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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


You could try more injections - more specific ones. I think they are called "transforaminal injections." My pain management guy did mine (anesthesiologist). Whereas an epidural injection is just injection into the general epidural space and covers multiple levels, these are much more specific and dump the mix of drugs DIRECTLY on the nerve root that they suspect is the problem (in my case there are 3 suspect discs, so he did all 3). It is a much smaller, more concentrated mix of drugs. This is done under fluoroscopic guidance, so they can see exactly where they are. This could help.

Another option is IDET, which I had done almost 4 weeks ago. It's a long recovery, but only in the sense of restrictions (mainly very limited sitting), not being "down & out" like major surgery. I spent 1 week in bed, and after that I've been back to work and everything like normal - just standing more than sitting at work, and going home & laying down. There are also other very similar procedures (nucleoplasty & something else I can't remember the name). These are for discogenic pain (identified via discogram), so if your herniated discs are impinging on nerves, these would not be useful.

Another option is an endoscopic discectomy. I did this in July 2007. This is exactly for herniated discs. They basically go in w/ an endoscope (you are sedated, but awake) and remove part of the nucleus of the disc to [hopefully] make the herniation or bulge such back in and relieve pressure on the nerves. They can also "clean out" any annular tears. The guy who kind of pioneered this is Dr. Anthony Yeung in Phoenix. It didn't work for me, but I give the office/doc/staff/procedure five stars. The recover was pretty easy. I felt myself after about 2 weeks. Same restrictions: no bending, twisting, lifting for 3 months.

Those are all I can think of now. Best of luck for becoming pain-free!!!

-Beth





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