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What do you think about epidural steriod injections?

Just got my first one, and I know all our back problems are different. But I just wanted to see what you thought about the injection. I know it hurt. But did it help you? Opinions would be greatly appreciated


  • I had a round of 3 injections as a 'last resort' before they sent me for a surgical consult. The first one didn't hurt that bad, it was just uncomfortable and didn't do ANYTHING for my pain. The second one was horrible in my eyes, it hit right at the nerve (that's what the doctor said) which sent a strong pain billowing down my left leg-- that did a little for the pain, like 2 days of relief. Then, the third one just made my legs completely numb and I had to stay at the clinic for an extended time until I regained feeling in my legs. The pain, once again, was not relieved. The pain management doctor sent me to my doctor for a surgical consult at that time.

    With all of that said, the injections were a great step in potential relief for me- being 25 they didn't want to put me right in the OR even though they knew I would probably end up there Injections can provide relief for extended periods of time depending on the issues that you have. I just recommend following through the treatment plan that your doctor recommends and getting all of the injections.

    Keep us updated! :)
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • I have had several injections in my spine and in my SI joints. All of them worked for a few weeks and then I was back to hurting. My personal opinion the injections are a waste. I would rather go straight to surgery if I was getting injections for a compressed nerve.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
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  • BotzBotz Central FloridaPosts: 223
    Work well for some of us. I have had over 20 the past few years. There were some that helped for only a week or so and others that relieved my pain 100% for up to 6 months.I finally said enough and had decompression surgery in March. I was pain free for about 2 months. My pain has returned. Not sure what is next for me. I will be making an appointment with a new pm tomorrow. My surgeon would only prescribe pain meds for 3 months. My primary is currently covering my meds until I can get in to see a pm.
  • I'm up to 9 in the past 1.5 years. The best one gave me 5 days of relief, others did nothing or maybe 1 day at best. I have to take a break from them since I've had 4 or 5 this year already. My next scheduled one is a thoracic facet block. I would love to get 6 months out of one. I saw one lady at the surgery center when I was waiting, she gets one for her neck that lasts a long time.

    I had an exam by a local spine surgeon, he said I'm not a surgical candidate, but he may have been paid off by my car insurance. If the next injection fails, I'll go through my private insurance to get another opinion from someone else.

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • Hi
    I have a slipped disc L4/5 with nerve damage and pain down my left leg (siatica). This has been going on for two years now. I am finally getting an Epidural Injection on Friday. Can anyone tell me what its like? Does it hurt? Will it work? Im fed up of only been able to walk 25 yards. The specialist said if this doesn't work she would operate.

    Thanks in advance.

    S. Thompson
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  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,519
    You just dont want to keep having ESIs
    I've already had to have one cataract surgery because of all the steroid injections over the year. Now this year, because of flare ups, they are trying different steroid injections to isolate the problem. During my last visit with my eye specialist, she saw signs of cataracts in my other eye. 6 months ago, there was no sign.

    So, while ESI's can be beneficial, there is a down side to them also. Everything needs to be thought and weighed out.

    When one thing provides in relief, what don't always know the side effects in doing that.
  • BigRBBigR Posts: 48
    edited 09/06/2013 - 12:01 PM
    I know of several people who have had them and have done really well with them. I myself, not so much. I had 9 within 12 months and only had relief for about 2 weeks. But for those two weeks - I felt great......
    The last one I had..... I was awake and WOW did that thing hurt, especially when he went through the spurs.
    5 MRIs since 2010 | Severe DDD throughout entire Lumbar Region | Facet Arthrosis throughout | Spinal Canal Stenosis | Herniation L4/L5 | Broad - Based Bulging L1/L2, L2/3, L3/L4 - but still kicking - just not very high. :)
  • I had a cervical epidural steroid injection that didn't hurt, surprisingly. All other injections have hurt. I had it on Nov 11, 2011.

    BUT, 2 days later, my nervous system started to go crazy. 3 days later, I couldn't walk. I had tremendous pain in my legs and back. I had the continued pain in my arms and hands. My sciatica started then, now that I think about it. They told me that it was an unusual reaction. They sent me for a special scan (CT?) and couldn't find anything wrong.

    Luckily, my problems resolved when I had an ACDF 6 weeks later. But for those 6 weeks, I couldn't function normally. I had to work remotely. I had so much pain and couldn't walk. It was awful. I will never get another epidural. My body had a very bad reaction to it.
    Chronic pain since 2007. Have scoliosis. Had ACDF surgery for C5 Dec 2011. Sick of dealing with pain. I just turned 32 and struggle through but work full-time in IT.
  • I recently had my left hip replaced! this was supposed to be easier than the right one I had replaced several years ago. not so! this one brought pain to my left quad and knee! I had my knee replaced also in 2008. My original complaint was the quad pain! the orthopedic doctor thought the hip replacement would relieve the pain? nope! so I had a epidural steroid injection in the lumbar region. this was 4 days ago. I Never really had any pain from the hip surgery, but the quad and knee where so bad I could not stand at all without crutches. Now the pain is located in my knee and I still cannot operate with pain medication. The problem now seems worse rather than better. The doctors nurse says to give it least 14 days. I've been off work now for 2 months. need to get back to work to pay the bills, but my work won't let me come back without the doctor cutting me loose. can't walk right now anyway so I will suffer no matter what. My hip doctor sent me to this doctor and actually he was my knee doctor. He sent me to a nerve specialist and they made the choices.My only wish is that the original problem would have been addressed 2 months ago and since my hip was not hurting at the time they could have spent the last 2 months fixing the original problem which is still there.
  • ValleyVikingVValleyViking Posts: 1
    edited 09/26/2013 - 7:55 AM
    In 1988 I had a catatrophic industrial accident, crushing 4 lumbar verts (L1-L5) and did fairly well after the initial two surgeries for many years. In 2006 I just couldn't take the increase in pain any longer and followed my doc's advice for the ESI at two levels. This worked for awhile.

    After the second series in 2007, it was recommended by my new doc and repeated in 2008 and 2009.

    I just went through my 5th and 6th injection this past Aug 7 and Sep. 18, 2013. Results this last time were:

    an intense headache
    temp. numbness of the left leg
    increased lethargic feelings

    dilauro said it well..... "You just dont want to keep having ESIs"

    I suggest that anyone research fully before having this procedure...I think you will find, as many of us have, the risks just do not outweigh the benefits. Long term medication is no fun-ride either, but far less invasive and fewer side effects than ESI or compression surgeries.

    The above is strictly my own opinion and in no manner suggests your truth.

    Be Well, Be Honorable, Be

    Blessings of Peace, VV2
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