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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

[QUOTE=pooby]Well go and have the epidurals. They can work very well for leg pain as they get rid of some of the inflammation that occurs from disc herniations. Just because you have pain down your leg does not necessarily mean that the nerve is compressed at this point. Often the inflammation stays on much longer and is slow to allow the nerve to settle down. The injections can help with the process of healing. It is not just a temporary fix.

Herniated discs will heal in time but it is a painful process as the disc fragment can take 9 months to start to be reabsorbed. The disc slowly shrinks and compression of the nerve lessens. Surgery is not an absolute necessity for a herniated disc and only becomes an emergency in certain specific cases i.e. compression that would lead to bowel and urine incontinency or spinal cord compression. Spinal cord depression does not occur in the lower lumbar spine as there is no spinal cord there.

Most countries of the developed world do not advocate surgery as much as the U.S. and treatment is much more conservative. Give the injections a try. I had trouble with the injections but that is only because my spine is badly deteriorated from a previous fusion and the natural anatomy no longer exists. This makes it a very difficult procedure for me and my doctor was unable to keep doing it.

They freeze the area with a local and the only pain you should feel is pressure when the needle reaches it's proper goal. My specialist does thousands of them every year and told me that for the vast majority of people it is a very easy procedure to tolerate. Good luck! Keep posting and let us know how you make out.[/QUOTE]

Pooby... In some cases yes, you are right, The Epidural Injections do work for some... and for others it does not work at all... ME for example, and MANY others on this board..... but as My Neurosurgeon and Pain Management Doctors both told me, the ESI injections, are generally a temporary fix... they negate the situation as far as the pain goes... but the problem that is causing the pain, is still there.. but it buys you time before you have to have surgery to fix the problem.... This is also comming from one of the best PM Docs in Austin, and also he does 1000's of these a year as well, he has even done these injection on some very popular NASCAR Drivers...Yes it is a very tolerable procedure, if the doctor knows what they are doing.... I found mine to be very pain what so ever...from the injection..... but it did not help my pain from disc compression either... or after my surgery.

My Neurosurgeon also told me that, Sure... the pain will eventually go away... but that is because it is compressing on a nerve... then the nerve will die, and you will loose the use of your leg....or arms what have you, depending on what dics is pressing on what nerve...... Also they told me that if you are having the pain and numbness and such down into your legs and feet etc... then YES you most likely do have a nerve being compressed by a herniated disc...and No... they do not heal on their own.... especially if they are large enough to compress a nerve....And surgery is not only a necessity if it is causing bowel and urinary incontenance, but also for numbness and pain, and such in the legs and feet.. Like I stated.... because in lumbar disc herniations, the left and right S1 nerve root will become compressed...My problem was at L5-S1 I had a very large 9mm herniation compressing the nerve on the Right S1 nerve root..causing very sever pain, in my lower back, hip, buttocks, entire leg, and foot... with numbness in my calf... and toes..... So there is compression that can happen in the lumbar area....

Pain in the legs and such can also come from nerve damage to the Nerve roots....which take a painstakingly long time to heal... as in my case..

It is well worth the try, to have the injections, because you never know if they are going to work or not if you don't have them... it is a 50-50 chance... Some it helps.... Some it doesn't.....

Abrie25... The difference between getting numbed and getting the needle is ....First it is Two different needles... one small needle like a normal shot.... they use to numb the area... they Inject a Local Anthestetic to numb the area..... then they insert another needle which is larger and much longer... into your back, into the area where the disc is that is causing your problems... and then inject the medication.....Believe me, it is not that bad.... I did not feel mine at all...and you will not see the needles...And just so you know... they do not actually put the needle into your spine... it is just into the area of the nerve roots or what have you that are causing your pain....

I am sure you will do fine... Good Luck... Keep us informed....


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