This is my first post in this section of the boards. I am looking for others with experience with epidural steroid injections to the spine. I fractured my tailbone in 2007, and injured my lower back. I have constant pain, but was very overweight and now have dropped about 100 lbs. so they will finally do something. Just looking to swap stories....Thanks.
I was diagnosed with disc protrusion l4/l5, I had severe lower back pain at first who eased up, then radiating sciatica pain took place on my left leg almost daily for 3 months... I tried medication, physio, acupuncture, chiropracthy, physical therapy, ostheopathy, I kept on swimming and stretching in accordance with the intensity of the pain. I was eventually advised to try an epidural injection and wait 3 weeks to assess, it provided relief for a few days before the sciatica came back for a few days and disappeared again to come back for good... I ended up having a discectomy over 3 weeks ago.
To sum up my experience with the lumbar epidural, it provided a short term relief, and to me was just a waste of time.
I wish you the best of luck.
Hey Kelly, I had 3 in the past 2 months. This is after years of chiropractic and months of PT. I have a bulging disc to the left with cord contact in my c5-6 with neck and back pain primarily in my left side but the neck pain got worse recently. First one was in the general area, second was right to the C-5 C-6 and the last was in my facet joints. The first two I had relief for 2 days then it came right back. (I wanted to have a party that first day!! LOL) The last nothing happened so back to the drawing board on the 26th.
Chaz was that disc protrusion impinging on a nerve? Is that why you ended up having surgery? Thanks
Yes indeed, the disc protrusion was actually irritating, compressing the sciatic nerve causing sciatica I haven't been able to get rid off.... The discectomy appeared to be my last option, hopefully it was a good choice...
Thank you both for your replies. That is basically what I have heard, that the injections provide short-term relief, but not much long term. The neurosurgeon who is referring for the consult at the pain clinic said that being that I am still clinically overweight (I was really obese prior to the weight loss,) this will be the safest thing for now. He is really not a proponent for surgery, because there is, according to 2 MRIs, no nerve impingement. But, I am not convinced. My legs go numb...and I had to have a foley and got constipated so my PCP rushed to get another consult with neurosurgery to rule out Cauda Eqina syndrome. The NS does not believe that is the cause of my problems. (I also have cerebral palsy that results in a neurogenic bladder.) He thinks the retention of urine was due to the bladder issues, not spinal nerve root compression.
My mom had 3 steroid injections for similar issues, and they did nothing for her. Also concerned that because I have a history of severe depression, the pain clinic doctor will hold that against me. My mother takes Zoloft (as do I) and had this happen to her after telling the doctor that the injections did not help her pain. We live in a small town, so there really aren't many options as far as pain management doctors. Needless to say, she did not return to the clinic. I won't even go to the local one. I am going to Ann Arbor. My depression is very well controlled despite everything I have been through, especially in the last year. I will definitely go to the appointment, but I am not sure I want the injections. Medication wise, I am very limited, because I have problems with hypotension, and most pain meds, particularly narcotics, drop my blood pressure. I have Darvocet but it really can't be used often. I am just tired of hurting.
I am going in for my second caudal injection tomorrow. I don't have epidural injections because I am fused from T9 to my sacrum. There's no spot to put it in. So I have a caudal injection where my dr. goes through the bottom of my tailbone and inserts it straight up into my spinal canal.
I had my first injection 10 months ago and it gave me 9 months of relief. I am hoping for about the same with this one. I think that part of the success lies with who is giving the injections also. My surgeon gave me one once, and I could have gotten the same amount of relief from drinking a glass of water. My PM doc, on the other hand is gifted and I trust him implicitly...and trust is half the battle I think.
good luck with whatever you decide.,
Last edited by ibake&pray; 04-20-2010 at 01:34 PM.
The reason steroidal injections don't last very long is simply that all the steroids do is reduce inflammation. Normal activity will aggravate the joint causing it to become inflamed again... eventually to the point where you need another injection.
After debating, I decided to try injections. I will get my injections at L5-S1. I was wondering, if it is going to provide relief, will I be able to tell after the first injection, and how long do they typically wait between injections? Just curious, thanks.
My epidural steroid injections were 2 weeks apart. The first one didn't work. The second one was about 50% effective. The third one put me up to 100%, thank goodness. I had no problems for the next 2 years, but now I'm having sciatica symptoms again and will have the injections again. I have nerve root irritation at L5-S1. Good luck!