both times felt like a new person - I had almost zero pain for the first time in 6 yrs.

So of course this treatment sounds very tempting to me - but I want to check around and get thoughts/opinions on it -

I am set to get a series of 3 of these - 1 week apart and then they said I am not allowed to get any more for 6 months - but they also said I would not need any more for 6 months as this first set of 3 will last that long.

Another Dr who I seen today said not get these steroid injections as it is proven they can and often do reduce your cartridges which is the LAST thing I need to happen to me

Please tell me anything you know about this treatment - the good the bad and the ugly

Thanks !

 
Old 06-11-2009, 04:25 AM   #2
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Re: Questions About - Lumbar Epidural Injections -

I am in the same boat as you! Initially, I agreed to the injections because I am willing to try just about anything. But on my appt date, I had a bad sinus infection and was instructed to reschedule. An omen? Since then, I have read everything I could find. Not good. The risks far outweigh any benefit you may receive.

On top of that, the statistics for success are way too low for my liking. Even if they are successful at first, there is the possibility of the result going away after only a few days.

My neuro asked me if I wanted to try this option because he knows I will research before deciding. Well now I am supposed to go in at 9:30 and I am having second, third, tenth thoughts on going through with it. It concerned me that they didn't even tell me I would need someone with me or the fact that medical websites say it is very uncomfortable. ???? Translated: I will be in agony.

The only thing we can do fast right now, is to search this board for answers to our questions by those who have posted.

Good luck to us both!

 
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:11 AM   #3
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Re: Questions About - Lumbar Epidural Injections -

Hi all,
I had 4 lumbar epidural injections last year, 6 weeks apart, I was told there had to be at least a 6 week interval between them, so I am a bit confused your doctor is willing to do 3 over a period of 3 weeks. . . is this correct?
the bad news is i got no relief from any of them and I found them very painful afterwards, the procedure itself is not that bad but after each one i was in bed for 3 days feeling as though the needle was still in my back and then to have no relief from them was quite frustrating. But I have come across people who have had great relief from them, every individual case in different and depends on the current pain level aswell.
Have you ever had spine surgery? I had had a L5S1 disectomy and the doctor that done the epidurals came to the conclusion that my previous surgery scar tissue was preventing them from working. you have nothing to lose from trying them but I would be reluctant to have 3 in such a short period. surely u should try one and over the following weeks see if you have any relief before having a second and a third. Let me know how u get on I would love to hear if you feel any benefit from them. I went on to have a revision disectomy and a wallis implant inserted 10 weeks ago recovery is very slow and surgery was a last resort considering i am only 26! feeling very down and frustrated that i still have severe leg pain after everything Ive gone through since last may (1st epidural injection)
good luck with it all
Jo

[QUOTE=truivia;4009169]I am new here so will in brief explain my injury - All L disks are herniated - S1 S2 as well and then those "spacers" are messed up between the disks, and tons of nerve damage and pinched nerves, arthritis, scoliosis, stenosis, degenerative disk --- I think that cover the spine

So I went to a pain clinic for the first time today and they strongly suggested Lumbar Epidural Injections - which I would very much like you all to share me your thoughts on PLEASE.

The Dr told me it is a type of steroid and will do wonders for my pain level???

I was on oral steroids 2 times and both times felt like a new person - I had almost zero pain for the first time in 6 yrs.

So of course this treatment sounds very tempting to me - but I want to check around and get thoughts/opinions on it -

I am set to get a series of 3 of these - 1 week apart and then they said I am not allowed to get any more for 6 months - but they also said I would not need any more for 6 months as this first set of 3 will last that long.

Another Dr who I seen today said not get these steroid injections as it is proven they can and often do reduce your cartridges which is the LAST thing I need to happen to me

Please tell me anything you know about this treatment - the good the bad and the ugly

Thanks ![/QUOTE]

 
Old 06-12-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Questions About - Lumbar Epidural Injections -

Hi I had 2 in different places in my back on the same day. I slept throught the procedure. That night I sweat so badly and felt really bad for several days. When I had a blood test my sugar was high which was a first for me. I read the shots can raise it. Thankfully it went back down. I was still in pain and my dr requested the two follow-up injections but the workmanscomp medical review dr denied it giving the reason that since the first one didn't work, then there was no point in doing more and I needed to look into chronic pain management. I thought that was the purpose of an epidural.
I ended up 2 years later having a laminectomy and discectomy (took that long for w/c to approve it)
For me, I won't ever have another one. I was diagnosised with osteroporosis and steriods can add to the problem

 
Old 10-23-2009, 11:37 PM   #5
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Re: Questions About - Lumbar Epidural Injections -

[QUOTE=trivia;4009169]Please tell me anything you know about this treatment - the good the bad and the ugly

Thanks ![/QUOTE]

I have bulges, protrusions, and a herniation between L4-S1. My pain management doctor will do a series of 3 cortisone epidural injections, 2 weeks apart from each other. The first time it didn't help, and my insurance would not pay for anesthesia, so I had to get Versed (IV sedative that didn't relax me) and have the procedure done while I was awake. It didn't hurt, because my PM doc numbed the area first. Around the 3rd injection, which was 6 weeks later, I got relief for a week. In total, I've had about 20 of these injections done with no long lasting relief.

Last year I had another child and the neurosurgeon believes that the weight of carrying a baby has put strain on those discs. Now I'm at the point where I need surgery, because both of my legs give out, and I fall down.

 
Old 10-24-2009, 09:41 AM   #6
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Re: Questions About - Lumbar Epidural Injections -

Hello,

I've had many lumbar ESI's and nerve blocks over the past several years. I've also taken oral steroids - prednisone for lupus flares and medrol dose packs for my spine and other joint problems.

As for the timing of ESI's, it seems there are different opinions. My PM said I could have a total of 3 injections, each two weeks apart, but only 3 injections per year because of potential bad side effects of the steroids on the body. I've heard of other PMs saying it can 3 injections per 6 month period, so who really knows. Either way, it is not good to have too many because steroids can cause a plethora of other problems like high blood pressure, weight gain, increased susceptibility to infections, easy bruising, joint damage, tendon weakening, and many other problems.

For myself, lumbar ESI's have provided me tremendous relief with pain and stiffness. Also for myself, the injections have this effect on my entire body, not just on my spine, even though they say it doesn't. In both oral and injectable forms, it's a miracle drug for me. Lately, it does not totally relieve my pain, but it certainly lessens it. And actually steroids are not a pain reliever, it's actually used to lessen inflammation; however, many times when there is inflammation, there is also pain. Reducing the inflammation can cause lessening of pain. But anyway, even though ESI's help me a lot, they only last about 2 weeks or so. If you read any medical literature, it says that the steroids in the injection can last floating up and down in your epidural space for about 2 weeks. Now, if the shot gets rid of the inflammation in your spine, it can reduce pain, and possibly the inflammation may not come back. It all depends on what is causing the inflammation and pain in the first place. If it's caused by scar tissue, bony build-up jutting into nerves, disc herniations that do not resolve themselves, etc...then most likely when the steroids wear off, your pain will be back. Unfortunately there is no way to say for sure, everyone reacts differently to it.

Personally, I would never had ESI's less than 2 weeks apart. If you do decide to have this done, make sure your doctor does under guided fluoroscopy, which is a real-time x-ray, so that he/she can see almost exactly where the needle is going. It would also be preferable if the doctor is an anesthesiologist because they are experts in injections and anesthesia, such as if your doctor uses twilight anesthesia during the procedure.

Of course i'm not a doctor, but it's possible ESI's might help your back, for a while anyway, being that you said oral steroids help so much. And with the injection, the steroid does not have to first be digested, etc to get into your bloodstream, so the ESI might act quicker. As for being scared of steroids, they are usually just fine when used sparingly. It's when someone uses them long term, every day, when they cause all sorts of other health problems.

Please ask away if you have any other questions!

 
Old 10-24-2009, 08:45 PM   #7
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Re: Questions About - Lumbar Epidural Injections -

I've gone through many rounds of epidural steroid injections with no problems (1 shot every 2 weeks - a series of 3. This cycle could be done twice a year). I did them on my neck and it improved my symptoms for a long time - probably helped me put of surgery for a number of years.

I've now been doing some injections for my back and although they haven't been as helpful I've had no bad effects. These are very common treatments and help many people.
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Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 05-01-2010, 08:45 PM   #8
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Re: Questions About - Lumbar Epidural Injections -

I've had a vertebra out of place for many years in the area around my waist or a a little higher. I was diagnosed with mild osteoporosis about a year ago. Since then I've been developing a Dowager's Hump. I also have a problem in my neck that causes migraines. My sister went through years of surgeries, back braces, and wheel chairs before she eventually passed away much too young from liver disease (probably because of a combination od pain pills and maybe alcohol). Is there a quick fix that will straighten my back?

 
Old 05-01-2010, 08:51 PM   #9
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Re: Questions About - Lumbar Epidural Injections -

There is no quick fix for complex spine issues.

Have you had a consultation with an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and/or Neurosurgeon for a discussion about all of the alternatives? OSS and NS certainly do surgery but also work with non surgical interventions as well.
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
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