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  • Epidural spinal nerve block: Need Help ASAP

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    Old 12-17-2008, 07:36 AM   #1
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    Epidural spinal nerve block: Need Help ASAP

    Hello everybody,
    I hope you can help me.
    I had different herninated disks, bulding disks already for at least 4 No prior operations on the back.
    After going through many physical therapy sessions and different test, situation got ever worst.

    I went to the spine/back specialist surgeon. He stated that I dont have a free fragment brake, but what it looks on the film is that I have slipped disk that came out and it bend it and that is why it causing a pinch nerve. That is why i have pain in left leg.
    He thinks, at this point I do not need a surgery. He suggested to do several epidural cortisone injections, to see whether there will be any improvments.

    This is a brief summary from the MRI report:

    " Most significantly at L4-5 there is a new extruded disk herniation behind the left side of the L4 vertebral body emanating from this L4-5 level."
    "New extruded disk herniation behend the left side of the L4 vertebral body. This is moderately large free fragment behind left side of L4. This appears to have emanated from the left lateral disk herniation at L4-5."

    I had a first epidural injection in the mid of November'08 (steroid). L4, L5 Transforaminal epidural steroid injection. Pain was very bad. Numbness in my left leg continued for the 1 hour after procedure. But now i feel pain like it was almost in Septmber... pins and needles in my leg...
    Doctor said that numbness shoud go away within few hours.. It did go away. After fews weeks pain went back like it was before the injection. So the bottom line is that First injection did not help .

    Now, the DR. recommends to do a second injection but a little different one.
    He wants to perform a left L4-5 paramedian interlaminar epidural spinal nerve block. He want to sedate me and not to use a local like he did the first time...sounds very scarry to me...

    Please let me know what you guys think about this??? Is it more serious injection than the previous one?? spinal nerve block??? what does it mean? Is he trying to kill the nerve like a root canal in dentistry???

    I would appreciate all of you responses as soon as possible.

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    Old 12-17-2008, 08:49 AM   #2
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    Re: Epidural spinal nerve block: Need Help ASAP


    I believe what your doctor is referring to is a selective nerve root block. I have had two already before I had surgery and will be getting another one in a few weeks.

    There are many past posts on this, so you can do a search for more information also. You could also contact your doctor's nurse - many surgeons have great nurses who can discuss your situation further and answer any questions you may have.

    A selective nerve root block is done for both diagnostic and therapeudic purposes. It contains cortizone which is some cases can provide temporary pain relief or sometimes even for several weeks or months. It also contains a numbing agent so the nerve root will be numbed for a few hours. They can tell if the pain goes away when the nerve root is "blocked" or numbed that the pain is coming from that source. This way if surgery is performed there is a much greater chance they are operating on the right level and addressing the problem area. Just so you know, your legs will be like jello after you have the procedure done for several hours, so you will probably not be able to walk or drive afterwards.

    I didn't have any problems with the selective nerve root blocks I have had in the past and did not have any sedation, just a local numbing agent. I have had more pain from having my blood drawn in all honesty. I was apprehensive prior to having them done, but now they don't bother me.

    HTH and good luck!

    Old 12-19-2008, 06:17 AM   #3
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    Re: Epidural spinal nerve block: Need Help ASAP

    Hello brendaks1,
    thank you for your quick post.
    I would still appreciate if more people would put in their thoughts about my post.
    Thank you.

    Old 12-19-2008, 07:44 AM   #4
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    Re: Epidural spinal nerve block: Need Help ASAP

    i personally would try and obtain a second opinion. i didn't quite get what you ment when you mentioned "4' up in your post? does that mean you have been dealing with this for four years now? considering that you appear to have 'new" symptoms showing up and "new"/progressive findings,well at this point,if that next block doesn't work,i would seriously consider having this surgically fixed. enough is enough,ya know? from what your MRI states,i really do think that surgical intervention is about the only thing that is going to help you. when you have numbness,espescially what is constant or almost constant,that shows a definite level of nerve compression. as in something is stopping that normal nerve flow. if this occurs,it just needs to be released or you risk permanent damage to that nerve. the longer it stays compressed or compromised,the higher the risk of permanent damage occuring. this just sounds like whatever you did have going on before has become worse,according to the wording of that report. getting that second opinion should be done too. it really is amazing in just how a particular surgeon will see someones findings. i saw three seperate,very knowledgable neurosurgeons for my spinal cord cavernoma,and was basically given three totally different opinions as to what this actually was or what it ment for me,risk wise. my third opinion came from the head of neruosurgery at the U of MN,who simply had ALOT of overall experience and the knowledge of how these little buggers reacted,their tendencies? i needed to have this removed before it bled a third time an paralyzed me from the chest down. the other two NSs never actually bothered to even tell me it had bled before,twice even. shocked the ehck otta me let me tell ya.

    getting a second opinion on anything is usually a good thing,it just gives another specialists impression of what you have going on and what you should do about it. it does help,believe me. it really sounds like from what you have stated that your current specialist has been trying to treat this very conservatively,which is great,but at some point you can reach where conservative is just not going to help and holding off on getting this compression released would casue YOU further harm,not help you,ya know? i just really do think you need that second opinoon,at least it will give you a much clearer idea of just what you are dealing with and more importantly,just what not doing more could risk for you. most ins co DO pay for at least one more opinion with anything surgical,so that should not be a big problem for you. and you DO have a right to one. this is simply what i would do in your posistion. if i had gone with what my frst NS had told me,i probably would have been sitting in a wheelchair just from what he wanted to do to me then. still gives me shivers. second opinions just DO matter for us,believe me. i do wish you lots of luck with this and hopeyou can find the right answers for your situation soon. please keep me posted. Marcia
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

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