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karenckkarenc Posts: 104
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Spinal Injections
Hi everyone!

Well tomorrow is my first ever SI injection and I am scared out of my mind!!! :O :SS All I can see is this big needle coming at me!! I know I am going to be put out but I am still having a really hard time with this. I think its also because i am scared that it wont work and worse yet that it will do more harm than good. So PLEASE!!! if anyone out there has any advice for me on how to deal with this I really need your help!




  • I had this done last week and have great relief. If they are knocking you out first there is nothing to worry about. I have had several epidural injections with no sedation at all...now that is stressful and painful. You are going to be so happy. It takes a couple 0f days to get the full effect so don't let that worry you.
  • thank you so much!!!

    yes they are going to knock me out prior to doing it. i am so glad to hear from someone that has already been thru it. i am scheduled to go back to work the next day. do you think that will be possible?

    thanks so much!!

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,720
    Hi Karen,

    The fear of going in for one is much worse than the actual procedure.
    This is the procedure that MOST medical professionals use for performing ESIs

    1) The doctor who will be performing the procedure will come in and explain the entire procedure with you. They might even
    'mark' the spot where the ESI will be done.
    2) A nurse will take your vitals and you will be dressed in one of those hospital gains
    3) You will be rolled into a Operating Room like environment. The doctor will probably be assisted by 1 to 3 nurses.
    4) You will lay down on a table, a pillow under your stomach.
    5) Additional vital signs will be taken and in most cases an IV is started, where some mild sedative can be given (I strongly recommend this)
    6) Assisted by a fluoroscope the doctor will insert the first needled and then follow up with the actual needle that performs the ESI
    7) This procedure takes about 15-20 minutes
    8) You will be rolled out into a recovery room for about 15 minutes.
    9) Vital signs will be taken again and you will be offered some beverage and crackers
    10) You will be released to someone who can drive you home

    You may be sore (in the needle area) that evening and part of the next day. The effects of ESI generally dont start until 24-36 hours after the procedure.

    But these are just general ground rules and may NOT apply to every situation

    The Spine-Health site provides an excellent video on the Epidural Procedure.

    Epidural Steroid Injections
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • thank you Ron!

    you said "The effects of ESI generally dont start until 24-36 hours after the procedure."

    what did you mean exactly? does that mean that it will feel better or that's when the pain will set in? do you think i can go back to work the next day?
  • Hi Karen

    Ron is right about the worse part of the procedure is the worrying about the procedure.

    The doctor will numb the area before the epidural needle goes in. This numbing shot will feel pretty much like any other shot - maybe even less painful or so it seems to me. These shots always worked very well for me and I never actually felt any pain at all from the epidural going in - just a sort of pressure. In fact, I had it so easy that I didn't even bother getting sedated my second time and it was a breeze ( although I recomend it your first time as you will most likely be nervous & tense ).

    When you are done, those numbing shots should keep you feeling pretty good for several hours. Go home and lay down for as long as you possibly can - even if you are feeling great from the medication and don't want to. Ask your doctor how long he/she feels you should take it easy and not return to work. Mine said I could go back the next day, but I'm sure each doctor is different.

    Good luck and try not to be scared - I hope you're one of the lucky ones who really benefit from this procedure!!
  • thank you summer2!!

    i will go home and lay down and rest. that really sounds good right now. i just hope it will be a time that i can truely rest and not some of these days that it just hurts worse the longer i lay there and does feel better if i get up. i wish i was a person that laying down all day was possible but that's just not me. oh well, dreams dreams dreams! lol :D
  • I just had a cervical epidural injection 8 days ago and I was absolutely terrified before they took me back. I was shaking and my palms were sweating I was just that nervous. The only needle I saw go into me was when they were getting me ready for the IV cap and even then I tried not to look because I hate needles.
    As soon as I got into the room, I laid down on my tummy, they started the feel good medicine in the IV right away and it was took effect IMMEDIATELY, I felt one prick on the back of the neck but it wasn't bad at all. I was able to communicate with the doctor throughout the procedure, so obviously I wasn't knocked out. I remember everything clearly but I was very relaxed throughout.
    I felt really well afterwards. I came home, ate like a pig and went outside to work in the yard. I will tell you that almost exactly 24 hours later, the numbing stuff wore of and I could tell right away. The injection site felt a little tender and the pain and tightness I'd been dealing with crept back in. For me I can't say that it worked-yet. But I'm still hopeful. Sometimes a person has to go through a series of them before there's real progress. Good luck tomorrow and let us know how it goes. I hope yours goes as smoothly as mine did. :)
  • thanks angela!

    i will keep you all posted! glad to know that yours went well and i hope you get more relief to come! maybe you shold try to take it easy and see if that will help. i know, look who's talking right?? lol hope you feel better again!

  • I wish you the best Karenc. I am scheduled for my 1st cervical ESI 9/10 and am nervous as heck. Please do let us know how it goes. I really appreciate all the info. here as it answered many of my questions. I see now why you need a driver!
    I do have 1 question though, the IV they do....Is this a sedation type med going into you before the procedure?
    Again Karenc....Please let us know how it goes.
  • The IV sedation was the first thing administered to me. Then I got the numbing medicine injected and after that, the epidural itself. I felt NOTHING at all from the epi. No pain, not even pressure. My experience went well and I really worried for nothing. :D
  • Thanks so much!! Well I am off here now. I will post again when I return back to work (hopefully on Thursday). I really appreciate all your help and trying to talk me thru this and making me feel so much better. I dont feel as scared as I was but i am still working on it. Talk to you all soon!


  • There is no bigger baby when it comes to pain and needles than myself. I about pass out giving blood. I was in so much pain from my back before I got them, I really did not care how bad it was going to hurt? I just wanted relief. My first three I literally had to crawl into the room. I was terrified but knew relief was on the way. It was over before I knew it. I experienced IMMEDIATE relief. I was amazed, felt like a new man. I drove myself home and went to work the following day without a hitch.
    I will tell you bout my 4th one after your done with yours:)
  • You are going to be so happy because it is all numb inside and you will feel this tremendous relief! Now, that does wear off and the next morning you will be sore. It may get angry for a day or it may be just fine. I am sure you will have some relief. Also, remember that steroids will make you want to eat the shingles off your house! It did me anyway. Have carrots and fruit to munch on!
  • I just checked the date and your procedure was today............how did you do?
  • well i did it and it went fine. the dr said that i have A MAJOR amount of arthritis in there, in fact, I have much much more than anyone my age then she has ever seen! I told her that i figured i did have some cause of my pain but didnt know how much. i also told her that the duragesic patches weren't working for me. and to be honest at this rate, i dont know how much longer i will be able to work. she said when you come back in on the 28th we WILL get you fixed up and change the patches and try something else. WOW! that alone made me feel better. my back and hip felt better for the time that it was numb and that's about it. i am right back to having some pretty bad pain. i am at work today but dont know if i will be able to take it all day long or not. we will see. but i am alive and here so at least that part is good. thanks to all of you and your wonderful support! you guys are the greatest! :D >:D<
  • Such great posts here! It has really helped settle me down for the unknown. I had a lumbar epidural when having my kids and without sedation, however: the cervical...Ouchy! I'm not allowed to have anything to eat or drink.....so this must mean I am getting sedation! I so happy to hear all these wonderful results. Thank you all for posting. I also just went to my first orientation for pain management...man, I should've done this 15 years ago! Kinda upsets me as this was never offered to me before. Maybe there is some relief for me after all, especially since I cannot have surgery as there is just too much damage. Darn it!
    Thanks again!!! And Congrats to all that have had these great results.
  • When is your procedure? I had my SI injection on 8/13 and I have been doing pretty good afterward. It didnt hurt at all and basically I was scared for no reason. I had epidurals with all 3 of my kids too but every time the did the first one (with each kid) it never took so I would have to have a second so I have had 6 of them with 3 kids! I know what you mean about not knowing about pain management. It wasnt offered to me until I found out about it myself and asked for a referral to go and that's after 7.5 years of suffering. So I am right with ya on that! I have hope now, I was really getting to the point of no return because I was in constant pain with no relief or end in sight. I am still in pain but with the help of my pain mangment. dr and my PT and my psychologist, we are working on making my life better and I am hoping for more good days than bad. I will have pain for the rest of my life but now I know that with their help there is a light still on at the end of the tunnel. good luck to you with everything. i hope that you get to feeling better real soon. just remember to work with them and dont expect to have no pain the first time around. it may take awhile for your dr's and you to find the right methods that work for you. just hang in there and do your best.

    have a great day!

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