It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board

  • Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 11-09-2014, 04:54 PM   #1
    Greengal04
    Member
    (female)
     
    Greengal04's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Olympia, WA
    Posts: 70
    Greengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB User
    Question Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    So after a very long time of having excruciating nerve pain on the side and front of my thighs along with my right thing being totally numb, after many doctor visits and tests I was finally told what my problem is, the spine ortho doc I saw called it retrolisthesis. Apparently my L5 vertabae slips around and moves when I do and for months that slipping has been pinching my femoral nerve.

    The doc has not recommend surgery, which I was relieved to hear having had other not so great results from an orthopedic surgery a few years ago on my hand. Instead I am scheduled to have a spinal nerve block injection in a week. When I called to ask about I was told to not eat or drink after midnight the night before and so stop taking anti inflammatory medications for a week before due to rush of increased bleeding. These instructions sounded earily like the instructions I got a few years ago before my hand surgery. Why all the precautions if I'm just getting a nerve block injection? Who here has had a spinal nerve block? What should I expect from this?

    Last edited by Greengal04; 11-10-2014 at 08:10 PM.

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 11-09-2014, 06:41 PM   #2
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,238
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    Basically what you are probably having is an epidural steroid injection. If it is to block the nerve, which is usually done for diagnostic purposes, they will add some numbing medication to the steroid.

    These injections are very common for those of us with spine issues. They can be done with a twilight anesthetic, in which case there are more instructions to follow, or, they are just done with a local which is faster and easier, but more painful.

    The situation you are referring to is called a spondylolisthesis, if you want to look it up and do further reading. Retrolisthesis just refers to the direction the vertebra is slipping. If it were slipping to the anterior side it would be called anterolisthesis. Did you have a flexion/extension x-ray to determine if the spondy is stable or active?

    The only way to permanently address this problem is with a fusion surgical procedure. When there is instability, you will most likely face the issue of having some movement at that segment, which results in the spinal nerve getting pinched. The injections may help the pain temporarily but it will return if the nerve is pinched.

    I dealt with a similar situation at L4-L5 for many years before finally having surgery. I too had horrendous burning in the front of my thigh after my first surgery. For ages no one could figure out what was causing it. Femoral nerve damage was one thing they considered. Eventually it turned out to be a problem further up at L3-4.

    Are you seeing a specialist who only treats neck and back issues?

    Last edited by teteri66; 11-09-2014 at 06:47 PM.

     
    Old 11-09-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
    Greengal04
    Member
    (female)
     
    Greengal04's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Olympia, WA
    Posts: 70
    Greengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    Thank you for your reply, I do appreciate it!

    The doc I am seeing is a spinal orthopedic surgeon, he diagnosed it as retrolisthesis. And yes, I did have the flexion X-ray that's how the retrolisthesis was diagnosed. I remember specifically asking about spondylolisthesis since I had read about it before my appointment. He said according to all my X-rays and the MRI, I don't have it. Just the retrolisthesis.

    However, I do also have congenital effusion of the L5 and S1. But he said that's not what is causing my nerve pain problem. He said the congenital effusion was likely there since birth and occurs in about 5-10% of the population. He said I probably wouldn't have even known about the effusion had I not started having the nerve pain in my legs and sought treatment for that.

    I've had off and on back pain and stiffness for years now, but never anything to serious until that nerve pain started happening a few months ago. That nerve pain has been worse than anything I've ever experienced before! And I know pain, I've had 3 orthopedic surgeries on my hands from an on the job injury, one of which left me with CRPS. But this nerve pain took the cake. I don't know if the nerve block injection will help, and if it does your are probably right that the fix will only be temporary. I just have to start somewhere.

    Anyway, thank you again for your reply and for all the very useful information, I hope to eventually get to the bottom of all of this and your reply is definitely much appreciated!

    Last edited by Greengal04; 11-09-2014 at 07:23 PM.

     
    Old 11-10-2014, 07:16 AM   #4
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,238
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    Don't worry about the terminology. Were you told what grade it is? Were you told to avoid bending or twisting at the waist and any activity where the back bends back, even slightly? This is very important, especially if the condition is active...it will continue to move and get worse.

    While a retrolisthesis is defined by the vertebra slipping over the top of the adjacent vertebra, it also involves the soft tissue surrounding the segment...ligaments, fascia and the disc itself. This can lead to disc herniation and annular tear of the disc. A small amount of retrolisthesis often occurs with a disc herniation.

    Have you discussed the CRPS diagnosis with the doctor that is doing the injection? Be sure the doctor is aware of it as you want to do what you can to keep the CRPS from spreading.

    When are you having the injection?

     
    Old 11-10-2014, 08:27 PM   #5
    Greengal04
    Member
    (female)
     
    Greengal04's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Olympia, WA
    Posts: 70
    Greengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5327210]Don't worry about the terminology. Were you told what grade it is? Were you told to avoid bending or twisting at the waist and any activity where the back bends back, even slightly? This is very important, especially if the condition is active...it will continue to move and get worse.

    While a retrolisthesis is defined by the vertebra slipping over the top of the adjacent vertebra, it also involves the soft tissue surrounding the segment...ligaments, fascia and the disc itself. This can lead to disc herniation and annular tear of the disc. A small amount of retrolisthesis often occurs with a disc herniation.

    Have you discussed the CRPS diagnosis with the doctor that is doing the injection? Be sure the doctor is aware of it as you want to do what you can to keep the CRPS from spreading.

    When are you having the injection?[/QUOTE]

    Well, I'll be the first to admit I don't understand a lot of this. All I do know is my spine ortho doc said I have retrolisthesis and congenital effusion of my L5 and S1, I did ask about the spondylitis and he said I don't have it. I know my recent MRI said there was a very slight bulge in the L4 and L5, but the report also said it wasn't herniated. So honestly don't know what to tell you lol. I just know that this nerve pain is the worst pain I've experience in my life!

    I wasn't given any specific instructions on what not to do. I told the doc I was already doing aqua aerobics in my own effort to lose some weight since I am about 50 lbs overweight, and he sounded like a big supporter of aqua aerobics saying it was great for people with back issues and to keep doing it. To be honest with you though, the nerve pain doesn't get worse with any specific movement or position, it can flare up when I'm just laying in bed, sitting, standing, it really doesn't matter.

    As for my CRPS, it's in my left hand, not anywhere near my back. And as CRPS goes I'm fairly lucky as mine hasn't been to severe in a while. I'm already on Gabapentin for that which has helped a lot (but oddly enough hasn't done squat for the nerve pain in my legs). But mostly it's in my hand which supplied by a totally separate nerve and that CRPS was brought on my a rather extensive surgery in my hand. I've never had any issues with injections. So I think that's why my doc is t worried about it.

    I just hope this nerve block helps some. Even of the fix is only temporary until I figure what to do after that, it's fine with me. Some relief is better than no relief! Thanks again for all you're time, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me

     
    Old 11-10-2014, 09:05 PM   #6
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,238
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    Since you are in the early stages of learning, bear with me while I try to explain spondylolisthesis. You will note that you wrote: "I did ask about the spondylitis and the doctor said I didn't have it." Notice a difference? Spondylolisthesis....spondylitis....

    There are a couple other similar words as well because spondy means spine in Greek, and then the endings refer to the type of problem. An "--itis" is an inflammation as in appendicitis, for example.

    Spondylosis is arthritis of the spine, as in wear and tear type arthritis.

    Spondylisis refers to a specific disease, an ankylosing Spondylisis, which is a specific inflammatory arthritis similar to a rheumatoid arthritis.

    Spondylolysis is what you have. It is a type of stress fracture in the pars, usually of the 5th lumbar vertebra, but sometimes of the 4th. If the stress fracture weakens the bone to the point that it starts to move around a little bit, and pulls the vertebra out of position, it is called a spondylolisthesis. If it pulls backward, it is a retrolistless. If it goes inward toward the front of the body it is called anterolisthesis. Your doctor was just using the medically specific term!

    Now that that's clear....

    If I may make a suggestion...just because a movement does not cause pain at the moment doesn't mean it will not at some point in the future. I would caution you to be cautious in your activity because we know that any bending or twisting at the waist stresses the area where you have the problem. The danger is that all it takes is one movement one time where the nerve gets trapped, or the slip slips further, and the problem becomes more difficult to repair, to say nothing of the amount of pain you may be in!

    It is important to exercise...I am just saying do it with some thought!

     
    Old 11-15-2014, 11:28 AM   #7
    Greengal04
    Member
    (female)
     
    Greengal04's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Olympia, WA
    Posts: 70
    Greengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    I just wanted to be sure to say thank you for your responses to my post. I still don't completely understand exactly what is going on, but I do know that the pain is sometimes so bad it makes me nauseous. I like the spine ortho doc I have, he is friendly and doesn't seem bothered when I ask him questions. The ortho doc that I had who did my hand surgeries was the total opposite.

    I will be getting the epidural steroid injection on Monday and hopefully it will provide some relief. I know if it does it will only be temporary, but I have to start somewhere, right? And then I'll see what the next step is after that.

    So again, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer my posts in such detail. I did learn some useful information from you and hopefully it'll help with the next steps!

     
    Old 11-15-2014, 11:37 AM   #8
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,238
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    If I may make a suggestion regarding the injection...if possible, try to stay off your feet for 72 hours post injection. Many doctors will tell you to take it easy the rest of the day and then resume normal activity the following day...but if you can take it easy and recline or stay propped up in bed, you will maximize the potential of the injection.

    Unlike getting a steroid injection into a knee, hip, ankle, etc. when it goes into the spine, it does not go into a confined space such as a joint capsule. It is floated into tissue that surrounds a disc or nerve. With nothing to contain it, if the person is up and moving about, the heart pumps harder and the medication is dissipated sooner.

    Since you are going through all the hassle of getting the injection, you might as well maximize its potential as much as possible.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 11-16-2014, 11:04 AM   #9
    Greengal04
    Member
    (female)
     
    Greengal04's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Olympia, WA
    Posts: 70
    Greengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    You are correct, the doctor did tell me I would need only one day. I can probably miss one more from work, but 3 might be harder. Do you think 2 days would be sufficient?

    One more thing, I feel like I may be getting a cold, I'm not full on sick yet but I do have the sore throat and irritated sinuses. I hope it's still ok to do the injection tomorrow. Tomorrow is really the only day I have to do it, so I hope it'll be ok.

     
    Old 11-16-2014, 06:39 PM   #10
    ChuckStr
    Veteran
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Apr 2014
    Location: seattle wa USA
    Posts: 406
    ChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB UserChuckStr HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    I would think 2 days would be okay. More is better but 2 is better than 1. I cant see why a cold would make any difference other than it will make laying around more uncomfortable. You should be fine.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 11-17-2014, 11:38 AM   #11
    Greengal04
    Member
    (female)
     
    Greengal04's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Olympia, WA
    Posts: 70
    Greengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    That was an unpleasant experience! I was told I'd be sedated, I was not. When he pushed that fat needle in to my spine I almost wretched all over him, and then he did it again on the other side and face went white and I started trembling. Thankfully it was over in about 10 minutes. Then they kept me for about an hour after and sent me home to take it easy for the next 48 hours.

    I've had 3 hand surgeries, one of which they removed a bone, replaced it with a tendon they cut out of my forearm, and then left a pin in my hand for a month. So I'm familiar with unpleasant medical procedures. This was right up there with it and I felt everything. I just hope it'll all be worth it lol!

     
    Old 11-17-2014, 04:06 PM   #12
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,238
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    It was done with life x-Ray though, to guide his placement of the needle, right? Stay off your feet, and use ice around the injection site(not directly on top of the needle insertion point) if you are uncomfortable.

    Did he say why he did not sedate you?

     
    Old 11-17-2014, 05:37 PM   #13
    Greengal04
    Member
    (female)
     
    Greengal04's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Olympia, WA
    Posts: 70
    Greengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    No, I wasn't told why I wasn't sedated, asked but bit all I was told was "it'll take 10 minutes, you'll be fine."

    Yes, the x-Ray was used, and two needles were used, one on each side. He injected some lidocaine first and then pushed one needle in followed by the other. I felt this pressure and sharp pain that litterally made me twitch and my face got all flushed and I had to do everything I could to keep from vomiting. It was a weird reaction. They did keep me of a bit longer after to make sure I was ok. Now I'm ok, my legs are pretty week and there's still a decent amount of pain at the injection site.

    I just let my work know I'd be out one more day, I just have to give this at least one more day to settle.

    Last edited by Greengal04; 11-17-2014 at 05:38 PM.

     
    Old 11-17-2014, 08:21 PM   #14
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,238
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    I do 't miss those days of having injections. Hope you get some result from it. I never did.

     
    Old 11-22-2014, 07:56 PM   #15
    Greengal04
    Member
    (female)
     
    Greengal04's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2013
    Location: Olympia, WA
    Posts: 70
    Greengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB UserGreengal04 HB User
    Re: Retrolisthesis and nerve block injection

    Well I am officially disappointed! After the discomfort of the nerve block procedure I actually did have a couple of almost pain free days, and it was awesome! And I felt like yay, I finally found something that would work for me and that it's lots of money well spent. But today much of that awful nerve pain came right back, and it hasn't even been a week since I had the injection!

    I'm hoping this may just be a weird fluky day and I'll feel better again tomorrow, but if not well all not only will I have wasted the money I spent, but I really don't what else I can do for this. If this nerve block injection has failed I'm going to be feeling pretty hopeless about this

     
    Closed Thread




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is Off
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:49 PM.





    © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!