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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


I went to the NS who did my surgery last year and I am in a mess. First off, the nurse missed my name on the sign-in sheet, so I sat for longer than necessary in the lobby. Then I get a nurse I hadn't seen before, who didn't know a thing about my history and wasn't very good at listening to what I was trying to tell her.

Then in comes the NS, and when I tell him I still feel lousy and my arm is getting more symptomatic, he pulls my head upwards and asks if that helps. Needless to say, I was rather tense when he did this, since he always told me not to let the PT do any manual traction! Now my neck feels sore, probably because my muscles were totally tensed when he did it.

Anyway, I told him I was signed up to do epidurals starting next week. He asked if I meant facet blocks, but all I've heard used is the term epidural. So I asked the difference and he said facet blocks are shots into a useless nerve that only serves to register pain, basically killing off the pain message. Epidurals have some side effects, he says. Like what, I ask. "You can quit breathing", he says.

SO...is he being an idiot just because I went to a PM doc? It seems that there are folks on this list who have had epis and lived to tell about it just fine.

My questions are: does anyone have a handle on what the difference is between the two procedures (if any)? Also, for those who have had epidurals, what side effects were you warned about?

The NS did order another EMG of my right arm and cervical spine, which I was expecting anyway. No mention of a follow up visit. I"m not sure I *want* a follow up with him at this point!

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Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
Hi, I have had both. Two epidurals, one was in my SI joint for a fall on my bottom, 04/00 and the other one was for my neck and arm pain, 02/19/03. The Facet Block was also for the neck and arm pain, 03/06/02.

The web site is a very good reference and will explain the procedures and the differences. I looked at this site too.

Be sure to hydrate yourself really well. You will have an IV started for IV sedation if you choose. I did for both procedures.(possibly Versed) and IV fluids for either procedure. You'll want good veins. On 02/19, I was a bit dehydrated and it took THREE STICKS to find a vein. Must have been the IV God exacting revenge for all my missed sticks (smile) The only discomfort that I had was that I was nauseated and sick for the rest of the day. I made sure I was really hydrated for the Facet Block. I had lovely, plump veins that time and did not get sick.

The same medication was used for both procedures, DepoMedrol. The only difference was location. I'm thinking that I got sick because I was dehydrated. Other than that, I didn't have any problems.

Take care, J.



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C3-C6 straightening of normal cervical curvature.
C2-T1 mild central spondylosis without significant stenosis.
C3-C4 broad-based spondylosis and bulging with mild to moderate flattening of the anterior epidural space.
C4-C5 broad-based spondylosis and bulging eccentric to the left with mild to moderate compression upon the anterior epidural space.
C5-C6 spondylosis with a broad-based protrusion with moderate compression of the anterior epidural space.
C6-C7 mild central spondylosis and a small midline protrusion with minimal flattening of the anterior epidural space.





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