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Hello everyone,

Just a quick background. I have had neck pain since 2000 gone through shoulder surgery and in Dec 2006 had ACDF c4/5-5/6. 4 months later pain in back. (Description of my pain is from the back of my neck radiating toward my left shoulder; sharp,stabbing, extreme burning, and prickling pain) Most of the time I am at a 9 as far as pain is concerned. Went back to PT few weeks ago and PT and Neurosurgeon suggested stopping and going for a Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection.
Since I will be awake, Does it hurt?
How long does it really take? (i've heard some sites say 10minutes some say 45minutes?)
Anything I should know that maybe I haven't heard yet?
Thanks in advance for you responses.
Nicki
I had a cervical epidural injection in mid-February prior to moving forward with ACDF of C6-7. It was pretty uneventful. I was given 20 mg of Valium and don't really remember much of it. The actual injection lasted less than 15 minutes, but the prep time was probably around 20 - 30 minutes.

I'm just curious....Were you pain free following your surgery? Did they use metal plate and screws? I would be concerned that something had gone wrong with the ACDF if I were experiencing a 9 on the pain scale this soon after surgery.
I had the Epidural Steroid Injections I was put in a light sleep. I was real stif the next day. But it didnt really hurt but it didnt help either. It sounds like you have a nerve traped?

Good Luck!
Payton yes I was pain free after surgery but when I returned back to my normal activities it flared back up. Yes I have plates and screws and mri's and ct's showed that they are in good position. The surgery was helpful in the fact that I was having alot of heaviness in my legs which are now gone along with the frequent stiff necks. After going to PM they tell me that it seems that I am bulging above and below where I was fused causing alot of inflamation which is why I am having severe burning. I am thinking positive that this injection will help and if not my PM says that there are other things he can do which I think is trigger point injections. Well, good luck to all.
Oh I have one more question.... Did they tell you they were giving medicine before the injection to make you more comfortable? Mine didn't say and I am not the one who likes needles lol.

Nicki
I had a cervical steroid injection in Nov. '05. They give you an IV and then when its time for them to start the injection, they put some great stuff right in the IV and you go into a "twilight" type of sleep. I have no memory of any injections I ever had. (and I have had a TON of different types)
[QUOTE=SKZ;2905361]I had a cervical steroid injection in Nov. '05. They give you an IV and then when its time for them to start the injection, they put some great stuff right in the IV and you go into a "twilight" type of sleep. I have no memory of any injections I ever had. (and I have had a TON of different types)[/QUOTE]

Thats how mine was done also and I dont remember the injections either.
Thanks you guys! I hope its the same for me.
My neurosurgeon's office referred me to a PM doctor for the injection. The nurse told me that they usually give Valium prior to the procedure, and if it wasn't offered I should ask for it. They gave me 20 mg of Valium and actually said if that wasn't enough, they would give me more. I can remember laying on the table, and I do remember the doctor being there, but I do not remember any needle going in or anything else. I did not have an IV at all. If I were you, I would call the office and ask these questions prior to your injection. It seems to me that they are willing to do whatever is needed to ensure you are comfortable.

Good to hear that all of your hardware is where it is supposed to be. I hope the injection does the trick for you.
Oh my gosh I am so glad that this thread appeared! I was just getting ready to ask the exact same thing. I am scheduled on Wed., 4/11 for an epidural steroid injection. I think I can deal with the thought of a big needle headed for my neck as long as I don't have to see it. If I see it, I'll stress out.

I have tried various types of PT for a while now, so my new doc said she thinks it's finally time to bite the bullet and do the injection. I agree as I'm getting more frustrated with myself and my symptoms are continuing to get worse.

My questions that I haven't seen addressed are:

1. I live in my town by myself, don't know very many people that I feel comfortable enough to ask to take off their work and drive me 50 miles to the doc. Even though they told me to bring a driver, would it be at all realistic to think I could drive myself home? It'd be only 25 miles, half of which is interstate.

2. How soon should I wait to resume walking on my treadmill and other light exercise? It helps me loosen my back up sometimes, and I rely on it.

3. My doc said no ibuprofen or over the counter pain meds for two weeks prior. As a result, I've hurt a lot worse over the last two weeks. Any one else told this? I think it's because those drugs are blood thinners by nature.

4. Random internet clinic marketing ads tout "one injection" to feel better. Realistically, how many people find the injections solve their problem, and does one do it?

5. Will this injection also alleviate my weakness in my left hand? I can't hardly hold onto stuff sometimes and it's driving me nuts. Will the shot help me get my strength back as well as stop the tingling?

Ok, I'll stop now. If you're still reading this at this point - thank you. Sorry to have so many questions, but I'm getting nervous. I'm afraid if this doesn't work I'm headed for surgery, which I really want to avoid! Thanks.

Moonchaser
A friend took me and drove me home. No I dont think I could have drove myself. I felt real stiff the next day and went back to work 48 hours afterwards. I had no long term benefit from the injection. I had 4 different areas in my neck done and to be truthful I couldnt tell any benefits from it. This was 4 years ago and I go next week to schedule surgery.
I am 100% positive they will NOT allow you to drive home. I have had a bunch of these types of injections and they wont allow it. Sorry.
It really depends on your PM Doc. If you go twilight, you need a driver, and that is the way I did it 7 x.

I have a client who has PM doc who just injects a topical numbing needle first, and then he drives home. DR did it in his office!

I have a PPO and my total copay for 1st series was $2300 local outpatient from community hospital.

Next series done at teaching hospital out patient $1200

Last series I shopped and same Dr preformed it at a laser surgery center and my copay was $300.

Ask your doctors if there is a choice of where it will be done and call that center for pricing if you have a PPO
Wow... I only have to pay $25 and he is doing it in his office. I just have a fear of needles so I kinda getting nervous about feeling the pain. Did anyone ever get asked if they were allergic to shellfish? I have been reading some sights about making sure you tell your doctor.
[QUOTE=deannette1;2906409]Wow... I only have to pay $25 and he is doing it in his office. I just have a fear of needles so I kinda getting nervous about feeling the pain. Did anyone ever get asked if they were allergic to shellfish? I have been reading some sights about making sure you tell your doctor.[/QUOTE]

WOW.. you are lucky only 25:00..my co part was 600.00...I think the total cost was around 3000.00 I had mine done at the pain clinic. It was like going into outpatient surgery. I had a gown IV.. Nurse working with Doctor afterwards I was placed into a room to recover...(wakeup)

I do know he used something to help guide him some Type of X ray camera or something. So he was able to see where he was putting the needles...It was all a breeze really.
Hi,I go at the end of this month for one of those. So I dont know yet and I would like to know more about it. My doctor said it could last 3 years for pain relief I dont know how true that is but I hope so. So I figure why not I will try it sure beats surgery. I wonder how long afterwards I will be sore? How soon do you feel better?
1. NO - You can not drive yourself home. The twilight sleep they put you in makes you loopy (the equivalent to driving drunk). They will not release you unless you have a driver. The place I went would not even start the procedure unless you have a driver.

2. I was advised to return to normal activities the day after.

3. Yes, as they are blood thinners you are told to avoid them to avoid bleeding problems with the injections.

4. I had to do the full cycle of 3 (one every 2 weeks) for it to fully work.

5. Sometimes it can help the related symptoms - though mostly helps the pain
I was usually sore for a couple of days. It took about a week for the relief to pain to happen when it worked and lasted almost 6 months. Other times they failed to provide relief at all.
I was not put too sleep (had mine 3/14/07) they used the topical numbing that was mentioned earlier, however, they still wanted someone to drive me home. I had worse pain after the procedure (which I thought wasn't possible) for two weeks or so. It has helped a bit but I still have pain/numbness and am scheduled for an ACDF next thursday the 19th. Needless to say I am incredibly nervous (that is putting it mildly) about that.

Good luck - everyone is different I think in how they will respond. Hope it works!!!!!
Hello everyone. I had my cervical epidural injection yesterday morning. Thank you for all your comments. I survived it. They did not put me into a twilight sleep, only 5 mg of valium and a topical anesthetic. I didn't feel much during the procedure itself. You all were right, driving is best not attempted, so I'm glad I had a driver go with me. I also decided afterwards I'd do best to just take the whole day as a "sick" day and not try to go back to work and to sleep all afternoon. Surprisingly, the major bank I work for didn't fold during my absence and have to close up shop without me. :-)

Last night and today I have been very stiff and sore, and my pain has increased, which they said could happen. I'm to allow 48-72 hours for the steroids to kick in and do their thing. Some of you know I have a long commute each day to work (2 hrs each way), so I'm working from home today and tomorrow.

No promises were made that it would even work for me. In fact, the dr asked if I wanted to schedule a second injection while I was there that day for 2 weeks later. I laughed and asked him if I could wait and see how this one went first and he laughed too and agreed. This does make me think though that this type of treatment is definitely more of a "maybe it will help, maybe it won't" type of option. I'm going to be optimistic and hope that it will!

Moonchaser, desperate to be "normal" again!
Glad to hear the procedure itself wasn't too uncomfortable for you. I too had more pain after (my Dr told me that happens in 20% of the patients) ??

I hope this works for you!!!
[QUOTE=souffoue;2917343]Glad to hear the procedure itself wasn't too uncomfortable for you. I too had more pain after (my Dr told me that happens in 20% of the patients) ??

I hope this works for you!!![/QUOTE]

Figures that we're in the "20%" of the population that is lucky enough to have more pain. (And for me the numbness and tingling is still there.) I have a knack for being in "1 in a million" situations, in everything except winning the lottery that is! :)
Thanks for so many replies to my post. I have my injection next wednesday and am hoping for the best. I hope this works well for me as I have been through so much these past 7 years. If it doesn't then my doc says he can try something else (sometimes I feel like a guinea pig lol). Thanks again everyone . P.S. I'm still not looking forward to the needle lol.

Nicki
[QUOTE=moonchaser;2917357]Figures that we're in the "20%" of the population that is lucky enough to have more pain. (And for me the numbness and tingling is still there.) I have a knack for being in "1 in a million" situations, in everything except winning the lottery that is! :)[/QUOTE]


Same here - I have that kind of luck except with the lottery - same as you! LOL Which is why I am so nervous about the surgery. Keep second guessing myself even though I know it is the right thing to do.
[QUOTE=deannette1;2917578]Thanks for so many replies to my post. I have my injection next wednesday and am hoping for the best. I hope this works well for me as I have been through so much these past 7 years. If it doesn't then my doc says he can try something else (sometimes I feel like a guinea pig lol). Thanks again everyone . P.S. I'm still not looking forward to the needle lol.

Nicki[/QUOTE]

Nicki - if it helps, my doctor told me that the needle they use for cervical epidural injections is only 1/5th the size that is used when a woman is given an epidural during labor. I took his word for it - I told him I didn't want to see it no matter what size it was. But it was comforting knowledge. I kept picturing a big darning needle! I promise it won't be that large. ;)

Kim
moonchaser glad to hear you made it through ok....hope it works for you!

:wave:
Back with a question. It has been 4 days now since my cervical epidural injection and no pain relief in sight yet. In fact, the pain and tingling has been worse. I got no sleep last night, couldn't drift off and when I finally did wasn't the "deep" sleep we need. And I'm having headaches on and off.

I haven't really overdone it, I don't think. Friday night I did give in and sneak and saddle up to ride my horse, but got caught right when I was leaving the barn. :) So I only rode with my cousin for 15 minutes and my saddle doesn't weigh more than 20 lbs to lift. I was desperate for a little normalcy in my life, as everyone in my family has been riding except me. I've been a couch potato all weekend, only doing occasional load of laundry or fixing a quick meal.

This is driving me nuts. I have to start my work commute again tomorrow. I'm worried about how I'll feel at the end of the day. Isn't the point of a cervical epidural injection to alleviate the inflammation and pain? Shouldn't I be feeling better by now? :(
This is what my pain Dr. said about the steroid epidural. It takes 7 days to 2 weeks. And for me, this was the case. And I had insomnia from hell. I had to take Lunesta to sleep.
Okay, I go on Wednesday wish me luck!:eek:
Saw my doctor today - cervical epidural injection #1 is officially a flop. :) So it's on to getting cervical epidural injection #2. We talked about other options today as well, and for the first time she offered a consult with a "conservative" (her words) neurosurgeon if I wanted it. She doesn't want me to have surgery any more than I want to. I declined for now, wanting to try the nerve block one more time. She feels that if shot #2 doesn't work, there's most likely no need for a third one.

I didn't realize this through all the medical speak, but I also have bone spurs in my neck area due to arthritis. This is complicating figuring out exactly what is causing the hand tingling/numbness vs. the pain in my neck and mid-thoracic back area. She wants to try to figure out what's doing what to what and why! And I like that approach, although it's frustrating to go through.

So it's another shot for me, and of course, a prescription for more PT. We're going to try traction now which scares me. I told the dr that the PT specialist I saw earlier this year hurt me with too much weight too soon with traction, so she's prescribed the machine as well as manual therapy. I did better with manual. For good measure I got her to throw in a prescription for massage, just cause it feels so good. LOL. I'm scared of their machines after the last experience, but at least I'm going to go back to my original facility that I know and trust now. I hope they'll take me back! She wanted me in there 5x a week, but knows my schedule and just said go as much as I can. My problem will be that my insurance only allows a certain number of visits. Maybe I'll get lucky and not need it long! When it comes to PT, I feel like the college kid that took 10 years to graduate. I can't seem to graduate from PT! LOL.
Your situation sounds so much like mine did for the last [B]5[/B] years. I kept trying things to relieve my pain. I am not kidding...I probably went to PT (all different ones) about 10 times in the last 5 yrs. The Drs. and PTs never really knew what to do to help me. Surgery was only mentioned once and that was a year ago at the pain specialist, but they decided to do the facet injections and then ultimately do the rhizotomy aka radiofrequency. The problem was this. I would get a cervical epidural for the degenerative disk pain (which they told me would take 10 days to 2 weeks to kick in....oy..whatever). It would help, but not with the spurs or the facet joint arthritis. So I did all that facet stuff (includ. the rhizotomy), but then the disks would kill me. I wasnt even remotely considering surgery and really was anyone else. Then after seeing a physiatrist that i actually respected....for about 5 months and trying trigger point injections, Botox, PT thru his office, pain patch prescriptions, a bunch of drugs.......he finally said to me....."I am sending you to a surgeon....enough is enough. Then I ended up getting the ACDF C5-C7 in Jan. a few months ago. They also got rid of the bone spurs. I am seriously glad I did this. I am so much better. I insisted that the surgeon send me to PT (AGAIN), only this time to a one they knew was very very good. So of course the one they told me to go to is 20 miles away, each way. heh. I went for 6 weeks, 2 x a week. And I just got another script to go for another 6 weeks. The PT and I agree that I only need to come 1x per week. The new script was for 1-2 times a week. When I go, I am only now treating the upper body spasms, which are finally getting better. She does Intra-muscular stimulation with the dry needling (which dont exaclt tickle), but now that I had the surgery, it finally works. I had some other pain Dr. do it to me for months and it never helped...pre-surgery. I am very encouraged now. Good luck playing all of this out. Its what you have to do, so that if you do end up having the surgery, you know you tried everything. I do not recommend waiting 5 yrs. like I did, though. Consequently, I do have hands that are numb when I sleep,, probably from nerve damage from waiting so long to have the surgery. But my pain is a whole lot better. GOOD LUCK TO YOU.
Okay so I had my injection today.:eek: Let me say that it was painful. Mainly the novacaine hurt like hell. Whole process took 20 minutes and I was out the door with a ice pack. I go back in 2 weeks for a followup injection which i am not looking forward to. I guess we will see.

Nicki
[QUOTE=SKZ;2927941]Your situation sounds so much like mine did for the last [B]5[/B] years. I kept trying things to relieve my pain. I am not kidding...I probably went to PT (all different ones) about 10 times in the last 5 yrs. The Drs. and PTs never really knew what to do to help me. Surgery was only mentioned once and that was a year ago at the pain specialist, but they decided to do the facet injections and then ultimately do the rhizotomy aka radiofrequency. The problem was this. I would get a cervical epidural for the degenerative disk pain (which they told me would take 10 days to 2 weeks to kick in....oy..whatever). It would help, but not with the spurs or the facet joint arthritis. So I did all that facet stuff (includ. the rhizotomy), but then the disks would kill me. I wasnt even remotely considering surgery and really was anyone else. Then after seeing a physiatrist that i actually respected....for about 5 months and trying trigger point injections, Botox, PT thru his office, pain patch prescriptions, a bunch of drugs.......he finally said to me....."I am sending you to a surgeon....enough is enough. Then I ended up getting the ACDF C5-C7 in Jan. a few months ago. They also got rid of the bone spurs. I am seriously glad I did this. I am so much better. I insisted that the surgeon send me to PT (AGAIN), only this time to a one they knew was very very good. So of course the one they told me to go to is 20 miles away, each way. heh. I went for 6 weeks, 2 x a week. And I just got another script to go for another 6 weeks. The PT and I agree that I only need to come 1x per week. The new script was for 1-2 times a week. When I go, I am only now treating the upper body spasms, which are finally getting better. She does Intra-muscular stimulation with the dry needling (which dont exaclt tickle), but now that I had the surgery, it finally works. I had some other pain Dr. do it to me for months and it never helped...pre-surgery. I am very encouraged now. Good luck playing all of this out. Its what you have to do, so that if you do end up having the surgery, you know you tried everything. I do not recommend waiting 5 yrs. like I did, though. Consequently, I do have hands that are numb when I sleep,, probably from nerve damage from waiting so long to have the surgery. But my pain is a whole lot better. GOOD LUCK TO YOU.[/QUOTE]

Yes, our stories are very similar! I am so sorry you've been dealing with this for 5 years now. At least you're finally getting better. I hope above hope that it doesn't take me that long to get to whatever my final solution is intended to be. What I hate the most is the waiting period between each attempt to see if there is relief. That and it taking 3-4 weeks to get in to even see the doctors.

My PTs took me back with open arms by the way. They are wonderful. I'm glad to be back to them where they know me and know how I respond to treatments. They're doing their best. And I tried traction again this week. This time my PTs only put me on a small amount of weight for a short period of time, unlike the other PT that about caused my head to pop off when they did it! LOL. If anything, it's nice to get the daily dose of estim and heat. Very soothing, if only for a few minutes.
I tell ya, I learned something today. I went to PT for my once a week upper body exercises on the machine and the intramuscular stimulation (the dry needling for the TIGHT TIGHT muscles. (which helps me ALOT). Well, I really like this place BUT........... for some weird reason the owner of the PT place UPPED the weight for my exercises. On one exercise (the one where you pull down the bar and work your triceps)....I had to move that freaking weight down 3 times. I am an idiot because I should have insisted that I do the usual weight, which is hard ENOUGH. So today I am sore as hell where my traps are. That's all I need is a set back for such a moronic reason. I am just going to assume it will calm down in a couple of days. Makes me mad. Even the best PTs sometimes do weird things. I see the other PT (who is pretty young) most of the time. She saw me struggling with the weights and told me that the other PT tends to push people more. oy. I should use my brains. :dizzy:
Yikes. Hopefully the extra weight doesn't hurt you. This is what I love about my PTs now. Their first question is always how are you truly feeling and what are you up for? They'll tell me what consequences I might have before I do something. Like today, I told them I was tight around the base of my neck and across my back after two days of traction. So it was explained that i've probably had enough and my spine is probably not ready for a third day of strain. So we just did heat and estim after my normal workout on the treadmill and elliptical. I'm glad I did, cause I'm hurting tonight. Another session today would probably have gotten the best of me.

I'm curious about the intramuscular needling procedure you speak of. I also have TIGHT TIGHT muscles. Can you explain how that works? Do you see a specialist for that or is it something any PT is trained to do?
A person has to have special training in it. One other person I saw (a Pain Dr's physician asst) did it. It didnt work for me pre-surgery. I went at least 15 times and it was really minimal. My surgeon recommended this PT and it was just a coincidence that she is trained in it. I totally told her I was not into it whatsoever since it never worked before. She swore up and down that she thought it would help me. So I went for it and sure enouigh it finally is helping. We are thinking its because I solved alot of the neck issues, so now my spasms can get better because its guarding less now. All I know is that its working great for me. Do a search for IMS, as its known as. It will totally explain how it works. It doesnt tickle, but as I am getting better, the less it hurts when I get it because the spasms are better. The needle doesnt "grip" as much when its a healthy muscle. Its really amazing. The theory is that the muscle grips and then exhausts itself and relaxes.
I hope I didnt screw myself up from too much weight yesterday. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
[QUOTE=deannette1;2929303]Okay so I had my injection today.:eek: Let me say that it was painful. Mainly the novacaine hurt like hell. Whole process took 20 minutes and I was out the door with a ice pack. I go back in 2 weeks for a followup injection which i am not looking forward to. I guess we will see.

Nicki[/QUOTE]
I'm with you! I've had 5 so far, the last being 2 weeks ago. I got what the doctor called "numbing medication" except it didn't numb anything all 5 times. And if it was supposed to work like novacaine, then he should have given it a chance to work - like the dentist's do. Instead, it was back to back needles with the numbing needle and the epidural. It took all of 10 minutes and I drove myself home each time. Like an assembly line, get em in, stab em in the neck, next please!

All I can say is ouch! One time I almost flew off the table and he said "good I found the spot" (jerk). Each time hurt for a day or two after.
Carscheles, I'm curious. You've have 5 ECI's? Over what period of time have you had them? Most of what I've read is that docs usually stop after three of them.

I go back Tuesday for #2. I'm only getting a topical anesthetic and some valium, just like I did for the first one. It was ok while they were doing it, my doc did wait for the numbing shot to take effect. I hurt much more once that wore off though. I'm afraid shot #1 did absolutely nothing for me. In fact, I'm tempted to think the pain has been just as bad if not worse since then.

Anyone here keep a pain journal? I'm thinking of doing that so I don't get confused, or con myself into thinking things are ok when my pains temporarily fade.
For every injection I got, no matter what it was (ESI, facet injections, rhizotomy..) they always gave me pain journal paper to fill out morning, noon, and night. They got to be a royal pain in the butt! But I am surprised you didnt get one.
[COLOR="Blue"] I just had one two weeks and actually had a HORRIBLE reaction to it. I'm sure I'm the exception and NOT the rule. But, luckily I had a ride home because I felt nauseous and sick ALL the way home and by the time I got home I felt like someone had sucked all the energy out of me and all I could do was lay on my couch. Then I fell asleep and woke up with the MOST blinding headache (I tend to get migraines anyway). I couldn't even lift my head off the pillow and my oldest son said I was saying things that made NO sense. :eek: He thought he'd have to call 911, but I kept telling him ONLY if I lose consciousness - which I don't even remember saying. :dizzy:

Well, I managed to SLEEP off the headache and woke-up the next morning still feeling pretty lousy, but the blinding migraine had at least passed. However, my neck was in spasms that were even worse than before and when I spoke to my Doctor's office they basically said it might take a few days to notice any positive change (that what I experienced wasn't completely uncommon).

Unfortunately, it's been two weeks and there's been NO improvement. I'm still having the same level of pain and of course my arm weakness hasn't improved (which I guess it wouldn't have from an epidural). I'm just bummed because I had held out SO much hope for this procedure and was SO optimistic. :( I have read and even known people that have had GREAT results. The Doctor that administered the injection did say they could try at a different level two weeks AFTER the first injection. But, to be honest after my initial HORRIBLE reaction I'm scared to have the procedure again.

[B]I see my spinal specialist on May 10th, so I guess we'll discuss other options. I'm just so frustrated because I don't want surgery at all. But, I have cord compression and A LOT of issues because of it. I just don't know what to do. :([/B]

I'm sorry this post is so negative and like I said, so MANY people have had great results from epidural injections and I'm sure I'm in the minority with my EXTREME reaction. Sorry to vent.[/COLOR] :(
[QUOTE=SKZ;2950225]For every injection I got, no matter what it was (ESI, facet injections, rhizotomy..) they always gave me pain journal paper to fill out morning, noon, and night. They got to be a royal pain in the butt![/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Blue"]That is one thing I DID receive and I had a lot to say on that journal form!![/COLOR][/FONT] ;)
[QUOTE=moonchaser;2950017]Carscheles, I'm curious. You've have 5 ECI's? Over what period of time have you had them? Most of what I've read is that docs usually stop after three of them.[/QUOTE]
I had the first set of three, each two weeks apart. I started feeling some relief by the second one and the third one did the trick for a full 6 months.

But then 6 months later the pain came back and we started with another set of three. This time though I didn't get any relief by the second one so we didn't do the third.

My doctor will do 3 ESIs every 6 months. And my insurance, Aetna, will approve 3 every 6 months so it must not be that uncommon.
I didn't get anything from my first epidural. The second one was when I saw some relief. You might have to go for the second one to know if it's going to work for you.

I'm in the same boat as you are - I don't want surgery either and I have cord compression too. It seems that every where I turn, someone's telling me to do the surgery. I just don't want to. The ESI's helped me so much for 6 months but then when they wore off, the next set didn't help. I wish they'd come up with another way to give some relief without surgery.

Sorry you're having so many problems but you're not alone :).
[QUOTE=carscheles;2961420]I didn't get anything from my first epidural. The second one was when I saw some relief. You might have to go for the second one to know if it's going to work for you.

I'm in the same boat as you are - I don't want surgery either and I have cord compression too. It seems that every where I turn, someone's telling me to do the surgery. I just don't want to. The ESI's helped me so much for 6 months but then when they wore off, the next set didn't help. I wish they'd come up with another way to give some relief without surgery.

Sorry you're having so many problems but you're not alone :).[/QUOTE]
[COLOR="Blue"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]
Thanks for your response. It's really a difficult position to be in. I want relief from the pain and symptons. However, every method I've tried thus far hasn't improved by symptoms and in some cases I've actually seen new symptoms develop. I still can't reconicile myself with the thought of surgery, but I see my spinal specialist this week and maybe we can figure out some additional options. I don't know, I will have to see what he says I guess. I just know it gets frustrating and discouraging. I will post again with my Doctor says, keep us updated on what you find out.

You're in my thoughts.[/FONT][/COLOR] :wave:
Ok, I am still trying to keep my sunny disposition about this whole ESI procedure and results. I had my 2nd one on May 1. Like the first one, it hurt like heck and made me really stiff and sore for 4 days. I don't get that they tell you to resume all normal activities within 24 hours. My bucket was on the couch the next day too.

And then I actually started to feel better. I was SO excited. Granted the hand tingling and weakness was still present at times, but much less pain. I was thinking this is it - I've found my fix!!! I even had an all day trip on Sunday and came through just a little tired, but good. And then *wham*, yesterday afternoon, I really started hurting again. To the point where I was ready to cry from frustration. Today, the stiffness is back. I feel like I have a big knot in my back. :(

Both doctors agree no more ESIs for me. Their theory is that if two don't do it, the third probably won't either. However, the pain doctor wants to do trigger point injections.

Am I just not giving this enough time to work? I am so confused. On one hand, I've got people (doctors included) telling me to resume my full life functions while on the other people (PT's, etc.) tell me to stay chilled out and not do so much.
Hey Moonchaser,

Your story sounds just like mine at this point. I had my second injection May 3rd. and am starting to hurt again. I'm scheduled for a possible 3rd next week. I would think after a 2 level fusion and 2 injections I would be good to go. I guess not. It's kind of hard to keep a optimistic attitude when it seems nothing helps. Good luck!
Nicki
2 weeks ago today, I had a cervical epidural injection for cervical stenosis. I had a disk fusion 4 years ago, so I have a plate, some arthritis and scar tissue. The needle stick, I never felt, but with every push of the medication was like pure electric torture! The pain in my neck is starting to come back and i would take the injection again, but i will have to be KNOCKED OUT first! Has anyone ever experienced this before? I also have carpal tunnel disease in both hands, due to the stenosis, and am scheduled to have surgery on my right hand on the 30th.
Cynthia,
I am also now 2 weeks into my 2nd injection. I'm sorry it hurt you when the meds were introduced. I didn't experience that pain during the procedure. As I stated above, at first I thought it was going to be great for me and help me. Now, I'm beginning to think not so much. I will say I am managing my back pain a little better, but for me, my tingling/weakness/trembling in my hands and feet continues to worsen.

I'm feeling at the end of my rope with these. It's awesome that they work for some people. I think I'm just not part of the lucky majority. I am getting trigger point injections tomorrow, as well as have an appointment with my regular physical medicine doc. I think I've reached the point now where enough is enough. I'm going to ask her if that surgical consult offer with a neurologist is still on the table. It scares me, but I think it's time. I rode my horse last Saturday night and was very careful about lifting saddles, etc. I didn't do any warm ups or any of the conditioning hours I typically would do to prepare. I only rode in the classes (about 10 minutes each 5 times). It is now Wednesday and I'm still trying to get over it. My arms have been like rubber sticks ever since and I have intermittent back pain still. My PT has helped me get a home cervical traction unit, and I've rigged up my heating pad with an AC adapter so I can use it on the long drive to work. I've pretty much stopped traditional therapy at this point now that I have the toys myself to self-manage. I don't see the point in going and continuing to waste my approved visits with the insurance company.

I haven't thought about carpel tunnel as a contributing cause, but I am starting to worry again about other neurological disorders that maybe we've wrote off too soon. Good luck with your cpt surgery. I hope it goes well for you.
Hey Moonchaser,
I have had trigger point injections, before I had the disk fusion.(They helped some...) I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia then. Now, I think it was all in my neck to start with. I am weary of a 2nd injection. Maybe i can talk my doc into giving me one while I am asleep during the carpal tunnel surgery! What is your diagnosis?
Well, things changed for me at the last minute. I saw my physical med doc yesterday morning. She is very worried about how fast my symptoms are progressing and has a fear I might be doing stuff that could cause permanent nerve damage. She had my cancel my trigger point injection appointment at the last minute. Instead I am now going for an EMG next week with a neurologist, as well as a visit to a spine specialist PT to do a test of some sort with my lower back and maybe a second MRI. From there, I have my first consult with a neurosurgeon.

My diagnosis is protruding discs between C5-C7 with osteophytes, hyptertrophy of the facet joints and moderate to severe spinal stenosis.
Sorry to hear that moonchaser I hope things get better for you. I had my 3rd CEI yesterday and they gave me Valium and IV sedation. I don't remember anything which is great but I have so much stiffness in my neck and back this morning. I go back for a followup in a couple of weeks so I hope everything goes great. Nicki
Another quick question for everyone..... After taking off my bandaids today I realized that I was stuck twice in two locations. The first two times I was only stuck in one place. Has anyone else been stuck twice. I wonder if this is why the dr. suggested me to be sedated?

nicki
hi Nicki,

From what I could tell, I know I was stuck twice (once for the anesthetic, once for the epidural), but I only had one noticable injection mark on the back of my neck once I removed my bandaids. I had the same result both times I had the injection.

Kim
Hi all,

I had my 3rd cervical epidural. I was wondering....
has anyone else had these affects after one and is it normal??

*swelling at the site of injection
*tenderness at site of injection
*a blue bruise at site of injection

I'm hoping this isnt a sign of infection or 'dural tear"

I've heard its possible for a dural tear to be there and no symptoms (i.e. blinding headache until 2-3 days afterwards?

Can someone help me understand? I feel in the dark and very anxious about this......

Thanks!
Tina





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