Transforaminal epidural - Update

Hi all

I have found this site and the people on it amazing and reading personal stories has been really useful and interesting - i have learnt you are all incredibly resilient, even when you think you are not.
So - with that in mind i thought i would post an update on my transforaminal injection.

So, it's been 1 week 4 days since i had it. 

From being bed-ridden and unable to stand and/or sit without crying out in pain and being only really able to sleep on my right side with some pain i am happy to report there has been mild improvements.

Some days there was no improvement and then without any reason the next day there would be some.

I am off the diazepam and am taking diclofenac and omeprazole. I stopped taking panadol because it was giving me back-to-back migraines.

I am still using ice and heat.

I can now stand for around 5-10mins before the pins and needles and the pain in my calf and buttocks intensify but i can stay upright for longer if i lean on a bench or wall. I think the space between my big toe and second toe is going numb the longer i stand but i can't bend down to check that. I have also started experiencing a burning sensation in my hip if i stand for too long which sucks. 

I can also get up and downstairs on my own. And i can wash my hair again - super excited about that. 

I can also lie on my back quite comfortably now and i can lie on my left side too - but not for too long before i start getting pins and needles.

I also feel as though overall i am moving better.

I cannot sit or bend or lift and i am frightened to testing myself too much in case of further damage. 

I am not going to lie and say i am not disappointed that i am not pain free but i can think now that the pain has reduced and i feel, at the moment, that these small wins are enough to keep me going - my aim was to be able to make myself a cup of tea and i can.

I hope i continue to make improvements but we shall see - honestly for me i suspect PM is where i will end up. 

I have an appointment with my Ortho Surgeon in 2 weeks so we'll see what he says.

Take care all.


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,024
    Betty16, Happy Valentine's Day!! Thank you from all of us on the nice compliment. We Spineys are a special group. 
    I've always said this forum is an encyclopedia of information, advice (personal), knowledge, experiences, support and understanding. There is so much to gain just from reading other people's stories. 
    And now, people will read yours and maybe wonder if that would help them. So thank you for such a positive post.
    I'm really glad this has made you feel so much better. Your goal wasn't attainable but you went over it. And that's great.
    Keep us posted on how you are doing. And, what the doctor says in two weeks.
  •  :) Will do.
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  • Ok. So it's been just over two weeks since i had the injection and i am experiencing less pins and needles and pain when standing. Even the pain in my calf and buttock has improved! Super pleased.
    Sitting down triggers pins and needles immediately but i am pleased about it being significantly reduced when standing. I am moving about more and i have bought a back brace to remind me not to bend, lift and twist - i am worried about re-injury. I have started doing minor core exercises and i continue to use ice and heat and the diclofenac and omeprazole. I also rest lying down during the day - it  has surprised me how physically tiring it is to stand for hours without sitting, never really thought about it before  :) 

    Ironically i am now experiencing slight lower back pain when standing - the first time i have had back pain since the sciatica started 4 weeks ago. Anyone else had this?

    So, i think i can safely say the injection is working. It took a while and i assume there will be a time when improvement stops and we think of something else or it makes me 100% better? Or it works for a while as pain management and then stops working? Is my understanding of this correct?

    I have an appointment with my Ortho Surgeon in a week so we'll see how i am then and what he thinks.
  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,024
    Great news!! Thanks posting all this good information.
    The back brace was a great idea. I've mentioned on here before that I wore a waist cincher, it helped me sit and stand straight. Although I can't anymore because of the pain pump wish I could. 
    But I'm sorry you are now having lower back pain, definitely talk to your doctor about that.
    Since this injection worked he might want to do another one when this one wears off. But there could be other options he would want to try. Just ask a lot of questions about any procedures.
    Keep posting, especially after your doctor visit next week.

  • Hey there.
    I wasn't sure if the back brace was a good idea or not because i've been told your muscles can get lazy - which is why i am doing some very little effort core exercises. The thing is though i have children and prior to my sciatica i was forever lifting them up and picking thing off the floor that they'd made a mess with - probably all contributed to my back problems - and i need a physical reminder not to do these things.
    What's a waist cincher? 
    Does sciatic pain usually come back when the steroids wear off? 
    Will def ask about back ache - though i am hoping it's just adjusting itself to being upright after being mainly not used and in the lying position for almost 4 weeks...
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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,024
    edited 07/31/2019 - 8:24 AM
    A waist cincher is basically a girdle. Mine went from below my hips to under my boobs.
    It has hook and eye closures all the way up. I paid about $45.00, on Amazon. They also call them corsets now as girls are wearing them for tops. Not me!!
    But it felt amazing, was the first thing I put on every morning and the last thing to come off.
    If the steroids helped calm the nerves down maybe it won't come back but there is no guarantee.
    My sciatica comes and goes. But when it comes it's with a vengeance. Feels like I've been zapped then drained of all energy.

  • I don't think i'd be wearing a corsets as a top either! I love my back brace though - it has caught me out so many times, it is truly amazing how many times you go to bend etc without thinking. I am not wearing it all day though i would love to!

    Forgive me ignorance. Even with your pain pump your sciatica comes back? Is it daily on and off? 

    Ok. So i had my 3 week check up with my Ortho Surgeon and was slightly encouraged when he said i may never see you again. 

    I saw the MRI of my extrusion - it's massive, no wonder it bloody hurt!
    He was really pleased about the improvement since my injection, he said i have bounced back well - which was good to hear. I experience a little pins & needles now when standing but then it goes away, it's the same when i sit down - so certain positions must irritate it. I have minor lower ache which is more annoying than anything. The pain in my hip, calf and buttock is no longer constant. And i have come off all my medication. I wanted to see how much pain i was in without it before i saw him.

    He also agreed i was most likely misdiagnosed in Oct 2014 and the subsequent treatment i have had for the past 2 years hasn't really helped. (If only i knew - but it's done and i need to look forward now).

    Anyway, he said it's all about treating symptoms now that the acute pain has been controlled and if i want surgery he is happy to do it but he doesn't think i need it, at this stage. If i want to try another injection i can, but to try and space it out. Or if i want to try physio with someone specialising in backs for 4-6 weeks i can. Then i'll either have improved or if i haven't i need to decide if i can live like this without intervention or if i want to try another injection or surgery. (However, if i have 2-3 episodes of this a year he will recommended surgery)
    So many options - is this normal?
    Anyway, i have decided to trust that the steroids have worked and the inflammation has settled, so i am going to try the physio option and use a back brace and try to follow every bit of advice not to make it worse!

    So wish me luck!

    PS: Anyone else feels like they didn't ask enough questions right after they leave the Drs office?

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,024
    Betty, I take my notebook to every appointment and still forget to ask some questions lol!!
    My pain pump does not help with sciatica. The morphine stays in the interthecal canal in your spine and does not flow any where else. Therefore, my back won't hurt but if I hurt my knee I'm going to feel it.
    Sounds like you have a great doctor, he's giving you options and working with you.
    Please let us know how you are doing as there are many others looking at injections.
  • Brilliant! Not just me then  :D
    Ahh...thanks for explaining that. It makes sense now.
    Will do. Bit nervous about going back to physio as am worried about anything upsetting my back - if that makes sense?
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