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how many epidurals is enough?

From: rosey - on 07/23/2010 10:04am

had 3 epidurals, another pain doc says i should get 2 more in a facet . do u guys think this will work?

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on 07/23/2010 3:33pm

rosey,
i've had cervical issues for 3 years and have had 3 epidurals. only one really worked well, but the other 2 no. . I get pain down my shoulder, tricept and arm, but kept it managable with PT, neck excercises, BUT, it got the hearnation in C6/C7 got MUCH worse (it's unbearable, not sleeping...etc) over the last month. Are you getting weaker and experiencing more pain than before the first 2? I would get a current MRI to see if it's gotten any worse before you get another one. pain meds, epi's and the like mask the pain, but do not solve the root cause. (i've come to that conclusion), and going for ADR next week (....so long as i get insurance to say ok). hang in there, i feel your pain

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on 07/23/2010 3:53pm

I'm not sure what your history is, but I had two x-ray guided epidural injections and neither one did a single thing. Then prior to my surgery my surgeon suggested we try a CT-guided injection. The CT scan can allow the pain doctors to zero in more closely on the nerve. That worked absolutely fantasticly! Maybe something to consider.

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on 07/26/2010 7:22pm

Rosey,

I can't tell you how many is enough, but I can tell you that there are different sorts of epidurals out there. I know that just a regular steriod epidural doesn't work for me, but nerve blocks work great when the doctor goes deep and close to the nerve. I've never had one done in the facet itself, especially because my problem is where they have broken off.

My advice to you is to ask your pain doc about a nerve block. He may be doing what mine calls "discovery epidurals" where they do them in a different spot each time to see exactly where you get the most relief from. I'm going through that again because it had been more than 6 months between epidurals (we only have one PM doc around here and if you have to cancel an appt because you are sick, they set you up for months down the road) and it's been over a year since anyone has hit the "sweet spot" to get me pain free for anymore than one day.

One thing that you may need to worry about is the damage that epidurals can do to your spine. Some people have reported developing Arachnoiditis and that's something you can't fix. As for me, I will be taking my chances with the epidurals on my Lumbar spine because no surgeon wants to touch it, but I am being refered to a neuro-surgeon for my cervical spine and we'll just have to see what he wants to do.

Take care hon...let us know!

Wendi

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on 07/27/2010 5:41pm

Rosey,

Wendi is absolutely right with being cautious with epidurals. I'm 22 years old and have had 7 (all different kinds) and now one so far on my facet joints after my microdiscectomy/laminectomy. I have severe arachnoiditis from my L2 down now thanks to the epidurals I've had. Do they know exactly what your issue is or are they just doing them as a diagnostic test?

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on 08/23/2010 4:45pm

only 3 year is sugested by medical reserch divition, more than that per year have a negitive effect on the spinal cord and the lumbar bone them selves, what they do is add small pits in the bone basicly they start a form of premature artritis, the step i would take is a trial spinal core stimulater. I had my fution 4 years ago and have done everything out there for my pain my last option is the spinal cord stimulator. Good luck i hope you find your cure.

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on 01/18/2011 10:34pm

Rosey, I have had so many injections its hard to count. The firs series was pre lumbar surgery about two years ago, I went once a month for three months then you are required to take a break so I did, I was trying everything to avoid surgery, then we tried the tens unit for a while with no success so we went back to the injections, they did give me releif but it was only for a few days, after the surgery in march of 2010 I was reffered to a pain management center, I have injections there sometimes twice a month but always at least once a month with the same results only now its down to one day of releif, now they say there is so much scar tissue built up from the injections over the last two years its hardto get into the right spots and it hurts going too even after they numb it. Bottom line is they work for some and not for others but I WOULD DO ALL i COULD TO AVOID SURGERY. If had it all to do over again I would not have had the surgery done, I can't speak for everyone but in my case I'm no better off now than I was before the surgery only difference is I'm on more pain meds now which was I had the surgery to start with so I could get off of them...

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on 01/22/2011 3:38pm

after 4, epis i had surgery for cervicaL after 3 months it only helped a little

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on 01/27/2011 11:29am

I am scheduled for cervical surgery on Monday, they are going to replace a disc and fuse c6 and c7 together hope this works.

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