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  • Help! Cervical Epidural? Your thoughts and experience

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    Old 01-25-2003, 04:48 PM   #1
    debi33029
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    Post Help! Cervical Epidural? Your thoughts and experience

    Due to an auto accident 11/14/02, I now have C3-4 mild annular disk bulge; C5-6 with a broad-based herniated disk compressing the ventral surface of the cervical spinal cord; C6-7 with a centra herniated disk impinging the ventral thecal sac. Which I've been told simply means a couple of heriated disks with a pinched nerve. Also, a broken knee cap which in the begining due to the different way I was walking all my back pain was blamed on walk. Since then, with the pain getting worse and affecting my right arm with sharp pain and my thumb being numb now for three weeks which hurts and tingles in my hand and back of my hand as well. I was sent for an MRI and the above is the findings. Now I have been told I need an cervical epidural and possible more than one with NO promises that any of them will help. I am scared to death of getting an epidural in that area. The sharp pain is not constant any longer in my forearm and I think I might getting better because of that. I have good and bad days. Please has anyone out there had simular to my condition? I have heard that lumbar epidurals are ok but, cervical are very dangerous. Please give me any and all your thoughts, experiences and/or prayers you may have.... Help - Thanks!

    [This message has been edited by debi33029 (edited 01-25-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by debi33029 (edited 01-25-2003).]

     
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    Old 01-26-2003, 10:23 AM   #2
    BlueBelle
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    Hi,

    I had a total of 5 cervical epidurals over a period of about 4 months.

    They said there would be pain during the first 24 hours. For me, I didn't have the pain until the 2nd day. One thing is I didn't look at the needle, ever!!! After all of them were done, my husband told me about it. If I had looked, I would have had more fear.

    I had the first two done at a different place then the last three. The first place did a shot to numb it then gave me the epidural and I went home right away. The second place didn't numb me, they just gave me a shot then I had to go to recovery for 30 minutes then I went home. Also the first place did the shots in two week intervals. The second place did them every week.

    Try not to think of it too much because that makes the whole experience worse.

    After the first two shots, for awhile I felt like I had a new shoulder and arm, it was great but the pain did come back.

    I hope your shots work for you.


     
    Old 01-26-2003, 11:48 AM   #3
    debi33029
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    BlueBelle,

    Thanks so much for the insight. If you don't mind I have a few questions for you - How long were you pain free? Did it only last a week? I know the epidural is not a cure it is just temporary relief;but considering what you went through to have 5 of them was it worth it? How are you today? Did you and/or do you have to have surgery? Who administered your shots? What type of doctor? What disc's did he do? Did you have also a pinched nerve? Why did you change places where you were having them done?

    I feel like it is getting better. Almost like I have spasms in my right arm and back every now and then, but the thumb is still numb as before. I have an appt this thursday with a neo doc as I have been being treated by my knee specialist for my broken knee cap. After the MRI he recommended the epidural and that scared me. Went for a consultation and walked out. Then, my knee doctor told me to get a second opionion from a neurological surgeon - so that is this week.

    I am so flustrated, confused and scared.. If you had it to do all over again would you still get the five epidurals?

    Thank you for taking the time to talk - I wish I would have found this place sooner.. I have been a wreck over all this since I found out 01/13/03.. Boy, I do appreciate you and this web-site.

    Thanks again - deb

     
    Old 01-27-2003, 11:00 AM   #4
    BlueBelle
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    Hi Deb,

    I just hopped on the board for a few seconds and saw your questions. I'm going to answer them quick, just had my EMG and a little uncomfortable!!! But here goes,

    I was pain free for about couple week, not sure, I didn't write it down. I know I had 2 shots in August then had the other 3 in October. It was definitely worth having them. If they had worked, then I wouldn't be going through all this.

    I have a lot of pain in my left shoulder area and down my arm. Used to go to my fingers, but it stops just below my elbow know. Mainly burning and pulling. Sometimes pain, the way I describe it is like people putting razor blades in my shoulder blade. (I have never had that happen, but I'm guessing it is what it would feel like, stinging, burning).

    The first two shots I had at a surgery center and a anesthesiologist (spelling?) gave them to me. He was great, real positive. The other three shots I had at a pain center, I'm not sure what kind of dr he was.

    I changed places because when my pain came back up, the surgery center couldn't get me in for a week, my pain meds didn't work and I was in too much pain to wait. The pain center got me in right away, so I went there.

    I do have pinched nerves and bulging discs and mild degenerative disc. I am under the care of an ortho dr. He is the one that prescribes the shots, tests, etc. I'm guessing I will end up with surgery, he just has to make sure there isn't any nerve damage (that is why I had the EMG), and what levels are actually the problem (according to the MRI, I have things going on at 4 different levels). Anyway, I'm trusting him.

    I hope this answered your questions, I'm not very good at it. I hope you are having a little relief today.

     
    Old 01-27-2003, 05:43 PM   #5
    debi33029
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    BlueBelle,

    Thank you so much for all the info. You have been very informative and I dearly appreciate it.

    I do wish you well. Hope you are doing better too.

    Today I have a new tingling feeling in my right calf and felt dizzy off and on today. Hopefully, this is not meaning it is getting worse.

    Thursday can't come soon enough to see the doctor.

    Again, you are great - thank you so much!

    Keep in touch! - deb

     
    Old 02-07-2003, 09:27 PM   #6
    LilDarlin
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    Hi there,
    I just made a post about side effects.
    I had one 5 days ago and will never have another one.
    It fried my brain. I became a totally different person. I was wired to no end. My heart was pounding out of my chest,..cold sweats, very aggitated.
    My family had to take me to get a shot to bring me back down to my own planet. I had an allergic reaction to the steroids. also,.i only had relief for the pain for 3 days. it is already back,...but I will NEVER put myself or my family through that state of mind again.
    Good luck.
    __________________
    ~LilDarlin~

     
    Old 02-09-2003, 12:19 AM   #7
    PsychLea
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    LilDarlin,
    I am so sorry that you had such a bad reaction to the steroids. That does happen sometimes, but it is not a side effect that happens too often, but if it does, then you have to be careful.

    I have been on steroids off and on for years without the problems you describe, however, I have also had patients on my unit who had the same reaction to the steroids. It's just one of those things.

    It must have been really traumatic for you. I hope you are doing better.

    Steroids are good meds, but like all medications has the potential for side effects.



    ------------------
    God bless,

    Lea
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    God bless,

    Lea

     
    Old 02-11-2003, 07:22 PM   #8
    debi33029
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by LilDarlin:
    Hi there,
    I just made a post about side effects.
    I had one 5 days ago and will never have another one.
    It fried my brain. I became a totally different person. I was wired to no end. My heart was pounding out of my chest,..cold sweats, very aggitated.
    My family had to take me to get a shot to bring me back down to my own planet. I had an allergic reaction to the steroids. also,.i only had relief for the pain for 3 days. it is already back,...but I will NEVER put myself or my family through that state of mind again.
    Good luck.
    Hi LilDarlin,
    Just read your reply. Thank you very much! I do pray that you are doing much better. My pain level has improved ever, ever so much - just on it's own. I was too scared to do the epidural - I have a phobia to pills therefore, this shot was just too much uncertain results. My doctors appt scheduled for Jan 30th was canceled due to an emgerency surgery the doctor had to do. I was upset at first then, I just prayed for the one he was doing surgery on. It made me thankful for my level of suffering compared to whatever the poor patient was having to deal with. My rescheduled appt is this Monday the 17th. So, hopefully, I will see what my status is. I still have a numb right thumb, still sleep lying flat on my back with a cervical pillow, can't close my right hand in the mornings and on/off pains in the arm and upper back/neck area. But, thank God it is now tolerable pain. I do hope you get better and again, thank you for your input.

     
    Old 02-11-2003, 07:43 PM   #9
    debi33029
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by PsychLea:
    LilDarlin,
    I am so sorry that you had such a bad reaction to the steroids. That does happen sometimes, but it is not a side effect that happens too often, but if it does, then you have to be careful.

    I have been on steroids off and on for years without the problems you describe, however, I have also had patients on my unit who had the same reaction to the steroids. It's just one of those things.

    It must have been really traumatic for you. I hope you are doing better.

    Steroids are good meds, but like all medications has the potential for side effects.

    Lea,

    Thanks for that insight above. I will keep it in mind but, I do have a phobia to taking medication you can imagine what I am like just thinking about a shot that could do all kinds of things to you and no one really knows for sure if it will or not. That whole thing scares me. "the unknown" I guess if the pain is bad enough maybe - just maybe bad and for a real long time - I might would give in and not care if I died getting the shot just as long as I get some kind of relief. I was almost there. Again, sincerely thank you for you insight. God Bless! - debi


     
    Old 08-24-2005, 12:49 PM   #10
    der
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    Re: Help! Cervical Epidural? Your thoughts and experience

    hi im der,i m geting a cortizon injection in c6 but what he is doing is injecting me half way down back as there is a funnel tunnel there that will travel up to c6,thats the way he operates as he told me he doesnt inject into neck as he worried he would hit an atrery,i have posts in spinal disorders lokk them up

     
    Old 08-24-2005, 12:49 PM   #11
    der
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    Re: Help! Cervical Epidural? Your thoughts and experience

    hi im der,i m geting a cortizon injection in c6 but what he is doing is injecting me half way down back as there is a funnel tunnel there that will travel up to c6,thats the way he operates as he told me he doesnt inject into neck as he worried he would hit an atrery,i have posts in spinal disorders lokk them up

     
    Old 02-05-2006, 09:16 AM   #12
    tpm419
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    Re: Help! Cervical Epidural? Your thoughts and experience

    Hello all. I'm new to this forum and just wanted to add my experiences thus far. I have a herniated c-7 disk which has kept me out of work for 9 months now. I am finally going for epidural injections, had 2 and am going for my 3rd and final injection in a few days. the injection procedure itself is a piece of cake, I go into the pain management clinic, get taken right in and with IV sedation I feel nothing at all. The only pain if you can call it that is the initial IV going into my arm before they take me in. As far as relief is concerned I can't say it has been helping. My 2nd injection left a burning sensation in my middle to lower back which I'm told may have been caused by hitting a nerve during the procedure. I'm still having numbness in my fingers and pain in my neck and back. Looks like surgery is around the corner!!!

    Last edited by tpm419; 02-05-2006 at 09:17 AM.

     
    Old 02-05-2006, 09:24 AM   #13
    wimpette
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    Re: Help! Cervical Epidural? Your thoughts and experience

    Debi
    I had a cervical epidural just after I had my neck injury. I had tried oral steroids before and failed but the result from the epidural was miraculous - my pain and weakness was improved within 24 hours. I've been told that 90% of neck problems resolve with time plus epidurals, pt etc - I'm one of the 10%. The pain relief actually lasted over a month but then returned, there were other factors contributing to the reoccurence of symptoms. However the epidural was wonderful and not painful.

    A couple of things you should check out. Firstly, make sure the injection is done under xray guidance to make sure the needle is in the correct spot. Also, there is one approach called transforaminal which most people do not do any more as this has been known to produce nerve damage. The other type of cervical epidural is extremely safe.

    Good luck, hope it does the trick.
    W

     
    Old 02-05-2006, 09:30 AM   #14
    tpm419
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    Re: Help! Cervical Epidural? Your thoughts and experience

    Thanks wimpette. My injections are with xray guidance and I do believe my pain management doctor has the most up to date equipment and procedures. Just not getting the relief. I'm on 2700mg of neurontin along with robaxin and vicodin which I don't want to take forever. I'll keep you posted Thanks!

     
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