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L5 Epidural?



  • I have also heard mixed reviews about the epidural. But I should also say I am awaiting my appointment to have it done. I am to the point, where I will try anything to have somewhat a normal life again. I will let you know how mine goes, hopefully it will be within the next few days. I am just awaiting the workmans comp approval. I wish you the very best and hope you find some relief. keep me updated on the epidural and your reaction to it.
  • Rick,
    We are all here to provided suggestions and proposals and not dissuade anyone from doing what is best for them when the time arrives, it would be wrong for me to use my failed fusion status as a measure of all those attempted and although these results were pertinent to me as an individual, I am encouraged to support others in acquiring some rest-bite.

    My own two epidurals helped mask the pain for about four months each time and were never intended to rectify my underlying condition, rather an incremental approach to the next step; we would not expect surgery to be used if a less invasive process proved useful. We have to keep what we read and hear in context and as Jim said most of us would do “anything” to get some improvement. With all the evidence your doctor will know what may be the next best step and although we all have doubts and distracting for the next impending procedure we need to equate the positives and negative aspects and alternatives.

    It is hard surmising what the outcome may be as we have no guarantee, we would all swap what we have for improvement and that is not always as definitive as we and others intimate at the beginning. We have to live with the results good and bad and that in itself is a difficult and demanding decision.

    What do you want to do, and what is the best route for you to achieve this ?

    We all had of have expectation of what result we would like or prefer and that is not to say that this will not happen, we have to be confident in the decision that we make and enter these challenging event knowing with all the knowledge and current evidence to hand we made a rational choice.

    Chronic pain is about making decision and many of them, with help and support we all try to make the chance of improvement more realistic.

    Take care

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  • That was my first one. It was no big deal doing it. Pretty simple in fact.

    But I felt pretty good the day of the injection so it didn't really do much to improve my pain. It didn relieve the painful sensation I have in the low back that escalates when I have that part of my body touching something like laying on the floor or the back of a chair.

    But now almost two weeks later I don't feel very good at all. Increased leg and foot pain and that sensation in the low back has returned as well.

    I really fail to see the benefit of doing it if that is all the relief someone is going to get. A week is not worth it.

    A nurse said something about this procedure being a three step kind of thing. The first injection brings short relief, the second a longer period and the third even longer.

    If we are talking a month's relief that is just not worth it IMO.

    Now if it was a year (which they can't guarantee) that would be worth it.
  • The injections bring relief to a good percentage of people- a higher percentage than surgery. But it's not 100%.

    I just had my 4th. A little early, so I don't get a full series, but I was pretty miserable and my doctor wanted to do something. It really did help quite a bit, but only for about a month.

    To me that was totally worth it because I was really miserable, and I felt really good for a month, and even now am better than I was.

    I am at the point where even small windows of relief are worth it. I do not expect miracles.

  • My boss went for these twice a year(all his dr. would allow)for many years, and still might now that he's retired. He said they usually worked for 4-6 months at a time for him, though I remember at least one that didn't work at all. He was always quite happy to go for them as they allowed him to relatlive ively painlessly for months at a time. He has siatica and a herniated disk.
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  • How are you doing? What did your MRI say?

    Please give us an update when you can.

  • Although these injections give short term relief in many cases, I would definetly take a week or month of pain relief over none at all.

    Each and every case will vary, along with the results they provide. I've had very many of these and got very little results, but results none the less. When you have constant, chronic pain, even a week seems like a life time when your pain level decreases.

    It's a chance you have to take. As long as you are well informed and feel that you have a good medical team, then you can make an informed decision. These injections are not designed to be a cure, but only another element of the whole conservative treatment plan.

    Best of luck to you! Whatever decision you make, do come back and let us know.
  • Hi everyone, The lower back mri showed L4, 5 & S1 bulge. I had the epidural Monday with no change I can see so far. The same doctor had done on my neck 2 years ago and when he did my exam this week he felt my left leg, foot and right foot toes (2) numbness is coming from a compression problem in my neck (the last thing I wanted to hear) and my hip pain may be something in my hip and not my back (great). So he did the epidural as a diagnostic to see what would be effected. They did a x-ray of my hip Monday, no word yet on it. I am expecting my PM doctor to start lineing up more mri and bone scan on my neck when I see him in Sept or sooner I hope.
    I have always heard of our on going spine problems after a 1st surgery but this I sure don't like this at all.
    My wife & have have started a 10 week chronic pain class at Kaiser, it offers some good options dealing with pain and a good support group also.
    Never give up.
  • I agree with you about the pain scale... As an EMT we are supposed to ask patients their level of pain on a scale of 0-10, however I used other signs such as elevated heart rate, hypertension, body positioning, crying, etc. to determine pain levels. I've have people tell me their pain is more than a ten and it was for a minor injury. Its all relative to the individuals experience with pain. For example, a women that has gone through child birth has an understanding of what pain feels like at a 10 so if I pick her up in an ambulance cause she fell and hit her head her pain might be just a 2-3, where others would say 7-8. I have a comparable story myself. I have kidney stones. I've heard many people say its comparable to child birth, but I have not experienced that...yet :) When I go to the doc for my back I'm in a lot of pain and barely able to stand however with the kidney stones I was on the floor in fetal position crying. It's all relative for each individual...
  • And this is so difficult, because we all deal with pain differently. I tend to internalize and I have a high pain tolerance, but that doesn't mean the pain isn't there. Just because I'm not yelling and squirming doesn't mean I'm not hurting.

    Showing my pain isn't my way. Not when I break my foot, not when my back hurts. I whimpered a little bit when I was in the emergency room for 2 hours strapped to a back board with 6 broken bones and no pain meds waiting for my CAT scan. I think the woman wailing in the next room sprained her ankle or something.

    I went a long time telling everyone my pain was a 4/5 because I had counted that experience as my 10. It took a long time for me to figure out I was really not using the pain scales correctly. Nobody ever explained them to me, even when I asked.
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