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Old 04-18-2010, 09:48 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2010
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trulyfrustrated HB User
I am on my 2nd epidural injection with no relief. Help

I am a obese female who was diagnosed about 6 weeks ago with an extremely large extrusion at L4-L5 and a large one at L5-S1. I am and have been in excruciating pain for 2 and a half months. I just had my second epidural injection and have no relief. My GP referred me to a neurologist that could not see me for 5 weeks, which I could not wait for, so he sent me to another one who basically told me I was too fat for him to help. He sent me on my way with no suggestions for pain management or treatment which was devastating and humiliating. My GP then found an anesthesiologist who was willing to do the injections. The first one went well and I had a slight change in my pain. Now 3 days after the second injection I am back in severe pain again. Is that normal? I have been on FMLA for 3 weeks now going on 4. I cannot sit or stand for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time and am on very strong pain pills, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories, that are not really helping. I am frustrated and depressed and feel very isolated stuck in my house and basically in bed. Is there light at the end of my tunnel? Any feedback would be helpful.

Last edited by trulyfrustrated; 04-18-2010 at 09:51 AM.

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Old 04-18-2010, 08:14 PM   #2
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Re: I am on my 2nd epidural injection with no relief. Help

Hi, I am really sorry to hear about your pain. You being in severe pain 3 days after the 2nd injection means the injections are not helping you at all and you need dif. treatments. Injections can work well for bulging disks, but they did not work for my large herniation. I had a large herniation in the same area also ( L 4-5 ) about 10 years ago. Physical therapy helped with the pain, but did nothing for the herniation. I could not stand long either, and I walked with a limp. I then had 2 injections, the 1st only moved my symptoms from side to side, the 2nd did nothing. Still alot of pain. I then went to 2 dif. neuros, and both recommended surgery. I heard some docs immediately tell the person to lose weight, but I also know this is not the cause of the problem, it just aggravates it. I see a pain management doctor, they deal with these conditions daily. Could you make an appointment with one? This is what I would suggest. There is water therapy for pain, accupuncture, exercises, dif. anti-inflamatory meds. and many other options that PM docs can provide you with that I don't know about. I would ask around or call around for a pain management doctor to help you. Mine is female, and I like her personality and the way she takes her time and listens to me very well. Good luck and please come back and keep us updated.

Old 04-18-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
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Re: I am on my 2nd epidural injection with no relief. Help

I am sorry for your situation and I am sorry the injections aren't working for you. Ask your doctor to send you to a pain management clinic if he can't give you enough pain medicine to help you through each day. I must tell you though whether you are heavy of not that a bulging disc will take at least 8 weeks to resolve on it's own and that requires you to be flat in a bed. It is a very long recovery time. You can't possibly do exercises while the bulging disc reduces itself. Meanwhile the more you walk around the longer it will take to heal. However, if you are in a lot of pain when you lay down then you need help managing that pain. Your weight would play a big part in how much you should take so you need a clinic or doctor that is educated in that. You say you are on very strong pain may be strong because the doctor said they were strong but not strong enough to help you so that is not strong enough? If you aren't on something like a Fentanyl pain patches or some high doses of Oxycodone then you are not on enough pain management. There are so many on these boards that are struggling with failed back surgeries and injections all we can do is to try not to let your weight stop you from expecting that you should be close to pain free as possible. The doctor that sent you on your way because he felt you were to grateful...He apparently didn't know how to help you so instead of telling you the truth he blamed you for his own inadequacy. You have every right to expect that you are helped with the pain. Just know that it is not unusual that all this situation is going to last for a couple of months.

Old 04-18-2010, 10:50 PM   #4
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Re: I am on my 2nd epidural injection with no relief. Help

As far as the epidural goes can you be more specific? Are we talking about a spinal nerve block, a basal branch nerve block, or something else all together different?

Can you elaborate on how the procedure was done? Was streaming x-ray imaging used?


Old 04-21-2010, 07:45 AM   #5
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Re: I am on my 2nd epidural injection with no relief. Help

I am just now able to get back onto this link, it was not working before. I hope you come back and let us know how you are doing.

Old 04-22-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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Re: I am on my 2nd epidural injection with no relief. Help

Sorry to hear the shot didn't work. The biggest secret is that an anesthesiologist who is well versed in doing them in a pain clinic to do them. They have more experience at them then a regular doctor does so they seem to do a better job. Now PM doctors are better at taking care of the pain then regular doctors. I've learned this through trial and error. Some times if the shot isn't place is just the right spot it won't work or if the right meds aren't used it won't work. I've had epidural and SI joint injections which have and have not worked. The next one I get in my SI joint will be a Radiofrequency Ablation. Which I learned will heat the nerve enough to damage it so that it can't send the pain signal back to the brain. I'll have it done on both sides. I hope you soon find some relief.

Old 04-22-2010, 02:15 PM   #7
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Re: I am on my 2nd epidural injection with no relief. Help

Thankyou, I think I expected relief too soon. I have had these before, but for dif. problem, and they did work, this is a new problem. The doc who does them is a pm doc and well known for doing them, she is very good, I'm just not used to waiting for it to get better after the injection. I am feeling better, but still pain if sitting too long, just not as bad. I go back to doc May 4th.

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