L5-S1 steriod injections w/o gen anaesthetic

An injection of ketecal into the L5-S1 epidural space left me me screaming obsenanatives to the doctor throughout the injection. The pain was the greatest I've ever experienced. I was left wondering why I experience this pain when I've had dozens of these injections in the past.

Past injects were Steroid with Lidocaine producing moderate discomfort. It usually took two hours after procedure for motor functions to return to my legs.

The recent inject did not result in any reduction of motor function. I was immediately able to get off the table and walk. Did this doctor omit a local anaesthetic? 

The patient that followed me also screamed bloody murder during his injection. The 3rd patient in queue was terrified. The doctor said I didn't experience pain with my former doctor because the anesthesic and steroid were injected into the spinal space surrounded by the thecal sac. The current doctor said this was a poor process.

Can anyone address the two procedures described, one painless and the other presenting horrific pain? What was likely to have caused such pain during the most recent injection?


  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 411
    edited 07/23/2019 - 12:08 PM
    Rick - Welcome to Veritas Health Forum,

    I have had over a dozen ESI to my cervical and lumbar regions.  I NEVER experienced severe pain during the procedure.
    With the level of pain I typically run/ran - the ESI's were like mosquito bites compared to a constant snake bite.

    What your dr was implying is the the other doctor didn't inject into the correct area of the structures.  The Thecal sac is the covering of the spinal cord.  It is made up of three layers the Dura-Arachnoid-pia.  An EPI (on top of) Dural steroid injection would not penetrate the Thecal layer.  He was maybe implying that the dural layer was breached.  

    A known rare outcome of multiple ESI's and contrast dyes is Arachnoiditis.  As a present from the medical community - I can now add that to my list ......

    Hope that helps a little,


  • Rick, I've had several different types of injections into my L5-S1 and none of them ever caused me severe pain except for one...but still not the kind of pain you're talking about.  The one time I had an issue my doctor had to go thru some scar tissue to get the injection into the right spot.  Sorry for your horrible experience.
  • advertisement
  • Rick, did you feel the Lidocaine injection first? I have had well over 12 injections over the years and there is discomfort finding the right location but not to the point as you describe.
  • Jules1JJules1 Oklahoma City, OklahomaPosts: 75
    I am headed for a Post Lumbar Microdiscectomy after PT, Meditation,Accupunture, etc.  says latest info. Is NOT to do twilight or anything. Is this the reason for horrific pain?
  • I had three injections, the first was fine, the second one was AWFUL, third one was fine. The second one I flipped out so bad they had to ice me down and my blood pressure was all over the place. Not sure what happened, they must have misjudged where my nerve was a set it on fire with the injection. It was the most pain I had ever felt. I thought I was going to be paralyzed or something. All three injections I had, I was able to waddle out of the room afterward and it felt like I had a softball in my back for a week. Those injections are so tricky, they have to be in just the right place.
  • advertisement
Sign In or Join Us to comment.