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disabled after spinal stenosis treatment?

Started by nils on 12/14/2010 2:08pm

who experienced being in a wheelchair after a spinal stenosis treatment?
my backpain is gone for 95%, but i cant stand or walk.

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24 Responses

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where did you have your operation?

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Your experience is my experience exactly. I had an epidural steroid injection as treatment for spinal stenosis and was paralyzed from waist down within 3 hours. This was 4 months ago and I haven't been able to stand or walk since. And 95% of my back pain is gone. Was hospitalized for two months and am in a wheelchair. Would like to hear more from you or others.

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to hoffsrch
please let me know your email address. i cant comment here

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To Lindsay

Can't send my email address to you without knowing yours.

hoffsrch

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to hoffsrch: can you send it here?

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To Lindsay

This group advises against it.

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go back to that doctor.

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to hoffsrch.
i am sorry, i am scared to go into detail. clinic threatens.
all i can say is . there was a nerve damaged,which should not have happened.

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to simplycats: dr is gone, clinic closed

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Is this thread still open? I noticed nobody can be open about what they want to say about this. I became disabled 12 days after 2 epidural injections and ended up in a wheelchair also. I went to a neuro and a spine doc, had every test imaginable, and got no answers. It took almost 2 full months to be able to walk again. I had lost the use of my leg muscles from the knees on down to my feet within about 20 seconds, and never got any answers. I have heard of people becoming disabled after an injection, it is usually within a few hours. I myself will never have them again. The first ones years before worked very well, the 2nd one not near as well about a year later, this last time was the first time I had ever had 2 at once, 2 dif areas, and I did terrible afterwards, with alot of pain and swelling clear up to when my leg muscles gave out. I never did get any answers. I also know now that there is a very slight chance of these injections damaging nerves, and the injections are only short term relief, not a cure. My leg muscles very slowly started coming back, but this was after 3 weeks in a wheelchair. I had cat scans with contrast, MRI's, EMG, blood tests, and they could find no reason for my condition. I hope the original posters here can find some help as I feel for you and know what it is like to have this happen.

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To Kasey

Thanks for your comments. You're very fortunate that your condition cleared up. I, too, had every test imaginable, including an invasive angiogram of the spinal nerves (supposed to be the "gold standard" test), and nothing was found. All 12 specialists involved came to no conclusion except my paralysis was caused by the injection.
If I can be of help to anyone else with this problem, or to anyone else in a wheelchair for that matter, let me know.
Thanks again for writing, Kasey. You've given me some hope.

hoffsrch

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Hoffsrch, I did read up extensively when this happened to me, and found recently, where the spinal cord can be shocked or traumatized from an injection, and pretty much shuts down for awhile. When this happened to me, my very first thought was the injections, because I read that the med peaks at about 14 days, and this happened 12 days later. I also know they were checking me for MS, yet I didnt have the main symptoms of it. I had all the others though, so I was shocked when they found nothing. And when I asked if the neuro could refer me to another specialist, he of course couldnt think of anybody to send me to, remember, this was at the mayo clinic. So I said " well what am I supposed to do then? just sit on this? and he said " you go to physical therapy and continue to get better." Because they saw that I was very slowly getting better, they apparently decided to let me go, and referred me to physical therapy, which did nothing for my legs, they got better when they felt like it. I guess I would suggest typing in what happened to you in a search engine, and see if you can find some answers there, and treatment. Maybe some type of treatment would help you. I hope everybody here that this happened to gets the help they need. Also, I know we have to sign a waiver before these injections, I myself would look into getting some legal advice. I did, and when the docs know it is from the injections, you do have a case.

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Kasey
Thanks for the info. I have used search engines and have turned up some info, but no answers. I'll continue to search. We now have law firm gathering medical records. When finished, they will decide whether to take the case.
Top doctors in Pittsburgh are stymied by my case, so it does not surprise me one bit that Mayo Clinic was stymied by yours. The shock or trauma to the spinal cord you mentioned is plausible - at least one doctor here in Pittsburgh thought this was a possibility.
hoffsrch

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Hoffsrch, I hope they have some treatment to try to help you in the meantime. Are you in any type of therapy?

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Kasey
I've had two months of physical and occupational therapy (both at home) since coming home from 6 weeks of intensive therapy at rehab hospital. Progressed nicely for a while, then regressed despite same amount of effort. Frustrating for sure. I haven't given up, though. Still struggling through my exercises. Without the exercises I have no chance at recovery and I don't much care for that option.
hoffsrch

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Hoffsrch, I am glad to hear you progressed for awhile. Atleast that is hope that you can get better. I have regressed a little a few times since I was in the wheelchair. The most frustrating thing about this is the not having any answers as to the cause of my symptoms. None of the docs thought it was the injections I had. Yet I had none of the symptoms before them, and still have symptoms occasionally of my muscles in my calves only, going so weak for a short time, I can barely walk, and one knee giving out on me here and there.

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Kasey

I agree. Not knowing what is causing the symptoms is definitely frustrating. Most of my doctors here in Pittsburgh think that the injection caused the paralysis. Not one has said it didn't. But not one of the many tests showed anything definite. I suppose the next move of the docs will be to give it a name like Epidural Steroid Injection Syndrome and move on to the next new disease.
I sure hope your problems clear up once and for all. Those flareups have to be awfully frustrating.

hoffsrch

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Hoffsrch, actually the flareups scared the crap out of me. My legs, from the knees on down, got so weak, I could barely walk, it only lasted 5 minutes or so, but was enough to scare me into thinking " Oh no! not again." I happened to be pushing a grocery cart, and used that to help me walk. My knees were giving out, every day with no notice when I was first able to walk with no assistance, now, 6 months later, it is way less, about once every 2 or 3 weeks. Since the docs know yours was from the injection, there is a good chance of recovery for you, especially since you have progressed some. It sounds like it shocked your system. I think they need to rethink these injections and do away with them completely anyway. They are not a cure, and are short term relief, and not worth what we the patients go through.

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I agree with not having the injections, they never did anything for me except make me hurt worse or if one did anything at all It was very short term. I think its a Honey Hole for extra easy income for the Dr.s doing them. It will probably come out one day that they also eat up all the Cartlage or something else like the Morphine in the shoulders did in some cases.

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Dear All
I have diffusion at l5/s1 and l4/l5 the pain is severe in the morning I have tried many treatment for the last six months including homeopathy ,acupunture,chriopracter ,A pain management speacilist here in Pakistan has recommended a epidural injection he was talking that i will be pain free from two months to 5 years and in case of pain another shot can be taken I talked to him about several ill effect about leaking spinal fluid and other that i had read he had answer for everything and made me belive that it is like an ordinary injection and more or less convinced me till i read this thread i do need to get rid of this pain but dread to be on a wheel chair
Is the effect being discussed here very rare or there is good chance
What else one should do operation is even bad though the sourgeaon do not recommend operation the only soloution is painkiller but long term usage hve side effects i have been using them pretty regularly for last several months
regards
PERVAIZ

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Hi Pervaiz
Stay safe over there and best wishes. I don't anyone I have talked too that the injections have worked. I have been on pain meds for yrs now because I can't do anything without them because of the pain. They do have side effects long term, My short term memory is shot. My long term memory is not the greatest either. I guess from the cloud of the medicine. I don't know how bad your back is but at least they can relieve the pressure on the nerves and strengthen the lower back with the fusions and prevent even more problems. I wish you the best of luck and hope you can figure something out.

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Hi Joeybobbie
Thank you at least it was good to hear that some one has been on pain med longer than me
i dont know my memory short term is getting bad probably of old age I am 60 the worrying thing is my work involves good memory i have been advised by neurosergeon that the mri doesnt warrants an operation
thanks a lot
regds
PERVAIZ

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Thanks Pervaiz
You never know I guess, Maybe it will work for you and get you out of pain, If the Dr. doesn't think your back is bad enough for surgery then it might work for you. Mine was so bad they may as well just taken me straight to surgery and skipped the shots. Keep us up to date and let us know how your doing. I really hope it helps you.

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Pervaiz, one thing that worked for pain for me, and still does, is damp heat on my back, like laying in the tub. I also wake every morning in pain in my low back. Also, a damp heat pack works. I put heat on my back almost every day. As for the injections, that is a personal decision. I had a very large herniation, and the injections did nothing except change my symptoms from one side to the other. They only helped me when I had one for weak legs from spinal stenosis. I believe weather or not they work for a person has alot to do with the problem they are having. You may only be coming across these posts because of the problems we all had, but people that do not have a problem do not come on here, as they do fine and are not looking for answers. The ones that do have problems are the ones on here alot looking for help, so remember, there are many that do fine with them too.

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