Discussions that mention valium

Spinal Cord Disorders board

Hello To One and All -
I'm looking for some feedback/information from those of you who have had cervical epidurals as a first step in dealing with a herniated disk?
I'm almost 6 weeks post-op for a second attempt to fuse L4-5. I am not in PT (yet) and have oxycodone and valium and neurontin for meds at this time.
Had a cervical MRI in May that showed a herniation at C5-6 with moderate stenosis and impingement of the nerve root at C6. Until this week my symptoms were all left side despite the report saying the herniation was centrally located. After a week- long nightmare episode in March that left my left thumb and index finger numb and my left arm markedly weak for about 6 weeks, the situation has improved though I am still store and my neck is painflul to move sideways. I have had several day-long 'frozen neck' events that always improve with gentle motion and ice.
But this week I had another 'episode' and all of the pain was on the right side. It is much better but it has given me four rough days of it. Luckily, I have the meds for my lumbar spine so I was able to talk to my doc and up the doses to get immediate relief though far from total relief. No numbness this time but the neck itself is still very sore.
OK - my spine specialist neurosurgeon has agreed when I asked him that trying an epidural injection was a reasonable next step. He will not allow me to enter regular PT for this since he feels it could jeopardize my lumbar recovery. As I am a revision patient I am inclined to heed his advice! What do you think?
I had 4 epis for my lumbar spine and they were at best duds and 2 increased my pain for days before fading to nothingness. Probably this has no bearing on what I can expect from the cervical epis, eh? My lumbar spine problems have been up and down but not nearly so much as this cervical problem. I've no doubt that within a few days my neck will be nearly normal with just a bit of pain as I try to bend it sideways. But I never know when I am going to wake up frozen and when the pain goes into my arm it is nothing to triffle with. Well, I'm driveling here. Just hoping some of you can tell me what you've learned along the way. Many thanks- Suzy-Q
Hi Kross-
I'm sorry you ended up with the fusion but did it work? My surgeon has said the "S" word already though we both agree that it is not on my plate until I have a full lumbar fusion. I'm sure I went white at the mention of this since I really hadn't thought the level of pain I have had made the "S" word even a consideration. I'll admit I was thrown. But I sense my doc feels this isn't likely to improve and indeed it isn't getting much better. I keep thinking that it is pretty tolerable most days BUT I am on regualr doses of oxy and valium and neurontin - all of which I'm expected to phase off of ... fairly soon. And how will the ole neck feel then, eh?
My doc' response to my horrified explosion of, "More surgery! You're mad!", was to laugh and tell me that IF we ever got there it was a much easier surgery than what I've just had. But I am far past taking a surgeon's word on that! How was the surgery and recovery for you? Suzy-Q