So I had my first epidural steroid injection in mid december 2012 for buldging discs (L3-L4, L4-L5, & L5-S1), The lower two are pushing on my spine and causing a lot of pain. I also have some narrowing of my spinal cavity and a section of pinched nerves. The injection has not provided and reliefe and the pain feels worse now than it did before the injection. I have my follow up with the specialist on 1/30 and am making a list of what I want to talk to her about and what questions I should ask since the last plan of action failed. Does any one have any suggestions on what questions I should ask my Dr. And please dont suggest PT or Medication, been there and done it. I am trying to find what will help me and make this pain manageable.
Many people will try a series of 3 epidural injections at 2 week intervals before giving up on them, as the next step may be surgery. If the injections end up not helping, you might consider a rhizotomy, a procedure similar to the injections where the nerves carrying the pain impulses are "burned" and that gives relief for 9-12 months. Also called radiofrequency treatment. With 3 levels involved, it is important to establish which levels are causing the most pain, so they can be done first.
Thank you! It is always nice to hear about other treatment possibilities. I wish I could go and see different specialists and surgeons to get more opionions and options but I am on government medical assistance until I graduate from my college and start working full time, so that really limits where I can go and who I can see. So I am trying to self educate as much as I can in addition to seeing a specialist.
There are a number of specialists one can see for spine problems. Are you seeing either a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the neck and back? If you are consulting with a pain management doctor, I suggest you see a spine surgeon for the most accurate diagnosis of your problems.
I know you said you dont want to hear about trying Medications or PT. The only other alternatives is to try exercises that target the problem area. I was always told that "poo therapy" is great. And by that I mean geting into a pool and doing exercises either swimming or doing aquatic exercises in the pool such as stretching exerciess. I find a great deal of relief by being in the pool.
I think you are making a mistake by closing the door on medications or PT. And no I don't think you should rely comeltely on pain meds if you can avoid it. But if it works in conjustion with other forms of treatment I think you need to consider it. And PT is important to make sure you are doing the right type of exercises for the injured area. Doing the right exercises and making sure that you are doing them correctly is important and not doing them incorrectly which could casue more injury. Please reconsider your options Look at the long term before things get worse for you or doing permanent damage.
I have my follow up for my injection with my Dr. tomorrow. Hoping to find out the next step in my treatment plan. She mentioned trying a bilateral injection if I didn't get enough reliefe from the unilateral inject (which I had no reliefe what-so-ever).