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Anyone Here Had An Epidural Injection?

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Old 06-12-2007, 11:48 PM   #1
lailavia
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Default Anyone Here Had An Epidural Injection?

I am set up for one at a Spine Center/Pain Managent Place the 22 June. I have severe pain in my right thigh, and was referred by rheumatologist. Sounds like you can only have one series a year, may or may not help, but may provide permanent relief? Doctor said (he is an anethesiologist) if it doesn't work they will try other things.

I'm kind of worried about side effects and wondering if anyone got relief and if not what is next? I have herniated disks he is thinking causing nerve root problems. He said my mri didn't even look that bad but this pain is awful.

I have fibro and have ultram and zanaflex, he didn't want to give me anything elst for now so as not to mask the pain before the shot.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:41 AM   #2
jakatak
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An epidural is almost painless....the affect of the procedure can take up to a week. The numbing agent masks any pain at first. It is a relatively quick procedure and results depend on what you are getting the injection for.
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:16 AM   #3
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I have RSD. I had a nerve block done on Wednesday, May 23rd. It lasted 2 1/2 days at a pain level of 2. IT WAS GREAT. I LOVED GOOFING OFF AND LAUGHING WITH MY SON AGAIN.

In my readings, the first one lasts for a short time, and the second should last longer. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT.

My pain management doctor doesn't want to do another block. Since I had a positive result he believes that a Nerve Stimulator would last longer than a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th nerve block.

You will be fine. The only thing I would suggest is that you have your muscle relaxers refilled. My muscles in my back acted up afterwards.

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Old 06-13-2007, 10:57 PM   #4
lailavia
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Default Thank you both...

for the replies...I'm new at the spine disorders forum. What is RSD? And did anyone lose control of bladder? Jakatak, how long did the total pain relief last? What next: if they can only do so many shots, do they usually do rx narcotics after that, this place wants to avoid surgery. Supposed to be state of the art.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:26 AM   #5
Bobbi
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RSD = Reflex Sympathy Dystrophy

One series per year? Is your doc alluding to one 3 shot sequence in a specific area of the body? the number frame that Medicaid (sp?) or Medicare covers?

I've had more than 3 ESIs per year - and for different areas. It sounds like your doc is citing the sum covered by Medicaid or Medicare per year.

Side effects? If you are female and are pre-menopausal, it can throw off your monthly cycle (and hormonal stuff). Too, among some, the steroids can also affect the adrenal glands. I felt feverish for a long while and was also mis-diagnosed for months on-end as prematurely post-menopausal - following lab results for FSH and Estradiol and lining levels after transvaginal U/Ss - done repeatedly. As an effect of that mis-dx, my docs also thought I had some type of cancer. Took several months and rounds of tests (totally unwarranted) for docs to finally realize it was steroids throwing everything out of sync.

Make sure all of your doctors do know about the steroids, if you are female. I'd hate to see someone else go through such a frightening roller coaster.

I'd ask you doc what the doc plans next if the injections may not work - since your doc did broach the topic with you without delving more deeply into what might be next. It is different for each person.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:28 AM   #6
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If you have lost control of your bladder, you need to be seen by an orthopedic back surgeon or a neurological surgeon as soon as possible. It may be Cauda Equina syndrome which has a very, very short window of opportunity to minimize permanent nerve damage, especially since you have or appear to have lost control of your bladder.
Call on today, first thing in the morning and tell them that you have lost control of your bladder. I bet you anything, they will get you in faster than you can say go......
I have CES and it is not something that you want to have to learn to live with, especially when all it would take to avoid it is making a phone call to a surgeon's office.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:44 AM   #7
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Sandi is right; if you've already experienced loss of bladder control, it's an emergent (emergency health) condition - nothing to mess around with.

If you have not and you are asking if, following ESIs, folks lose bladder control: Most generally do not, if the procedure is done right and not by some hack or loose-witted doctor. The doctor should be using a C-Arm or live-guided x-ray for precise needle placement. If the doctor isn't, wanna let me do an ESI on you blindfolded? It's akin.

Following ESIs, the worst could be a temporary increase in pain or symptoms. Those feelings, however, should dissipate with a bit of time.

It seems, to me, and maybe I am mistaken: you and your doctor need to have more of a discussion prior to consenting to an ESI or ESIs.

Until I felt at-ease prior to my first ESI, I cancelled. Much also depends on how one feels prior; it can also affect the outcome. I was not comfortable or at-ease prior to when my first one was scheduled. I re-scheduled until I had time for my questions to be resolved.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:58 PM   #8
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Yes and I'll never have another one but I do have friends who like them.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:22 PM   #9
lailavia
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Re: the bladder thing....It was listed as a possible side effect of the shot.(temporary thing)...the place is supposed to be real good, all the docs are anesthesiologists, so I do not feel too worried, just the normal anxiety! ok I seem to have alot to learn.....I may be mistaken about the number shot sequences you can get....I will have my questions ready. Thanks to all for the replies. How long does the pain relief generally last you guys? I heard somewhere that the first week the lidocaine completly numbs the pain before the steroid kicks in. And those steroid side effects sound yuck.

For those not liking it may I ask why?
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:44 PM   #10
moose53
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I've had epidurals -- both neck and lumbar. Some worked. Some didn't.

For me, they are NOT painless. I always get a vagal response and come real close to passing out. Especially the ones in my neck. They've now learned to give me a drug beforehand that lessens that.

I had one two years ago in the lumbar. Fluoroscope-guided. Lasted over a year. Absolute joy

I had one in my neck about two months ago. Weird. One week after, I had pain in my neck, shoulder, forearm -- but, not in my upper arm or my hand or fingers. Just like the pain was breaking up. After three weeks, it was pretty much no pain.

I just had one in my lumbar spine about a week ago. Supposed to be fluoroscope-guided. Wasn't But, the director of the pain management center did this one personally. I think they were short-staffed. I got really horrendous facial flushing from this one -- never happened before.

I almost always turn into STEROID-WITCH for about 6 weeks after (PURE RAGE). Hasn't happened yet on this one. Didn't happen as much last month either, come to think of it.

I go to one of the best teaching hospitals in Boston. They'll do three shots per year -- sometimes four. They're like gold -- I only get them when I absolutely cannot stand the pain anymore. Having the neck and the lumbar fratzed at the same was kicking me to the curb.

You have to be real careful of steroids. You can lose your hips if you get too many injections.

I prefer the fluoroscope-guided ones because I have such weird architecture in my lumbar. They will NOT do the ones in the neck that way here. I think they're usually willing to do them that way in the lumbar because they get more money -- I truly believe that the reason I didn't get it this time was because of short-staffing.

I would NEVER in a million years say that they're painless -- very painful -- for me anyway Then you throw in the vagal response, always gotta be someone there making sure they don't have to scrape me off the floor

When they work, they're a G-d-send. When they don't work, it's like finding out that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy don't exist -- heartbreaking.

Barb
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