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  • Severe Reaction to Cervical Epidural

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    Old 04-24-2006, 09:27 AM   #1
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    Severe Reaction to Cervical Epidural

    Had the epidural done 12 days ago, and have had serious problems since then. Have bone spurs in C5-C6 area. Hoped shot would help with pain.

    After procedure woke up with severe pain in right arm and right leg. Took prednisone and percocet for pain. Now taking neurontin for the pain. Was trying to not have to take anything, but nerve pain in hand and leg too severe.

    Working with pain doc who did the epidural. Said she's baffled--never had anyone with reaction like mine. Saw a neurologist last week who said the medication may have puffed up the area around the spinal cord and caused it to compress even more (already at 8.5).

    Anyone else with this problem?


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    Old 04-24-2006, 02:32 PM   #2
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    Re: Severe Reaction to Cervical Epidural

    I'm not entirely sure we're talking about the same thing. I hear so many different terms - steroid injection, epidual, facet block, etc.

    My first and second injections were about 18 months apart. The first one helped. The second one, this past January, actually made my pain worse. I couldn't believe it. I was told basically the same thing you heard, that the injection, rather than calming the inflamed tissue, had instead further irritated the nerve roots.

    Those first two were actual injections, where they stuck a needle into my neck. In March, I had another injection done at a different facility. They ran a catheter through my upper back up into the neck and then squirted the steroid cocktail into the inflamed area. That one gave me some relief.

    When I talked to the doctor there about the needle injections, he acted as though I'd been dealing with cavemen.

    So, I really don't know if the procedure made the difference, or if it was just a coincidence of timing or whatever, but perhaps you might discuss options with the pain doc or your PCP.

    Are you considering surgery?

    Old 04-24-2006, 10:05 PM   #3
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    Re: Severe Reaction to Cervical Epidural

    Yes donna, I had epidurals in 2004, had a temporary similar reaction. but mine subsided as soon as the steroids kicked in. Mine caused worse pain on the right and also caused pain on my good side - swelling was also suspected. It did go away.

    I did not have this severe reaction with Selective Nerve Root blocks, only the epidurals.

    Old 04-25-2006, 07:14 PM   #4
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    Re: Severe Reaction to Cervical Epidural

    Thanks for the responses. I am not considering surgery at this point--only want to get over this problem. I had a cervical epidural done--cortisone shot in the C5-C6 area.

    Yesterday I saw the doc who did the injection. She said she thinks the tip of the needle touched the spinal cord, and that's what has caused the numbness and pain on my right side, and causing the pain in my nerve root endings. The funny thing was that when I first woke up in pain, she said it was in my head.

    Saw another doc today who said it's serious, but I should get over it. I never thought anything like this would happen. I am feeling better today, and can walk although my right hand and foot are still pretty numb (taking forever to type this because I can't feel much on the tips of my fingers). He also wants me to start PT.

    I was really scared, and hopeful that there won't be any long-lasting damage.

    Thanks, Donna

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