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Cortisone Injections?

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  • Cortisone Injections?

    I'm scheduled to have cortisone injections Monday for compressed discs and chronic lower back pain/leg numbness.

    Has anyone had these? What can I expect? Thanks!
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

  • #2
    Hi
    I had finally give in and let my Dr. give me the injections........OMG.......life changing! It worked for me. I was pain free... .well considering how bad I hurt for yrs. It was not something I wanted but I was in so much pain ( long time pain). My Dr. said we needed to try and ease it up. It worked for me but different people have different results. Good Luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      I have had more injections than I can count. I am assuming you are getting facet blocks. If so, they are not pleasant but not horrible. Epidural is a piece of cake.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home

      Comment


      • #4
        Just had my second round of cortisone for my knee. What relief. We are looking at the drug Synvisc for the next round if HMO will approve the price and I can meet the deductible. Good luck. Is it a kind of Pain Care facility or a Dr. office?

        Comment


        • #5
          Results seem to depend on the skill of the practitioner, especially with the "deeper" joints. I hope you can have it done at a site which specializes in pain management procedures. I had my hip injected in January, and had an excellent outcome. Because they need to use fluoroscopy to visualize the joint space, it was done in a procedure room, and I got a nice Versed/Fentanyl cocktail, since it requires make several punctures, which was uncomfortable, but it was worth it!

          I've had my knees injected twice, but that's just an office procedure; in fact the physician assistant did it the first time; didn't even hurt--again, have it done by people who know what they're doing. Haven't had as good a result with that--the PA told me it's different for everyone.

          Good luck!
          ===============
          It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
            I have had more injections than I can count. I am assuming you are getting facet blocks. If so, they are not pleasant but not horrible. Epidural is a piece of cake.
            I'm not sure what facet blocks are, so I don't know if i'm getting them or not. They didn't mention them specifically. He described it as "a series of injections."

            Originally posted by windlake View Post
            Just had my second round of cortisone for my knee. What relief. We are looking at the drug Synvisc for the next round if HMO will approve the price and I can meet the deductible. Good luck. Is it a kind of Pain Care facility or a Dr. office?
            It is a pain care facility specializing in chronic pain and rehabilitation, through my Kaiser coverage.

            I'm pretty nervous about the actual procedure, do they normally give you something to make you fairly out of it? They told me I need to have a responsible adult drive me, so I'm assuming so. Also, I have it first thing in the morning on monday and am supposed to come into work after and work for the remainder of the day, do you think this will be ok? Is it like a full on hospital gown experience or will the let me leave some sweats on? I'm kind of a worrier about these types of things and I feel a little better if I have a clear idea of exactly what will happen. Thanks!
            It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by two sticks View Post
              I'm not sure what facet blocks are, so I don't know if i'm getting them or not. They didn't mention them specifically. He described it as "a series of injections."



              It is a pain care facility specializing in chronic pain and rehabilitation, through my Kaiser coverage.

              I'm pretty nervous about the actual procedure, do they normally give you something to make you fairly out of it? They told me I need to have a responsible adult drive me, so I'm assuming so. Also, I have it first thing in the morning on monday and am supposed to come into work after and work for the remainder of the day, do you think this will be ok? Is it like a full on hospital gown experience or will the let me leave some sweats on? I'm kind of a worrier about these types of things and I feel a little better if I have a clear idea of exactly what will happen. Thanks!
              Like Laurierace, I have had a number of these injections (S/I, Lumbar facets), as well as Radio Frequency, where they burn away the nerves in those same areas. THAT was a bit (ahem) "uncomfortable", but we horsewomen are tough

              They do not sedate you, but they do give you Lidocaine injections so as to numb the area (mildly painful needle pricks, but bearable), while you are lying on the table, facedown. The actual injections will be a little ouchy, but just practice your mindful Yoga belly breathing, they are over with quickly Sometimes the aftereffects of the Lido make you a little "WHEE!" spacey-headed (for half an hour or so)--though I have always driven myself home. (After the Radio Frequency, I tried to get home QUICKLY before the Lido wore off; the aftereffects are painful, and I wanted to get on an icepack, pronto!)

              Wear sweats and a loose shirt, they just pull your shirt up and your pants down, put bandaids on afterwards, and you're good to go. You might want to take some Advil beforehand in case you want to "nip the discomfort in the bud", and you can use a soft ice pack afterward--just not next to the skin. No shower the day of, and no immersion of the area in a bath for a couple of days following the injections.

              If you feel like you may get a little stressed, what about taking a Xanax? I think the anticipation is the worst thing; you will SO appreciate the pain relief after the fact!

              I have worked, ridden, walked x-county courses, taught, etc. after the injections...Probably NOT the best idea :redface:, but I needed to do those things and didn't have time to postpone them. You aren't required to take it extra easy, but don't go hog wild! You'lle be fine
              "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

              "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

              Comment


              • #8
                I just had an epidural yesterday. My 4th one this go round.

                About 7 or 8 years ago I did have herniated discs at L2/L3 and L3/L4 sitting on my peripheral nerves. The series went: (1) therapeutic epidural (2) at 6 week intervals facet joint injections to diagnose the particular nerves then (3) a nerve root block where they inject that particular nerve root and finally (4) radiofrequency lesioning to stop the nerve from transmitting pain signals.

                Each procedure gave longer lasting results, and the RFL left me pain free for almost 18 months.

                Now I have stenosis (arthritis) in the same locations though and all they can do is the epidurals, apparently.

                None of these procedures is any worse than dental surgery. In fact, it is a lot easier than some dental surgeries! I have never had any anesthesia. They don't want you to drive home (because of their liability, mostly) it is rare but if you move or something while they are doing it you could end up with some temporary impairment in your ability to move. So you wouldn't want to drive home if your hand or foot wasn't working properly. I remember coming out once and the woman ahead of my had been giggling when they injected her neck and they did something to her nerve and she couldn't feel one of her hands... so it does happen, but I think it is pretty rare.

                Anyway, ice pack on the way home. Chill out for the rest of the day, then back to your normal routine the next day.
                "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sounds like facet blocks. Those aren't fun but aren't as bad as SI injections. The only time they have ever given me any sedative is when they did they cauterized the nerves.
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post

                    Wear sweats and a loose shirt, they just pull your shirt up and your pants down, put bandaids on afterwards, and you're good to go. You might want to take some Advil beforehand in case you want to "nip the discomfort in the bud", and you can use a soft ice pack afterward--just not next to the skin. No shower the day of, and no immersion of the area in a bath for a couple of days following the injections.

                    If you feel like you may get a little stressed, what about taking a Xanax? I think the anticipation is the worst thing; you will SO appreciate the pain relief after the fact!
                    Thanks! This was very helpful. They did say no advil/ibprofen/tylenol of any sort for 7 days before the injections, but I'll bring some for after.

                    I do have xanax and was wondering about taking some - so I think I probably will.

                    I do have to return to work immediately after, so I guess I will wear sweats and then change into work clothes. Or maybe I'll just go to work in sweats with my ice pack and they can deal with it for one day .

                    My health coverage unfortunately ends April 1 with a lay off (company acquired by another company and dismantled) so I'm hoping this will help until I can get a new job with health coverage and continue looking into treatments.
                    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you haven't already, tell your Dr that. It often needs to be repeated once or twice and to get the full effect. My Dr always tells me to call to schedule again in two weeks unless I don't have any pain.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                        If you haven't already, tell your Dr that. It often needs to be repeated once or twice and to get the full effect. My Dr always tells me to call to schedule again in two weeks unless I don't have any pain.
                        I have already explained the situation, he scheduled a follow up phone call for 2.5 weeks. He did say for some people they help and some they don't, but he did not say anything about the option of repeating the procedure. He suggested if they do not offer any relief, the next thing to try would be acupuncture.

                        I've been dealing with this since an injury in Sept 2006 resulting in compression of the disc at L5. I've been through a variety of Dr's (and insurances) and so far everyone just says "Physical Therapy" which I've done for 2 years and hasn't really given me the relief I'd like.

                        He says there is finally some healing in the discs but now arthritis and arthritic changes in the surrounding vertebrae. I get a lot of nerve pain and numbness/tingling down my legs and into my feet. He thinks some of it is physical but that more of it is "chronic/learned" pain.

                        The nerve cauterization, was that in your back? Can you tell me more about that? (PM is fine too). Thanks again!
                        It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have had some things that didn't help at all, we did not repeat them. I had some things last two weeks, they did repeat that but didn't a third time when it only lasted two weeks again. I had one thing work miracles but only lasted 6 days. They did not repeat that but did cauterize the nerves instead which didn't work at all. The latest was an epidural. It has been almost 3 weeks of 100% pain relief so by far the most effective procedure they have tried. I have my fingers majorly crossed that we have finally found an answer.

                          The nerve cauterization is what a few people mentioned above with radio frequency. It is called rhyzotomy but I have no idea how to spell it so I just say nerve cauterization! It did not work in my case which really surprised my Dr.

                          Best of luck to you. My husband is getting facet blocks on Monday following being hit by a car on his bike.
                          McDowell Racing Stables

                          Home Away From Home

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I read this book years ago and it was very helpful in understanding the anatomy and the various options that doctors use for treatment.

                            http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Back-P...e+to+back+pain

                            I have given it as a gift to friends who have also suffered from spinal conditions and they were all enlightened by it.
                            Good luck.
                            "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm kind of late with my response, but I'll post anyway.

                              I'm the queen of steroid injections, lol.

                              I've had around 6 lumbar transforaminal injections, 1 SI joint injection, 5 hip joint injections, and 3 injections into muscles in my upper leg, and 1 injection around a tendon in my upper leg. All within 2 1/2 years.

                              I found they are all feel differently while they are being done, even if the same doctor is doing them. I've had IV sedation with most of the lumbar transforaminal injections and 2 without sedation--I would always opt for the sedation--one time without and it wasn't painful at all beyond the pinch and a brief pain going down my leg; the 2nd one without was horrible beyond words and I will never have it done again without sedation. The nerve root can get irritated and I had wicked pain going down my leg during the procedure. They were done by the same doctor both times and he does a million of these a year and I believe he did a good job and was competent.

                              The hip injections varied too--I found that as the joint space decreased, the injections were more painful. No sedation for these.

                              The injections into the leg muscles hurt a lot because he covered a large area (big muscle) and would kind of half withdraw the needle and the aim at another section of the already angry, inflammed muscle. The injection around the tendon wasn't too bad. The same doctor did the hip and the muscle/tendon injections but every one was different. And, this guy is good ... very good. No sedation.

                              The SI joint injection felt like nothing more than a pinch--it was the easiest one I've had. No sedation.

                              Results from the injections varied a lot too, and I've come to the conclusion that there is no way to predict how it will turn out ... you just have to try it if it's something you and your doctor agree might help and you are willing to have them done.

                              I didn't have any problems or bad side effects from any of mine.

                              About the hip injections, I eventually needed to have my hips replaced. The muscle/tendon injections--I'm going to have a surgical hip adductor tendon release in the near future. The problem is bigger than the injections can help.
                              Horse'in around in Upstate NY

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks guys. I had the injections this morning - they were the Facets (Facet Joints? Facet blocks?) where there is compression of the disc and some arthritic changes to the bone. The first one was really painful - I got really light headed and almost passed out (apparently I am a big sissy!) so they stopped, and had me rest a few minutes and drink some juice until my blood pressure came back to normal range. Then he gave me more than normal the numbing stuff and I made it through both injections ok after that. Pretty sore now, at work with an ice pack and some advil. Hoping they work. Doc said regular daily activity is ok but no gym for 3 weeks. Did you guys go back to full function right a way or take it easy for a bit? Thanks!
                                It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Back to usual the next day. Rode horses,:worked out etc. It does take a few days for the irritation from the medication to go away, but being quiet doesn't help or hurt. It should better in a week or so, but sometimes you need 3 injections before there is a huge effect.
                                  "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
                                    Back to usual the next day. Rode horses,:worked out etc. It does take a few days for the irritation from the medication to go away, but being quiet doesn't help or hurt. It should better in a week or so, but sometimes you need 3 injections before there is a huge effect.
                                    Thank you. I finally have just gotten back into a good gym routine and I find that if I exercise consistently and keep my core muscles strengthened, it really helps. I don't want to sit out the gym for 3 weeks as I know it will be hard for me to get back into it again!

                                    I don't have a horse right now, and the one I am currently riding on the weekends will be away at a show this weekend, so I won't be riding for at least 2 weeks anyways.
                                    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Yes, rest for more than 48 hours is really old fashioned advice. Don't. go crazy but do work out.
                                      "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My doctor said take it easy for six hours then back to normal after facet blocks. By the way, those do hurt I think. They switched hubby to an epidural instead of the facet blocks he was scheduled for today and he was happy to hear it!
                                        McDowell Racing Stables

                                        Home Away From Home

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