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Had facet injections, what's next?

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Old 05-15-2006, 09:09 AM   #1
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Question Had facet injections, what's next?


I had the four facet injections on 5/3/06 and it worked great from the 6th till the 12th I was able to do more around the house than I have all year. At the last PM clinic I went to they only tried SI injectins on me all year with no relief, they wantedto do the nerve burning and I was scared to death.

My new PM doc said that the problem might not be the SI joint. He believes it to be a combonation of things. He said something about some kind of fluid leaking out of somewhere and irritating the nerve,causing the leg pain. So he did the facet injections. The prodcedure didn't hurt that bad, but I didn't expect 4 injections at once Reguardless they worked great! They took almost all the leg pain away and signifigantly reduced the LBP I didn't use my cane for a week .

So I got a good 6 days of relief out of the shots and the PM doc wants to see me on the 17th, this wed to see how it worked.

What could this diagnose? I have to admit I know very little about the way the back and nerves work. All I know is that it hurts like a bear non-stop. Unfortunatly as soon as the injections wore off I was back to square one.

Anyone have any insight to what is going on? Do you think the will just keep giving injections? Or is there something esle they can do.

I've still taken my meds regularly and those helped tremendously (Lyrica and oxycontin) However, two days before I go into the visit I stop taking the meds so I can see how well the injections work. Plus that is what is says in the paperwork.


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Old 05-15-2006, 09:24 AM   #2
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Re: Had facet injections, what's next?

Hi Derek,
I'm not sure what procedures you have had prior to your facet injections. I think my facet inj. were the last ones in a very long line of attempts to help my back pain. I have to say that they were as you said pretty successful but not long term, same as you I had about a weeks relief. I had a discogram next and at that time I was on Fentanyl 75mcg a day with percocet for breadthrough pain. I had a lot of leakage also, although they weren't sure until surgery why, I had a severe slipped vertabrae that was messing everything up causing alot of pressure. Just hang in there and explore all your options. I hope you can get relief quick and if possible without surgery although I am glad I had it. Good Luck

Old 05-15-2006, 09:27 AM   #3
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Re: Had facet injections, what's next?

Hi Derek! Many times these types of injections are used as diagnostic tools to try and verify that the pain you are feeling is indeed coming from the suspected source. When I was having pain in my "hips" a few years back, I had injections which were designed to numb the nerves in my hip area. If, after the injections, my pain disappeared (even if it was only for an hour or a day) then the doctor could reasonably assume that the source of my pain was my hip. For me the injections didn't do a thing the first time around. That's because the pain was coming from my sacral joints, not my hip. When the doc injected the numbing medicine in my SI joints, the pain went away for 4 hours. With the knowledge that it was my SI joints that were the source of my intense pain, the doc felt confident that fusing the SI joints would give me pain relief......and it did. I know that for some folks the relief they experience from injections can last a very, very long time. For those people I think that they can get 2 to 3 injections a year before the doc has to start worrying about all the steroids that could be building up in a patient's system. I'm NO expert on the details of these things....but Dave (ShoreLine) and many others have that kind of expertise. I'm sure they'll be by to comment. Good luck to you! KathyMac

Old 05-15-2006, 09:49 AM   #4
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Re: Had facet injections, what's next?

I don;t want to overdo it on the Steroids. I've had two SI injection in October 2005, One SI injection in April 2006, and facet injection on 5/3/06. The facet injection is the only one that realy helped with the leg pain if only for a week.

What is a discectomy (s/p?) ? Can they do that at the pain clinic where they inject the steroinds?

On a side note, does anyone else get hives after every steroid injection? Especially on the elbows!

Thanks again guys!


Old 05-17-2006, 10:30 AM   #5
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Re: Had facet injections, what's next?

Hello again,

Today I had nerve blocks done to see if the nerve abilation might work. It's been two hours and I'm still having pain so I don't know if it's gonna work.

I also have my apointment with the PM clinic pschycologist on the 27th, after that I can get on a med treatment plan.

gotta go -- see ya--


Old 05-17-2006, 12:46 PM   #6
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Re: Had facet injections, what's next?

Hey Derek,

You asked about a diskectomy. A discectomy is where the disc is removed. That would not be done at a PM clinic. Its a pretty decent size surgery and will generally be performed by an orthopediac surgeon or neurosurgeon.

As far as steroid injections. If you are younger they don't recommend more the 3 every six months. The older you are the less injections they recommend. The steroids can start buiding up as KathyMac pointed out. The younger you are the faster you metabolize the medication.

As far as the hives, I would let your Doc know about that. You may be allergic to something that they use. It could be something during the procedure like latex or the injection itself. It probably at least warrants a call to the doc.

Glad to hear you have gotten some relief from the injections. If anything, at least it points the doc in the right area to help pinpoint where the pain is coming from.

Take Care

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