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Lumbar Epidural Injections And General Back Pain


Guest bigtimeoxyhunter
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Guest bigtimeoxyhunter

This is a thread about lower back pain, epidural steroid injections, and their effects.

 

This topic has been discussed in some detail under another unrelated heading, but I wanted to create a new thread for it here in case anyone would like to add to it.

 

I've reached the end the road now for treatments. With four discs leaking in my back, I've just finished the second of 2 scheduled epidural spinal steroid injections. Unfortunately the injections have done nothing at all. I've gone through all the obvious, less invasive years of treatments one goes through until they reach this point. Now I'm faced with surgery.

 

It's a very difficult decision to make. At my age most ppl don't get this surgery. It's a 6 month recovery period. The neurosurgeon is excellent, and optimistic, but so was the pain doc who did the failed injections. 

 

Has anyone had risky surgeries like this before that were not life threatening? If you have the chance of not living in pain for the rest of your life would you take the chance of paralysis? Or do you play it safe and live with the pain?

 

Would be interested to hear how others deal with their pain, and the psychological toll it takes.

 

 

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Guest bigtimeoxyhunter

Nice advice. I'm no where near 70 and I could never play golf. Only in the last few days have I been looking at the positives, or rather, finding out that they do exist. Stories like your dad's are good to hear amidst all the horror stories. 

 

Do you have back problems too or is the myleogram for something else? Maybe too personal a question. Good luck with it anyways.

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Damn, a free fall. I'm guessing gettin hurt on the job and then finding out that the systems in place to support you is balls hasn't help the morale. If it's been three months then their probably making you jumps through all kinds a hoops? That takes it's toll too. It took so long before they would even give me the epidurals. I had do all the basic treatments first, which in all in all took years. Now the absolute only option left is surgery. 

 

Man, I hear ya on the housebound craziness. For a very active, motivated person inlined to melancholy moods I've found it so hard too. Going from exercising all the time to barely walking. I went back to work after after having June and July off w/o pay 2. It's a office job. Not exactly hard on the body like construction or military service, but still, by the end of the day I'm effed up.

 

Although I never took my health for granted, I didn't appreciate the havoc of back pain either. I may have even turned up my nose thinking, how bad can it really be.

 

I appreciate the encouragement re:the surgery. I have a similar attitude. It's a chance right? 

I have appointment with surgeon in a few weeks. Will update after that. Wouldn't mind hearing how you make out either.

 

Take care bro,

Ox

 

 

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I have 2 bulged discs L4 L5 s1 with heavy facet liquid efs. I get those dam leg shooters constantly! I've had my share of steroid and nerve treatments. I. Also have thoracic and neck issues but that I guess is another thread. Anyway, I found the steroid injections to be slightly helpful. It adds a little strength to the low back area but as far as them shooters go it won't stop that for Sh*t! I'm trying my best to avoid serious surgery and trying all that's available for my seperate conditiions. Next on deck in the near furutre is burning the tips off on the nerves to help with pain signal. Its gonna be a farely long road ahead but a must. Don't know what I'd do without my meds! That's for sure!

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Damn facets are the worst.

 

My injections didn't work worth a damn. Next up for me too is the rhizomy, shocking the nerves until they're gone. Then they grow back and your supposed to get some relief in the mean time.

 

Too bad my insurance doesn't cover any of it.

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Yes, that's what's going on here too. They burn the tips of the nerves off with electricity. I already have nerve damage at my T6 area where, I don't know if you've heard of this but a smorls node has pinched my disk near the end plate so I get painful pulses in my lower neck and inner shoulder. Sucks. I hate that just as bad as the lumbar.

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I never heard that exact diagnosis ..yet. Have you had the nerve burn though? If you did please write a review of it's effectiveness.

 

I'm trying to finance a new insurance policy that will cover this procedure and get it done by an anaesthesiologist rather than a pain/orthopaedics person. And the anaesthsia doctor is cute.

 

Anyway, since the steroid epis didn't work I thinking about trying this. I've been given a red light on surgery. They say I'm too young so the nerve burn is my last chance I think.

 

First though, she wants to go in and do 6 injections for diagnostic purposes. Know anything about this? I know the procedure in theory so I really looking of personal experience  or if you know someone that has gone through the whole process that culminated in the nerve burn.

 

Ox

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Hi BTOH, PM too

(BTOH - Always think of 'Bring Your Own Bottle' -- Sorry!)

First, as far as Sx, a Doctor I thought was wise & caring told me only consider Sx if facing a sure future in a wheelchair and/or loss of control of bodily functions.

This was 6 years ago and sadly I only saw him 1x. Reading up I found out he was a CP Advocate. Rare for a Dr. In the recent USA climate...

Remember that was just 1 doc's opinion.

======

JMO, but for your situation, your relative youth works is a 2 edged sword.

You'll heal more quickly, are likely to handle follow-up PT better. You are less likely to encounter medical complicatons than an older surgical candidate.

Of course physical issues could arise regardless of age.

You might get decades of relief or 12 more surgerys. Keep in mind this is simply a cynic's take on a forum.

If your surgery is less than successful, future surgeons you consult either will have a penchant for claiming earlier surgeon(s) somehow "bothed it" & wanna try again.

======

Now I'm a layperson, so someone smarter or more experinced please STOP me when I make an incorrect statement

I'm going by my own experience.

Based on my experience as a patient & Wiki:

Personally I've had easily 15-20 "pain" injections over roughly 5 years. Turns out my problem has pretty much Dx'ed as Neuro but since the PM guys can always find some disk issues & arthritis in any middle age guy if they look hard enough.

=====

Now just based on my very limited understanding but:

Nerve blocks,

RFA = RF Ablation = Rhizotomy

But I'm sure there are subtleties I don't understand

"Nerve burn" seems to be a layman term for the RFA

====

Educate yourself before understanding what their treatment plan is & ask a million questions. I didn't & it appears that was a mistake -- but that's another thread.

====

"Test injectiosn"? - Yes according to my PM doc, he does some injections to see how I react. Don't croak on the table I guess they fear if I get a higher dose right out of the gate.

Please do not take anything I say as medical advice

Just relating opinions & a bit of what I've 1/2 picked up over the years.

Best of luck!

1/2

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Guest bigtimeoxyhunter

Thanks for the thoughtful composition Half.

 

I have much to converse with you about here. I cannot do the subject justice at the current moment, time constraints of the evening, but I will write a response soon. I'd like to know your exact experiences.

 

I will PM as well soon. 

 

Ox

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Guest bigtimeoxyhunter

I never replied properly HalfLife.

 

I've asked a million questions, bought the proper insurance, and go in for injections Tues. The tests are epidurals into the facet joints, another part around the disc. One of millions things that can get fucked up back there.

 

The nerve burn is rhizomy. The idea is that if  the epidurals work for 24-48 hours then the doc has hit the right stop. Then I get the nerve burn. This last 3-9 months. Then I go back again get it again, and again. It's the razor/razor blades  type situation for the doctor. I have to keep coming back.

If it works I'll pay 1 million$.

 

I heard a few months after the rhizomy the nerves come back with a vengeance. Like shaving your chest. It comes back thicker and stronger.

 

Anyway, here I go again. Round 3! Ding Ding motherfucking Ding

 

 

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Guest bigtimeoxyhunter

Although I'm conversing mainly with myself here, I realize I'm doing it, so somehow that makes it seem less wacko.

 

I thought I'd update as this may be of interest to anyone that has lower back pain that is on severe side, and is not a candidate for surgery. I had 6 injections into the very outer edges of the facet joints of L4 and L5 a few weeks ago. Facets are the joints between the outer part of the spine bones that guide the spine's motion. These shots were a trial run and a test. 

 

The test was semi successful. Now I go back and get a treatment that I though was rhimozony but is in fact called Radio frequency. Using a hot needle the docs burns away the nerve fibers and this should reduce the pain. I sit at around a 6/10 on good days, but 8.5 is probably my day-to-day average. Even minimal relief at this point would be a miracle.

 

Apparently the procedure is painful, but truthfully I don't see how it could be any worse than it is now, so I take some Val, go get my nerves burned away, and pray to the gods of radio frequency. 

 

Conveniently the nerves grow back so you have to keep going back to the doc and paying for the procedure every 3-9 months. It's like the razor and the blades scam, or the purell dispensers that needs constant replenishment. A business model that demands repeat transactions. At this point I'd pay a million bucks to be pain free so if it works, I say, go ahead, take my money.

 

On an enraging note, this is as close to surgery as you can get. I've seen this doc four times and plan on seeing her in the future. Even then, I cannot get a script for anything. Tram is the highest she'll go. End of story. 

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Although I'm conversing mainly with myself here, I realize I'm doing it, so somehow that makes it seem less wacko.

I thought I'd update as this may be of interest to anyone that has lower back pain that is on severe side, and is not a candidate for surgery. I had 6 injections into the very outer edges of the facet joints of L4 and L5 a few weeks ago. Facets are the joints between the outer part of the spine bones that guide the spine's motion. These shots were a trial run and a test.

The test was semi successful. Now I go back and get a treatment that I though was rhimozony but is in fact called Radio frequency. Using a hot needle the docs burns away the nerve fibers and this should reduce the pain. I sit at around a 6/10 on good days, but 8.5 is probably my day-to-day average. Even minimal relief at this point would be a miracle.

Apparently the procedure is painful, but truthfully I don't see how it could be any worse than it is now, so I take some Val, go get my nerves burned away, and pray to the gods of radio frequency.

Conveniently the nerves grow back so you have to keep going back to the doc and paying for the procedure every 3-9 months. It's like the razor and the blades scam, or the purell dispensers that needs constant replenishment. A business model that demands repeat transactions. At this point I'd pay a million bucks to be pain free so if it works, I say, go ahead, take my money.

On an enraging note, this is as close to surgery as you can get. I've seen this doc four times and plan on seeing her in the future. Even then, I cannot get a script for anything. Tram is the highest she'll go. End of story.

BTOH,

I'm reading and have been, I would bet others are as well. I do find it to be helpful and useful info. I'm guilty of reading many great posts and updates but never commenting.

I thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences; whether good or f-ed up, as it seems one of your vendor experiences are at present. This treatment sounds like it's the closest thing you can currently get access to that sounds like it brings some minimal relief.

Take Care,

B

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Hey thanks for that. I was hoping that perhaps there may be people reading and not commenting. What is there to comment on really? I don't really incite discussion as much as just tell me story here. I figure I might as well keep this thread going because I assume alot of us have back pain and some people may not be aware that there are weird procedures like this out there. Being declined for surgery is very disheartening. It makes it seem like you will have to live in pain for the rest of your life. This is emotionally scaring. 

 

Maybe after this treatment I will go back and survey all the treatments I've gone through so someone who may have just starred having back pain knows where to start. For now Beranda I thank you for your good vibes.

 

Ox

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Hey thanks for that. I was hoping that perhaps there may be people reading and not commenting. What is there to comment on really? I don't really incite discussion as much as just tell me story here. I figure I might as well keep this thread going because I assume alot of us have back pain and some people may not be aware that there are weird procedures like this out there. Being declined for surgery is very disheartening. It makes it seem like you will have to live in pain for the rest of your life. This is emotionally scaring.

Maybe after this treatment I will go back and survey all the treatments I've gone through so someone who may have just starred having back pain knows where to start. For now Beranda I thank you for your good vibes.

Ox

100% with your thinking here. YES so many of us are in pain, many of us have been refused surgery or refuse to have surgery... In either case it seems a life sentence in the absence of an option C,D or E.

Keep the thread and the info coming, I've gotta think a good majority of readers are under served by their current doctors and may not even know alternatives exist.

You're doing a good thing!

Take care,

Beranda

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Just updating. I'm having the (radio frequency ablation) is the correct term) on dec 26. I'm hoping this will help some with the lower facet and disc problems. I'm sure they will keep my meds going to as I will still have the thoracic and neck issues. Just had my date set on last pm visit. Its a new doc at the office doing the procedure and I'm sure he's not quite up to speed with my whole situation. I really don't like having new docs cause they really have no idea.

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