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  • Cervical Transforaminal ESI - questions...

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    Old 07-28-2008, 08:41 PM   #1
    SpineAZ
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    Question Cervical Transforaminal ESI - questions...

    Anyone had this? How does it differ from "traditional" cervical Epidural Steroid Injections?

    My surgeon can't do anything further for me surgically so he recommends a cervical transforaminal ESI.
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    Old 07-29-2008, 06:03 AM   #2
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    Re: Cervical Transforaminal ESI - questions...

    I am not sure how much this will help you out, but I did just have a set of these done July 9, & have another scheduled for August 6.
    Never had any injections in that area other then the ESIs, so not sure how they would differ. I did alot of asking around, even in the PMs office. Everyone seems to be different. Some will get no relief others get some & still others get alot.
    Also some people will go for several ESIs & then find that after the first several not helping much the the fourth ( or whatever the number attempted) worked out great.
    I am not sure if it is the fact that after so many attempts the doctors finds just that right location or what, but everyone seems to be different.
    I did get some relief from that first set in certain areas, such as my hands & fingers.
    Also abit in the chest area, but I am such a mess I have alot of areas involved or effected. Since I feel the benifets of the ESIs pretty much gone at this point (except in the hands/fingers) I realized even the slightest relief was better then nothing.
    I am praying that because the first set helped the second will be even will be even better, but I have also learned not to get my hopes up. I honestly did not expect any relief so I was pretty surprised. I did ice after that entire day & was warned about not overdoing & icing after.
    I have my follow up today so we will see what the PM thinks, in my opinion anything is worth a shot. From what I have gathered my PM doc. uses the ESIs as diagnostic testing alot to find what area is causing what pain/problems before proceding with the rhizotomys. I hope this helps you out some, I know it can be confusing especially hearing how different everyone responds to them. Good luck & if you dont mind keep me informed. Sammy

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 12:03 PM   #3
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    Re: Cervical Transforaminal ESI - questions...

    I had one at the right side of C6 after a course of 3 ESIs spaced 10 days apart failed to improve my pain level much. The transforaminal injection was done in a hospital under general anesthesia by my pain management doctor, as opposed to the ESIs which were done in the pain management doctor's office with no anesthesia.

    I was fortunate in that I got dramatic relief within a couple of days from the transforaminal injection last November, and my pain levels are still down. I'd say I was at a steady state level of 7-8 after the ESIs and I've dropped to a 2-3 after the transforaminal injection. I do have bad days where I need to take my Norco 10s to knock the pain back under a 5, and I did a have a bad stretch of a couple of weeks recently where I was convinced the shot had worn off and it was time for another one, but that pain also faded in time. In my case, the MRI showed a right sided bulging disc at C5/C6 with significant right foraminal stenosis so I had a good deal of median nerve root compression which was not only causing neck pain but significant pain across my right shoulder and down into my tricep. I also had noticeable numbness in my right thumb, forefinger and middle finger which are now gone too. Basically, I'm now stuck with a "glass neck" which is easily injured and an annoying amount of residual constant pain in my neck.

    My vote is to give it a try and see if it helps you too.

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 04:45 PM   #4
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    Re: Cervical Transforaminal ESI - questions...

    Deadlifter:

    It sounds like you and I have the same symptoms - so I'm definetly willing to give it a try. I have had the tradtional ESI before done in a Surgical Center under conscious sedation (versed and demerol so technically you are conscious but you don't remember a thing). Right now primarily I have the pain down the left arm with numbness and tingling in the thumb, index finger and middle finger. Right after my foraminotomy in May I felt really good - recently it's gone south again and each day I hit at least a 7 out of 10 if not an 8.

    I see the PM doc on Thursday morning - and now I'm very intrigued to see if he does it under general anesthesia.

    I wish my CT scan had showed something operable - the problem his my surgeon has said he's done all he can do and he hopes it's just the nerve being "irriated" and needing a transforaminal injection to calm it down.
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    Old 07-29-2008, 04:47 PM   #5
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    Re: Cervical Transforaminal ESI - questions...

    Sammy:

    Thanks. Any information is helpful. After a few years you figure I'd have had every known treatment but this will be a new one.
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    Old 07-30-2008, 05:52 AM   #6
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    Re: Cervical Transforaminal ESI - questions...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post
    Deadlifter:

    Right after my foraminotomy in May I felt really good - recently it's gone south again and each day I hit at least a 7 out of 10 if not an 8.

    I see the PM doc on Thursday morning - and now I'm very intrigued to see if he does it under general anesthesia.

    I wish my CT scan had showed something operable - the problem his my surgeon has said he's done all he can do and he hopes it's just the nerve being "irriated" and needing a transforaminal injection to calm it down.
    You had a foraminotomy and still have problems? Holy crap, I thought the foraminotomy was a silver bullet procedure to relieve nerve root compression if the traction therapy and transforaminal injections didn't do the trick for me. I had consulted with a neurosurgeon right before my transforaminal injection and he told me that a foraminotomy would not work in my case due to the heavy calcification of the disk and osteophyte formation. He actually recommended against surgery in my case, but if I continued to have problems then he wanted to use an artificial disk and not a ACDF procedure on me except my health insurance doesn't cover the artificial disk.

    I really hope the transforaminal injection does the trick for you, sounds like you may just have some post operative irritation that needs to be calmed down. Good luck and post back with your results when you know how well it worked.

     
    Old 07-30-2008, 08:15 AM   #7
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    Re: Cervical Transforaminal ESI - questions...

    Deadlifter:

    Don't let my experience worry you. I am an orthopedic nightmare :-)

    Like you said, he's figuring that the foraminotomy "irritated" the nerve and the shot will settle it down. He's also encouraged me to continue with massage therapy and I had the masseuse work on my neck yesterday - as one theory is that scar tissue has built up near the nerve.

    The foraminotomy was a good choice for me becuase I had serious narrowing. It was worse than he had expected and he said he could see why I was in so much pain.
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