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Old 03-22-2001, 03:23 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Valley, WA USA
Posts: 0
PatG HB User
Re: arthritis of spine w/herniated discs

Hi CrazyCats4: I am a 52 yr. old woman with spinal arthritis and degenerating disks. I have had the epidural steroid shots. In fact, I am going through a series of 3 right now in L4-5 area. They DO help me; however, there are many people that these shots do NOT help. Would he be getting these shots in his mid-back? How badly have these disks herniated? I had a herniated disk in neck at C5-6, but due to the fact the disk had calcified, (neurosurgeon did not know that until she got into surgery) and that I had a huge bone spur poking into my main spinal nerve of the neck, these 2 problems in MY neck were so severe that the shots did not help. I ended up with fusion in the neck. I have arthritis in my mid-back, neck and low back. In the mid-back, because it is in the thoracic area (this area involves many organs), my neurosurgeon will NOT operate on those (I guess you would have a thoracic specialist do those). The shots do help my low back arthritis of my facet joints. I've never had a shot in my mid-back. This problem just started and bone xray shows arthritis there. However, if I basically take my arms and "hug myself", I can alleviate the pain in mid-back. That tells me, it must be a "soft tissue" problem (disk bulge, but I have not had an MRI or CT Scan to show any disks; bone xrays only show bone, not soft tissue). Due to your father's age, I'd give the shots a try and see how they help. What about good adequate pain medications? If your dad is getting sick from the pain, I suggest you go to a Pain Management clinic or doctor (these guys often are the ones who do these shots, but not necessarily), they should be able to give your father the needed and most likely, narcotic medications for his pain. It isn't like they would be concerned about him being too young (that can be a concern in narcotic pain management) and he'd be addicted. I am addicted to pain meds and I am only 52. If taking a pill gives me some quality of life, why not? Beats the heck out of moaning all day long in agony. You would not believe how bad spinal arthritis and degenerating disks can hurt. The pain spreads into arms and legs and your whole body hurts! Plus, there is a non-narcotic pill called neurontin and that is an anti-seizure med. However, it takes care of the burning pain (not the aching pain) one gets with this plus it helps a person sleep. Good luck to your father (I was a daddy's girl; my dad is dead) and make sure you hug him a lot because someday you won't be able to. Take care, PatG