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Epidural steroid injections back and neck *help* Sorry....long

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Old 09-02-2007, 04:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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nilla HB User
Epidural steroid injections back and neck *help* Sorry....long

I have a terrible back due to osteoporosis. I not only have an old fracture in my lower back and one in my neck, but I have two buldging herniated discs in my lower back with pain radiating down to my tail bone, but I have two buldging discs in my neck. I have been on Lortab for two years which seems to elivate the pain. I still work and enjoy life, but I have always had a high pain tolerance. I say I live with a 5 pain....from 1-10.

I decided to go to a PM dr. to see if there was anything better he could do because I was cleaning my tub about a month ago and it just dropped me like a fly. My back went out and I could not even get off the floor.

Three weeks later I am back to my "normal" pain. Here's the question....
(sorry...I blab)
When I went and visited the PM, he immediately told me I needed these epidural steroid injections: three in my back and one in my neck. The one in the neck is scary because it will be by the spinal cord. They wanted to get me in that week! It seemed like they rushed me. I said due to my work I would have to wait. So I have an appt. in three weeks.

Doing some research one of the side effects of these shots is bone thinning. I have severe osteoporosis to the point, if I fall, I break a bone. I have been taking fosamax for three years and my osteo has remained the same, no worse or better, but that side effect scares me. He also said I needed to get off the Lortab. I heard these shots only work for three months.

I would like to hear comments from people who have had these shots, side effects, and anyone who had these who has osteoporosis. I need to make a decision quickly....

Thanks everyone

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Old 09-02-2007, 06:10 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 543
jacal5 HB Userjacal5 HB User
Re: Epidural steroid injections back and neck *help* Sorry....long


I have oesteopenia, repetitive strain injury, two herniated disks in neck,
sciatica, and muscle spasms. I take Ultracet for pain right now, but want to switch to another medication because this drug changes the brain. I wanted a pain reliever that works through another mechanism.

The physical therapy facility I go to has therapists. chiropractors, and a board certfied physiatrist (doctor of pysical medicine). Recently they brought in a pain management doctor to the group, and gave me an appointment with him. He tried to talk me into getting shots in the neck so I asked him if they were considered nerve blocks and he said yes. I remembered a therapist telling me they see very few patients with nerve blocks, so I was thinking it might not be a good thing to do. I told him I would think about it, but a friend of mine who is a board certified doctor (he does not treat me) told me NEVER to let any doctor put injections in my neck.

I did some research on the injections and there is controversy about whether the patient should be put under anethesia so they don't move during the injection, or whether the patient should be conscious so if they feel pain the doctor will know not to go any further. There is a risk the doctor will not hit the right spot, or the patient will move unintentionally.

Another reason I wouldn't do it is the steoids because I have osteopenia. The doctor claimed there was not enough steroids in the shots to effect the bones, but I didn't want to take any chances with my bones or paralysis so I refused treatment.

Good luck with your decision.

Old 09-02-2007, 06:53 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
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mcarr36 HB User
Re: Epidural steroid injections back and neck *help* Sorry....long

I have had several occipital nerve blocks. I have them every 3 months. They use a very small amount of steroid medication mixed with lidocane. I am always put out for the procedure and I get relief for a couple of months. They do the procedure using x-ray and they are precise. I never worry about them being cloise to the spinal cord. Epidural injections are also close to the cord. I just asked my doctor about long term effects and he said he was not worried. I had a series of epidural injections. They use a lot more steroids for that and I had side effects. Those injections really did not help me so I will not be having any more of those.

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