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Looking for people with lumbar facet joint injection experience

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Old 10-24-2007, 07:05 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 198
BobM HB User
Looking for people with lumbar facet joint injection experience

I am new to this forum, but have been on the Spinal Cord Disorders forum for a couple of years. I had a bad spell of luck with my C Spine and after a couple operations I am fused C4/5/6/7.

I began to have low back problems while the C spine stuff was going on, and am just now getting around to dealing with those. An MRI this summer showed bulging discs and significant hypertrophy at L2/3/4/5/S1.

Today I had my L3/4 facet joints (they are the worst condition) with a mixture of lidocaine and cortisone. My pain improved dramatically for a couple of hours (the lidocaine working), and is now returned, maybe a little worse than before. The Dr said this was expected and that it would be 2 or 3 days for the cortisone to begin showing longer term relief (assuming it is going to help). A couple of questions if anyone here has similar experience to share:
- what have others experienced with this type of treatment, both in the couple of days after the injection, and longer term?
- has this treatment offered long term relief, with repeat injections every 3 to 6 months - or is it more of a delaying tactic to buy some time before moving on to other treatments?
- if the injections don't help, what happens next?

Thanks for any inputs - I'm kind of new to the experience of treating lumbar problems.

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Old 10-25-2007, 10:35 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 372
kera4 HB User
Re: Looking for people with lumbar facet joint injection experience

Dear Bob, Hi! I have arthritis in my lumbar facet joints (L3, L4, L5), and have had injections there. For me, they took away the pain, but it came back after a month or two. So, I had the next procedure which is RFA (radio frequency ablation) where they burn the pain nerves that serve the facet joints. This works well for me-it gives me pain relief for about 8 months, but some people get relief for longer. I have had it redone, and it has continued to help me. Maybe wait and see how long your shots last, and if they work but do not last too long, ask your doctor about RFA (lumbar rhizotomy). Good luck! Take care, Kera4

Old 10-25-2007, 06:40 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Delaware
Posts: 315
chablis3 HB User
Re: Looking for people with lumbar facet joint injection experience

Hi Bob, I have had just one lumbar injection (herniated disc), and am due for the second one next week. Also have had some injections in the cervical region last year for degenerative disc disease. I haven't had any operations...yet! My experience with the injections is that they do work for awhile, and have taken some of my pain away. When I had the first lumbar injection, I did find some relief that has lasted for about a month, and is now coming back, therefore I am going to try a second injection. I did have a "flare up" of pain for about three days after my injection, but then it did feel better. Try not to do too much while your waiting for the meds to kick in. I made the mistake of overdoing it right after mine, which could have caused the flare up. I have heard people say the injections took away their pain for a long time, and others did not have much luck. So, I guess a person just never knows, but I think it is worth the try. Hope you have good success with yours. Take care!


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