I have a spinal problem of spinal stenosis with two dehydrated discs and a pinched nerve. I have received two epidural injections and am debating whether I should take the third injection or schedule surgery.
I do not feel any better after the second injection than I did prior to the first.
I did 3 injections and always felt A LOT worse for a couple of weeks and then back to my regular severe pain. My chiropractor told me they only tend to work for about 20% of people. Because of the risks associated with them, and the fact that they brought me no relief at all, and would never do one again.
Surgery shouldn't be considered until all conservative treatments have been tried and failed. Have you tried PT or anti inflammatory medications?
The reason they don't just jump into surgery is because is because back surgeries are very big, and painful procedures. It takes forever to recover from them (up to a year), and they don't always even work. I had a fusion 9 months ago and it failed. I am now having another fusion, but this time 2 levels will be fused instead of one. I am with a different surgeon this time so I am crossing my fingers for a better result.
i had 3 injections for my degenerated disks. I was told that the 3rd would help more than the first 2, which it did not. It actually made the pain worse. I'm not telling you not to try it, as surgery is a big decision. Just saying.
I have had the best results with physical therapy. It only works if you do all of the stretches they tell you to do at home as well.
I had 2 ESI`s in my cervical spine and they helped a lot. I also had 1 Lumbar ESI and it also helped 100%. BUT...the Lumbar ESI only helped for about 1 month, then the severe pain came back. I am not bothering to get a second Lumbar ESI. I am seeing my Neurosurgeon in 2 days. I had enough of this PT/meds/ESI`s. Just give me the surgery already!!! I am just praying he can do the surgery ASAP. I want to get it over with and on with my life.
It can't hurt to do the third shot. Then wait and see, for a few weeks, if you have any improvement in your symptoms.
For me the ESI did work for about a year on my low back and 2 years on my neck. If they work they are well worth it. But if they don't then many have had much success with surgery. I'm headed for another back fusion but my first one worked well for 18 years. I have some ligament and tendon problems that leads to joints (including my spine joints) to move around too much so I'm looking forward to having L3 added to my fusion so I can get back to normal.