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    Old 11-15-2004, 12:52 PM   #1
    mechanicsgal
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    Anyone had facet joint injections??

    Hi again. Went to the doc today and have to go back tomorrow to the hospital for facet joint injections to see if that will relieve some of the intense pain that I'm having. Was diagnosed today with disc disease, facet disease, stenosis and the MRI didn't look all that great. Also am developing arthritis in my lower back. Been dealing with this for 15 years now. Anyway, I'm going in tomorrow for injections and from what I understand, they're not all that pleasant. I'm sure that many of you have had them.......what I'm wondering is what they're like and more so, what the effects were. Did they work??? Any comments would be appreciated! Thanks!

     
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    Old 11-15-2004, 04:06 PM   #2
    heidi23
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    Re: Anyone had facet joint injections??

    I think the S-I joint is a facet joint? If that's correct, then I've had facet joint injections. I had them for continuing pain resulting from an inflamed S-I joint, after the S-I joint dislocated a couple times.
    I had three cortisone injections into my S-I joint, and the shots worked great. They reduced my pain to virtually nothing (nothing I needed pain medicine for, anyway). And I had no negative effects from the shots. I also had epidurals for a disc problem, and those worked great until they wore off 6 months later.

    But I did still have a little pain after my S-I joint shots, so my doctor sent me for prolotherapy after that. Prolotherapy was a god-send for me!!! My hip is 99% better after three sessions of prolotherapy. I can't say enough good things about that procedure.

     
    Old 11-16-2004, 07:12 PM   #3
    Rampage
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    Re: Anyone had facet joint injections??

    i've had si joint and epidural injections for my back pain. OUCH!!!!! but, after a day or two you should start feeling better than before you went in. mine only lasted 3 weeks, and the pain is worse in the winter, so i try to reserve my masochism for when it's necessary! i also got flushed cheeks and a rise in my body temp...things to look out for. much luck to you!
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    Old 11-16-2004, 07:23 PM   #4
    injured betty
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    Re: Anyone had facet joint injections??

    [QUOTE=heidi23]I think the S-I joint is a facet joint? If that's correct, then I've had facet joint injections. I had them for continuing pain resulting from an inflamed S-I joint, after the S-I joint dislocated a couple times.
    I had three cortisone injections into my S-I joint, and the shots worked great. They reduced my pain to virtually nothing (nothing I needed pain medicine for, anyway). And I had no negative effects from the shots. I also had epidurals for a disc problem, and those worked great until they wore off 6 months later.

    But I did still have a little pain after my S-I joint shots, so my doctor sent me for prolotherapy after that. Prolotherapy was a god-send for me!!! My hip is 99% better after three sessions of prolotherapy. I can't say enough good things about that procedure.[/QUOTE]

    The SI joint is different from a facet joint.

    There is a lot of controversy amongst scientists and doctors about the SI joint and whether or not it ever moves and why we have it. This perplexes me because I was told that the Prolotherapy was for the SI joint before I had it. Turned out it was for the ligaments.

    If you had an SI injection, that is done with a flouroscopy and it is put deep inside of the joint.

    Did your SI dislocate or did your pelvis become misaligned? What usally happens is that the SI joint becomes inflammed after an injury, such as twisting and pushing at the same time. Over 80% of lower back pain involved the SI joint in some way.

    I had the Prolotherapy also. My ligaments are now tight, but too tight on one side and I have scar tissue from the shots. I am happy that it worked for you. At first, I too, could not say enough good things about it.


     
    Old 11-17-2004, 06:33 AM   #5
    mechanicsgal
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    Re: Anyone had facet joint injections??

    Thank you! The injections went well, although they took quite some time because he had a tough time on the right side as I have a transitional vertebrae so it was hard for him to find the right place for the injection. They weren't as bad as what I expected, not horribly painful, but they weren't pleasant either. I have more than just this problem so in a way, they're using me as a guinea pig because it's more of a diagnostic tool to see if they can relieve some of the intense pain. Let's hope it works! This is the first step in a long process I guess, at least that's what he's telling me. I think I have finally, after 15 years, found a good doctor who knows what he's doing and who isn't afraid to take a proactive, yet conservative approach. I've done physical therapy for 15 years now, that's it.......they just keep sending me, and it hasn't done any good. And, if you can believe it, after 15 years, this was the FIRST mri that I have ever had done. Dummies! Thank you all for your responses....we'll see how things go. What a neat board this is! Thanks again!

     
    Old 11-17-2004, 04:08 PM   #6
    heidi23
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    Re: Anyone had facet joint injections??

    Mechanicsgal I'm glad your shots went well, and I really hope that helps you. Pain sucks, and I've only had mine two years, compared to yours! In my situation, it took at least two shots, spaced two weeks a part, before I felt significant relief, and the third one really nailed it.

    Wow Betty - how long did it take before you noticed your ligaments were too tight on one side and you developed the scar tissue problem? And how many `rounds' of the prolotherapy did you have?
    My doctor did three initial sessions, and by only one month after the last session I noticed a huge improvement. I am planning to have three more rounds starting in a week or so.
    My main back doctor diagnosed the S-I joint dislocation, and based on the pain I had, I would say something was dislocated. I dislocated a shoulder before, and the pain was similar. Would a `misalignment' essentially be the same thing. My doctor said that joint may only be out by like 1/4 inch, but that it would still hurt a lot.
    My hip or S-I joint pain started after my physical therapist had me stretching very far, because I have a flexible back and could easily do the basic stretches. That day is when I first felt really bad pain in that hip, towards the upper back on that point where it meets my butt. That pain gradually went away over a week, after I stopped the stretching.
    But then three months later, for no reason I can figure out, all of a sudden one night I had excruciating pain in that same spot, and it was so bad I almost went to the emergency room. The Ultracet I had for my main back problem didn't help. But then the next morning, I woke up (after I finally fell asleep) and the really bad pain was gone.
    That's when my doctor (and she's a very good back doctor, at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas) sent me for the S-I joint shots, although I noticed on the insurance receipt I got after the shots that it said `facet joint injections.'

    When my dr. sent me for prolotherapy, she did say that it was aimed at tightening up ligaments and tendons. She was wondering if the initial rear-end car accident that caused my initial back problem (disc problem and a lot of muscle cramping all over), had resulted in basically `loosened' muscles that had never tightened back up properly. She said that if that's what had happened, then that would explain why my hip seemed to dislocate for no reason, because the muscles weren't holding it in properly, and that the back stretching in therapy was the final straw for them.
    I am very, very thankful I had the prolotherapy, because the hip pain had become worse than the disc pain in the center of my back. If you could tell me more about the timeline of the side effects you've experience, I would really be interested in hearing about it. Thanks for all of the information regardless!

    P.S. I wanted to add that since the prolotherapy, not only has my hip been much better, but the muscle cramping I had been experiencing all over (shoulders, neck) since the accident has completely disappeared, even under stressful situations!

    Last edited by heidi23; 11-17-2004 at 04:10 PM. Reason: To add something

     
    Old 11-17-2004, 06:10 PM   #7
    mel1977
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    Re: Anyone had facet joint injections??

    I am glad you made it through the injections. Can someone explain the difference between Epideral Steroid Inj and the facet joint inj??

     
    Old 11-17-2004, 08:58 PM   #8
    injured betty
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    Re: Anyone had facet joint injections??

    [COLOR=Blue]Mel:[/COLOR] The ESI are just a name for the shots. They do them anywhere. I had them in my shoulder. Facet Joint Injections are done in the facet joints. You would have to look at a pic of the spine to see the facets. They are the things that are like a zipper to the side of your discs.


    [COLOR=Magenta]Heidi[/COLOR]

    [COLOR=Magenta]Wow Betty - how long did it take before you noticed your ligaments were too tight on one side and you developed the scar tissue problem? And how many `rounds' of the prolotherapy did you have? [/COLOR]


    After the Prolotherapy I felt tight. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I started going from doctor to doctor for answers. No doctor wants to bad mouth another doctor so finally I went to a doc and didn't tell him about the Prolotherapy. He told me that the right side was WAY tighter than the left side. It was at that point that I told him about the therapy and he said that I had been "tightened" too much on that side. I believe that it is just how my body healed. He said that it was like tightened lug nuts on a car and that Prolo has it's drawbacks. It took until last month for a doctor to tell me that what I was feeling in my back was scar tissue. I went back to the Prolo information and realized that I had paid someone to make my body produce scar tissue as essentially, that is what Prolo does. It lays down new tissue. That tissue is scar tissue. I also have some benign tumors and synovial cysts that are remants from the ligament tear and the Prolo. I had three sessions, one month apart. Fifty shots each, my entire lumbar area.


    [COLOR=Magenta]My doctor did three initial sessions, and by only one month after the last session I noticed a huge improvement. I am planning to have three more rounds starting in a week or so.[/COLOR]

    Why are you having more? Are you still loose? Three rounds should have done it. I know that they recommend tune-ups but why so many?

    [COLOR=Magenta]My main back doctor diagnosed the S-I joint dislocation, and based on the pain I had, I would say something was dislocated. I dislocated a shoulder before, and the pain was similar. Would a `misalignment' essentially be the same thing. My doctor said that joint may only be out by like 1/4 inch, but that it would still hurt a lot. [/COLOR]

    I have never heard of a SI dislocation. But, I believe that it is possible. Have you held a model of the pelvis? The SI joint is a joint that is not meant to move. There is one on each side of the spine and two at the bottom of the pelvis.

    Misaligned means that the pelvis rotates. Not side to side, but kinda of like twisted. It is hard to explan. One side rotates forward. This is caused by an injury, loose ligaments, or the way that you sit. I sit with one leg up, which is a very bad habit.

    Are you sure that he was not talking about the disc right below the L5? Are you sure that he was referring to the SI joint? There is no way that it could be out 1/4 inch. I would have looked at him like he had just lost his mind or like he was trying to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge.


    [COLOR=Magenta]My hip or S-I joint pain started after my physical therapist had me stretching very far, because I have a flexible back and could easily do the basic stretches. That day is when I first felt really bad pain in that hip, towards the upper back on that point where it meets my butt. That pain gradually went away over a week, after I stopped the stretching.[/COLOR]

    A really flexible back is not a good thing. It makes for sloppiness in the back and future disc problems. It sounds like ligament pain to me. Sounds like you might have strained the ligament. When this happens it can hurt from the SI joint to the hip and around to the groin. The best thing for this is an SI belt.



    [COLOR=Magenta]But then three months later, for no reason I can figure out, all of a sudden one night I had excruciating pain in that same spot, and it was so bad I almost went to the emergency room. The Ultracet I had for my main back problem didn't help. But then the next morning, I woke up (after I finally fell asleep) and the really bad pain was gone.[/COLOR]

    What was your *main* back problem?


    [COLOR=Magenta]That's when my doctor (and she's a very good back doctor, at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas) sent me for the S-I joint shots, although I noticed on the insurance receipt I got after the shots that it said `facet joint injections.'[/COLOR]

    If the pain went away, why did she send you for SI joint shots? Did they use a flouroscopy when they did the shots? They have to use one to get into the joint. If they didn't, that is why they billed it as facet joint injections, which is a totally different procedure where they shoot steroids into the facet area.

    [COLOR=Magenta]When my dr. sent me for prolotherapy, she did say that it was aimed at tightening up ligaments and tendons. She was wondering if the initial rear-end car accident that caused my initial back problem (disc problem and a lot of muscle cramping all over), had resulted in basically `loosened' muscles that had never tightened back up properly. She said that if that's what had happened, then that would explain why my hip seemed to dislocate for no reason, because the muscles weren't holding it in properly, and that the back stretching in therapy was the final straw for them.[/COLOR]

    The muscles and the ligaments are two different issues. If your ligaments didn't heal correctly or didn't tighten up, then the Prolo should have done the trick. I don't understand the statement about the muscles. Prolo doesn't work on that issue. Your hip dislocates? That has to be painful. A dislocation will bring a person to their knees in the screaming agony of pain, unless you are double jointed. It would be the ligament that holds them in place. Perhaps you misunderstood her.


    [COLOR=Magenta]I am very, very thankful I had the prolotherapy, because the hip pain had become worse than the disc pain in the center of my back. If you could tell me more about the timeline of the side effects you've experience, I would really be interested in hearing about it. Thanks for all of the information regardless![/COLOR]

    When your ligaments are loose, they cause your back to become sloppy and the discs move around with the spine. It can pull on your back and cause arthritis in the facets. Once you tighten up the ligaments, it stops the spine from moving incorrectly and stops the arthritis from progressing. So, Prolo is great in theory. I am happy that it worked for you.

    Is the back pain that you are experiencing in line with the SI joint and the hips?

    I started Prolo about a year ago. I felt tight, immediately thereafter and have been to several doctors and gotten all different opinions for the last ten months. The good part is, I am tightened. The bad part is, too tight. I walk ten miles a day and stretch for an hour a day to try to get back where I can tolerate the pain.


    [COLOR=Magenta]P.S. I wanted to add that since the prolotherapy, not only has my hip been much better, but the muscle cramping I had been experiencing all over (shoulders, neck) since the accident has completely disappeared, even under stressful situations![/COLOR]

    I am totally confused as to why the Prolo helped the shoulders and neck. Maybe it went away with time.

    Thank you for sharing this experience with me.

     
    Old 11-17-2004, 09:46 PM   #9
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    Re: Anyone had facet joint injections??

    betty, you seem to know a lot, can you look at my post about MRI versus CT and tell me what you think? I guess like others said my pain should tell the story (if it hurt like hell, the discs are bad, right?) then I should get the news I want tomorrow. Now, add this, I am getting a full blown cold. GREAT.

     
    Old 11-18-2004, 12:09 PM   #10
    injured betty
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    Re: Anyone had facet joint injections??

    Mel, I only know a lot because I am a type A personality as well as very inquistive in nature. I read, a lot. Since my injury almost two years ago I have not been working full time (I have a job that doesn't require me to be at work everyday). This gives me plenty of time to do research. I went about my back problem and my husband's neck problem like taking on a research project. I read all that I could on the subject of the spine and the body in books, the net, periodicals, sitting in waiting rooms talking to patients in rehab and in pre-op. I stop people in stores and ask them about thier surgery and most of all, I talk to doctors. I grill them. I go with a set of questions. I make double appointment times and then have to pay for them. We only get one back so I want to make sure that I make the right decison about our backs.

    I scour yard sales, library sales, used book stores and give away net sites for books on the body, especially the back. I immersed myself in this during my husband's ordeal. Doctors are never straight up with a patient, they can't afford to be so you have to educate yourself. I have named a few of the books that I have read here on this board. Those were a wealth of information.

    Even doctors can't always read MRI's and CT scans. I can't. I can see when something is wrong but I can't tell what it is. I know what *normal* looks like. I tested a doc the other day. I took him my MRI. I have a bulge at L5 and arthritis in L4. I did not take him the report, just the MRI. He threw it up on the lighted box and said that it looked great. This week I am sending him a copy of the report that went with that MRI. He sent me on my way, telling me that I had no back problems to the tune of $147 for the visit and mis-information.

    This is why we have radiologists. Did ya ever notice that you can't even speak to a radiologist? The don't take calls. Their only job is to read the test, be it an MRI, CT scan, bone density scan, X-ray, etc. They are pretty mysterious people.

    I didn't see your post in regards to MRI and the CT scan but I will look for it. I know that you are really anxious, MEl, and that you have been really stressed out about your back and neck. I will say prayers for you tonight. This is a very stressful time.


     
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