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Received recommendations from Specialist yesterday (m).....

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Old 01-26-2005, 09:24 AM   #1
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Received recommendations from Specialist yesterday (m).....

As a refresher to what I'm going through see below. I saw an orthopedic specialist yesterday and she recommended an epidural steroid injection to L4/L5 to see if that helps the inflammation. She didn't comment on the osteoarthritis only that it's mild and nothing to worry about, same w/the Lipoma, nothing to worry about. She didn't recommend surgery as of yet, because of lack of sciatica pain (only minimal), she says if we can get the inflammation down,t hat willhelp. So, I go next Thursday. I'm scared of this shot. I had an epidural during CB, but is this the samet hing? I guess I need someone to drive me home and stay with me 3-4 hours? No lifting? I'll have to make childcare arrangements (DH will be working). Has the shots helped a lot of people here who just had the lower back pain?

Also, my followup appt. she will check out the rest of my spine since she could only concentrate ont he lumbar spine during this appt. She also said annular tears in disks do not what's the point of only shots and not surgery?



Alignment is normal. There is loss of disk signal and minimal loss of disk height at the L4-5 level with ventral extradural impression seen here. The other interspaces are well maintained. The formina appear widely patent on the sagittal views.

L3-4 - Axial images show normal caliber spinal canal, thecal sac, formina, and normal disk. Facets are midly hypertrophic here. (which means arthritic).

L4-5 - Axials show mild/moderate concentric disk bulging with a superimposed midline poterior disk protrusion, associated with some focal subannular signal; compatable with partial annular tear. This disk bulge does indent the central thecal sac slightly, but AP thecal diameter remains normal at 12 mm. The foramina are well patent here and no direct neural encroachment is confirmed. This could very well be a source of low back pain, but probably not radicular symptoms. Facets are mildly hypertrophic at this level (again, arthritic).

L5-S1 - Axials show normal spinal canal, thecal sac, foramina, and normal disk. Moderate hypertrophic facet arthropathyis present here (arthritic). This could also be a source of back pain.

Images of the sacroiliac joints show no clear erosive or cystic changes and no significant hyperostosis of the SI joints. There is a small lipoma in the right sacral ala.
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:27 AM   #2
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Re: Received recommendations from Specialist yesterday (m).....

in my opinion... the shots are just a bandaid. They tide you over until they no longer work and then you end up with surgery.

Old 01-26-2005, 09:38 AM   #3
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Re: Received recommendations from Specialist yesterday (m).....

I agree with Hunni on the shots. I think it's more of an insurance thing.


Old 01-26-2005, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: Received recommendations from Specialist yesterday (m).....


The shots never worked for me in the long run. I don't have sciatica pain, but have other little "quirks" due to my back condition.

I don't know why you were told you needed someone to stay with you. I know you need a driver, but I was never told to have someone stay with me after the shot. You just can't lift anything and should take the next couple days off of work after the shot. After I got my shots I felt okay after about an hour, except that my skin felt itchy for awhile (wierd) and the next day the area around the injection site was a little tender, but nothing drastic.

Anyway, some times those shots work, some times they don't. Usually when you find that they don't work, is a good indication that surgery will be the only sure fix, but that is different for everyone. I myself, have not had surgery yet, but have paid for it by now possibly having damage that can't be fixed.

It's such a toss up when your back is messed up. Surgery works for some, and it doesn't work for others. What are we supposed to do? It's never a sure thing, which makes for a hard decision for us to make.

Good luck,

Last edited by tkgoodspirit; 01-26-2005 at 10:13 AM.

Old 01-26-2005, 10:16 AM   #5
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Re: Received recommendations from Specialist yesterday (m).....

I had one of the injections about 6 weeks ago. My wife took me and picked me up. They want you to rest for the day. I felt absolutely nothing but pressure when they gave the injection. The doctor first injected a numbing agent and then gave the injection. I have stenosis at L4 and pain in the back and down the leg. The injection took all the pain away within 24 hours and has lasted for about 6 weeks. It is now wearing off, so I am going to have another injection. The surgeon told me that the injections would probably give me a year before having to have surgery. We will see. Good luck. There is absolutely nothing to worry about in gettng the injection.

Old 01-26-2005, 11:47 AM   #6
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Unhappy Re: Received recommendations from Specialist yesterday (m).....

The shots did nothing for me, had 3 of them, now facing surgery Fe. 28

Old 01-26-2005, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: Received recommendations from Specialist yesterday (m).....

[QUOTE There is absolutely nothing to worry about in gettng the injection.[/QUOTE]
Steroids only eat the bones. After having done a lumbar fusion and seeing me for the last year my OSS suggested trying steriods in my neck. I told him no because I have avascular necrosis. He sat there with a confused look on his face---like how did he miss that! It's in my wrist and I'm seeing a hand specialist. But the OSS dropped the idea of steriods.

Old 01-26-2005, 01:27 PM   #8
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Re: Received recommendations from Specialist yesterday (m).....

I have the same thing you do, the tear and have been told nothing fixes that. I wonder then what is there to do? I had the epidural steroid shot only once and since it didn't do anything for me they didn't repeat the procedure. I don't know if it's the same that they do when giving childbirth because, well, I haven't birthed anything, so I don't know if it will be the same thing. All the do is lay you down on your stomach, guided by an xray machine, and they first numb the back so they could get deeper using an anesthetic and then they use the bigger needle to get into the epidural space. Then they inject the steroids. After that they watch your recovery for a little bit and you have to have a driver. Sometimes, since they're dealing with the lower back, the injections may cause more numbness or weakness in the legs so that's why you have to have a driver regardless if you're numb or not. They say to take it easy for day but as for me, I went home, picked up my car and went to work. It was only uncomfortable in the muscles where they had to put the big needle, but other than that, it was all good. I hope it works out for you. I am the same way as you, I have more back pain than sciatic, so since I'm not in enough pain in my legs then they are only doing these injections. I believe what everone has said above about the injections, it's a bandaid. Unfortunately for me, i have no choice. I do believe it's an insurance thing more than anything else. Right now since the ESI didn't work they're doing radiofrequency nerve lesioning so hopefully that will give me long term relief. I wish you the best of luck!

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