I am looking for other people who have had Epidural steroid injections.I have had two of these injections using only a local anesthetic,so far,for spinal stenosis.The first time the pain caused by the injection itself was no more than a pinch but when I returned a week later for the second injection I had pain from the needle down my leg to my ankle.It was like a hammer hitting me in the ankle.When I asked why there was so much pain compared to the first shot,two replies were I don't know,and the answer from the Dr. giving me the shot was "the nerve may have been more inflamed than last time,the pain will go away".It did go away rather quickly but I had numbing and tingling in areas that I didn't before which also went away after 24 hrs.My question being has anybody been through this before and who do you trust with something as important as your spine?
Any help would be appreciated and Thank you in advance.
Welcome to this forum - hope you find things here to help you!
I've had injections like you have described, in both my lumbar and cervical spine. The Dr who performs these for is an anesthesiologist and so had a lot of experience administering epidural injections. They are done with just a little numbing of the skin (to lessen the discomfort from the needle stick), and X Rays are used to verify the needle tips are in the desired location before injectiing the medicine.
In my lumbar spine injections they use an anesthetic in addition to the steroid - it provides almost immediate relief from the pain and is useful for verifying which levels are causing the pain - but the 'immediate relief' last only a few hours. I have found it takes several weeks for the benefit of the steroid to be felt - takes time for the inflammation to lessen.
I've also had facet joint injections in my lumbar spine - I have several problems in this area, with facet hypertrophy, and bulging discs, that require different treatment.
I find the injections cause discomfort kind of like you describe when they are first administered, and for a day or so after. But that soon subsides and has not been a big problem for me.
People here report a wide range of results from these injections, from actually making their symptoms worse, to getting very much improvement. I am fortunate that my injections make a huge improvement in my pain - its been 8 months since the lumbar, and 3 months since the cervical. I still have pain, but very much less since the injections. The Dr said they can be repeated every 3 or 4 months if needed - I am hopeful my relief lasts a long time. The injections aren't the worst thing (I've also had two neck surgeries to fuse vertebrae there), but it's not my favorite thing to do.
I take a day or two 'off' after each injection, just to try and improve my odds that they will work for me!
I think the epidurals are a "crap shoot". Have had 6 in the lumbar and too many to count in the cerv. going back(no pun intended) 10+ yrs. Also had trigger point injections. Way too many to count.
For the lumbar, the 3rd seemed to help, it was in"98 or so. was out of work then for 6 mnths.
technology has changed. at the time, alot of discomfort 2nd day..but it took several months to feel relief.
Had a laugh with my latest cerv.
Doc. was all wound up..as was the anesthetist.
Way different these days. I told them, "Last time I had one they said, bend over , don't breath, don't move." No anestesia, no local. now it's a walk in the park. Why is everyone so upset? Just shoot me!
I found some worked and some didn't. Depends on the damage and the aim. Last one , 3/08 (cerv) didn't help at all, finally broke down and opted for ACDF. too many yrs., too much pain. I was in denial.
Just had ACDF 5,6,7. . 7 weeks out. Just started therapy.
feeling ok..hand is better..still some pain in arm. alot of muscles I haven't used in awhile..sore. but not "pain".
Give the epi's a chance..depending MRI's etc. Don't wait too long.
I agree with you about the epidural injections they dont hurt to get them,like everybody thinks,i also choose not to be sedated,but i also had issues afterwards,with other areas of my body,for instance when i got the lumber shot,i had remarkable pain relief in legs,but my upper spine and back was killing me,and when i had facets cervical i was out of it for at least 2 weeks my next step is burning of the nerves iam still debating it,but when the pain returns i think that helps us make the decsion.I agree with Bob you should take a couple days off,i think thats where i made my mistake,and definately have an icepack handy they are wonderful.good luck marywoo
I've had cervical ESI and my doctor uses "conscious sedation" where I get an IV with a small dose of versed and demerol - so I never feel a thing and 5 minutes later I'm conscious (though loopy) and resting in a recliner drinking apple juice.
I want to thank everyone for the quick replies,I am scheduled for my third injection on wed.and will probably go through with it,but will ask the Dr. again why so much pain with the second shot compared to the first.For some reason I feel like the needle went to far or hit where it shouldn't have.I'm probably worrying needlessly,but it is the spine and my ability to walk.Again I Thank you all for your help and wish you all Good Luck in becoming pain free.
I was diagnosed that I have spine disc herniaion ( 1.7x1.7x 1.0)and it causes my right side hip and leg pain and numb. I saw one Orthopedics and one Neurological and both of them suggested me to do surgery because I already did three times “nerve block and trigger point shot” , But my primary doctor still wants me to try Epidural block . he said he believe it can help me a lot and it is much better than trigger point shot. I don’t know if EPD really can help me and or maybe makes me worse.
When dealing with the spine I personally take the advice of the Orthopedic Spine Surgeon or Neurosurgeon - not the primary care doctor. If you are having symptoms that have not been alleviated at all by the nerve block/trigger point injection - then surgery may be a good alternative for you.
I already asked the same question to my PCP, if Epidural still can help me since I already tried nerve block/trigger point injection? His answer is Yes. I will ask the doctor who will perform Epidural block for me when I see him ( he is a anesthesiology), if he think it is doesn’t make any cense since I already tried other injection, I think he will ask me to give up, if he think it is worth to try one time or two time , I will try because I will do my best to avoid surgery when I saw some people to complained they still feel pain or get worse. The surgery’s successful rate is about 80%-90%. If someone here knew and can tell me what is different between Epidural and nerve block/trigger point injection. It will help me to make decision. I found one article said nerve block includes Epidural block. I don't know it is correct or not.
I have had four injections, spread out over several years.
The first was a breeze; I wasn't aware of the procedure and woke up fine and had a long period of relief.
The second was a nightmare, as I was not completely out and felt like I was hit by a lightning bolt when they did the injection. It HURT and I think I levitated about a foot off the table and I said many bad words to the people in there. I got the same explanations you did - "I don't know" and "the nerve may have been extremely inflamed".
The third was my best experience; they used a small catheter to inject the material, instead of needle, and although I had a day or so with some numbness, I had the least amount of residual neck stiffness and pain. Unfortunately, I was in such bad shape by then that I did not get much lasting relief.
The fourth was the same as the first - in and out quickly with no awareness of the procedure at all.
These were all different doctors in different locations.
I think the whole experience just depends on the facility and the doctor, and maybe your state of mind. Your best bet is to talk to your spine doctor and see who he/she trusts. If you've had a bad experience and have lost confidence in a particular facility or doctor, ask for a referral to another. Nothing wrong with that!
Now I have a question is that I didn't three time nerve block and trigger point injections but never used IV-sedative. someone told me maybe I don' t need Epidural block after nerve block didn't help me. Now I think maybe the Epidural is different with nerve block so it should be used under IV- sedative?
if it is too late for me doing Epidural steroid injections?
I already sheduled to see an Anesthesiology to do Epidural block today, but before yesterday my primary doctor called me to ask me to cancel this appointment ,because he find a good Orthopedic and wanted me to see this doctor first then take Epidural, he said all surgeons want to evaluate patient before the epidural shots. I had to follow him but have a quesiton,
My disc heriniation already has had for 3 months ( start from May 22) . If it is too late to do Epidural Block after one or two weeks and it will no longer help me? Someone told me I should do it as soon as I can .
Re: if it is too late for me doing Epidural steroid injections?
You can wait a few weeks. If your doctor has an Orthopedic Surgeon he'd like you to see firts - it is reasonable. My OSS actually does injections himself so I would not need to see an outside pain doctor (though I like my pain doctor a great deal). If your symptoms get worse suddenly or you have new severe symptoms call your doctor.
I did Epidural steroid injection yesterday, the doctor gave to me local Aneesthea and I didn't feel more hurt. but I have felt increased pain after shot. the instruction said it is normal . now I have a question ,
I am using Fosamax for Osteoporosis and Lipitor for Cholesterol now,
the Epidural instruction said I should take 3 weeks low sodium diet,
can i still use Fosamax or Lipitol for these days or I have to stop using them?