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was making my appointment...

manaleriemmanalerie Posts: 547
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
For my epidural injection. While looking at one of the RX papers, there is a place for diagnoses.

Diagnoses: Degenerative Disk Disease.

My PM never said a word to me about DDD... and when I asked the woman on the phone about it, she couldn't give me any answers, just ask the doctor when you come in next week.

That would have been nice to know, don't you think?


  • Hi Mana,
    I know the feeling about not being told complete info from the dr. :/ I had a mri done, and waited for the doctors office to call me with results, and when they didn't I called them. I didn't get to speak with the dr., only spoke with someone from his office, so they only read off what he had made notes about. I went back to him for a follow up appt a little over a week ago, and when I asked him if he was gonna have to do a discogram to find the specific problem, he said, no, that the mri showed him clearly that the disc was collapsed and L5 was sitting on the nerve. :jawdrop: So afterwards, I'm thinking, so why did he have me doing pt and an esi, when he saw that plainly from the mri. :W So now I am scheduled for a posterior lumbar interbody fusion on this coming Monday. I wish you luck in getting your problems took care.
  • When my back stopped being just isolated "flare ups" and began it's chronic thing. I finally got an MRI and was told that I would have an appointment for ESIs and they would take care of it. I knew nothing more. And now 2years later I get the whole grocery list of problems. I think they don't like to tell you what your diagnosed with because of the mental aspect of it.
    I just went to the hospital that I got my MRI done and asked for a copy. They will give you a paper with the details and prognosis( same thing your doc gets ), but also you should get a compact disc with all of the pics and you can see for yourself. I found a website that will show you how to read it.

    I would say welcome to the DDD club we don't do antything fun! I really hope your ESI's help out. The first time i had them I had relief for 2 YEARS!. Are You going to be sedated for them? I've had them both and thats the best.


  • I'm glad the ESI's helped you, unfortunately it didn't help me but one day. :( I had the esi without sedation, and did not have a problem with it. I know that every doctor is different about the way they do it.
  • only helped about a month but I think I'll try them again since I had such good luck in the past. 2 Years of comfort is a hard thing to let go.
    So ur having fusion for DDD? My pm told me a couple of weeks ago my problem is not operative so sorry you're just going to be in pain.

  • If I will be sedated. They said that it is done under an x-ray? And that I can't drive home. I'm kinda freaking out about having it done. :S I'm losing my second insurance next week, so I figure I might as well do it now while I don't have to pay for it...
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,733
    Here is the sequence you can figure on:

    1 - Doctor talks to you about what he/she is going to do, and tell you want to expect afterwards. They may even mark the spot where the injection is being done.
    2 - You will have your vitals taken and dress in those great hospital gowns with no backs!
    3 - Wheel you into an operating room like environment. The doctor will be assisted by 2 or 3 nurses
    4 - Vitals taken again, IV put in and a mild sedative will be given ( I will make sure you get this)
    5 - While on your stomach the doctor will then start to insert the guiding needle through the help of a fluoroscope.
    Then the actual epidural need will be inserted
    6 - The doctor finishes up, the entire procedure takes abou 15-20 minutes
    7 - You are wheeled in to a recovery room. You will lay quiet for about 10-15 minutes, your vitals will be taken again. You get dressed, they offer you crackers, soda or some juice.
    8 - You are allowed to leave ONLY if you have someone driving you. You should also be given some instructions sheets on what to expect

    The first night there may be some soreness, but you probably will not feel any benefit for up to 36 hours.

    Good luck, its over before you know it.
    Here is a good video to watch:
    Epidural Spinal 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
  • Amanda.I've had several and not once was I sedated.You should ask ahead of time,but if they are telling you that you cannot drive then my guess would be they are planning on sedation.Not all Drs use sedation.

    The X-ray thing is really cool,I forget what my Dr called it,it is an X ray,but he called it something else and he can watch what he is doing on that screen as he is in there with the needle,and take x-rays when he wants.He took several of mine and showed them to me.I asked if I could have one (lol) but he said that he needed them for my chart.

    If you are just having one,the timing Ron gave should be about right.The last time I had mine on my neck,I had a couple in my hip as well and it took longer,I was in there for about 45 minutes.NO sedation,and the hip was pretty painful.
    The neck is no picnic either,but I just had the injection to help numb the area before the actual ESI.

    What day are you getting yours?
  • See I had an epidural before, but I was in labor, and screaming at the doctor to kill me. The PM said it will be similar to that, without the screaming =)) (I hope) any sort of needle into the spine scares the crap out of me!

    Robin, I'm going Tuesday morning. I think he said its like a 15 or 20 minute procedure.

    Ron, You said you'll make sure they sedate me... so should I be expecting you at the hospital? 10:45 am... your what an hour and a half away? make sure you give yourself enough driving time LOL

    No Advil, Aspirin, or Aleve for 5 days before, and I need to fast for the 5 hours before ( :''( no coffee!!!! how in the world will I ever make it anywhere without my coffee!! :''( )

    I'll just have to get up at 5:45am and have a cup :D
  • If you're fasting you must be one of the lucky ones getting sedated.Don't worry,it's not so bad.

    Remember-it's supposed to help your pain,and if it's successful just imagine the relief you might have.Since your already in pain it won't really seem like much-at least it did'nt to me.But I understand how you feel-just the thoughts of that being in my neck bothers me.

    I'm a little envious of the others who had such relief from their ESI's.I'm glad for them,but I wish that mine had worked in my neck.On the other hand the one in my hip was like a dream come true...if someone had told me that it would work so well I would never have believed them.It's just something you have to feel yourself I guess.So I am glad about that,even though the pain is starting to come back now it will be awhile until it gets as bad as it was.

    I really hope that yours is successful :)
  • now I have been having tremendous pain in my right hip, and down to my knee. I was under the impression that this was nerve pain, caused by the herniated and bulging disks.

    however, the herniation and bulge, are pressing on the left nerves, not the right. So I have been told by 3 doctors now, that my hip pain is un-related to my back, I should actually be having pain in my left hip (which does happen, but once in a blue moon)

    I'm not sure exactly what the epidural is intended to help... my back, or my hip. Would it even help the spine? If its intended for my spine, should I ask them to do it for my hip also... I mean while they're in there lol!!

    I'm pretty sure this is for my hip, I can call on Monday and find out. Its the hip/leg pain that haunts me daily, and is never relieved by any pain medication.
  • The ESI won't help your hip unless it's injected directly into your hip.LOL-where are you getting your injection~what part of your spine I mean..

    ....you do have cervicle DDD don't you~I know I read that you just found out about your diagnoses,but am I assuming that it's cervicle? That's what my inj. was for in my neck-the hip was not related to my neck.

    Now I feel like I'm singing that song..the hip bones connected to the leg bone... =))

    I'm probably going to redo my signature line,but I don't know if I should put in only the CDDD stuff or the other problems along with it because I'm fairly certain that my feet problems lead (or helped lead to) my DDD and other bone problems.
  • After the local wears off you may actually be in more pain than you were before the injection.I had increased pain for four or five days after each of my injections. I know...it sucks.
  • Sounds like with fasting comes sedation. I like that "mild sedative" versed I think wish I could take some of that home. If it's a set of three shots, Just be aware you'll be sore after the first, really sore after the second and back to just sore for the third. And you probably won't see alot of improvement for a week or two after the third shot, but stick with it. They helped me both times I got them just longer the first set. I'm going to try them again in November.

    Good Luck !

  • All of my diagnosed problems are in the lumbar area, L4 L5 (S1?) don't have my papers at the moment. At this point I'm not sure were they are doing the epidural. I believe in the lumbar spine.

    My neck has been sore for over a week now. Nothing terrible, just a little stiff. I had them check it out in the ER a little. I think they worry when they hear "stiff neck" because that can mean meningitis. I live in a huge college town, and meningitis is not uncommon in my age group.

    So anyway, I get pain in my neck a few times a year. And I always have pain in my upper back. I get terrible knots between my shoulder blades, then the pain in my spine... and of course my right hip/leg down to my knee. I do get sensations in my left leg... not necessarily painful... more like shooting electric feelings. Doesn't happen very often though.

    I recently removed my diagnoses from my signature line, I just got tire of reading it everyday!! I should put some of it back though, so people who read my posts know what I'm talking about lol!
  • UGH!!! X(

    Amanda, I just had a really good post typed out explaining to you what I experience when I have my injections and what you can expect, etc and once again I must have hit something with my pinky (I still haven't gotten used to typing on this notebook after having it more than a year!) and it went poof! I was literally typing the last word!

    Geez! Anyway, here's what I remember typing....definitely do the sedation, I get a cocktail of versed/fentanyl and I'm completely pain free for hours! It's heavenly! Plus versed is a short term amnesiac so while you're still able to respond to the Doctor as he hits various areas and needs to know if he's recreated your usual pain, you likely won't remember any of it. My memories are always spotty, or sometimes non-existant from the time the nurse injects the sedation meds into my IV right on thru till I get home and often hours after. I know I fretted over it before I started getting them done, and even still get nervous until she gives me "the good stuff", but it's really no big deal. I don't know how people do it w/o sedation tho!

    Regarding the fasting...my Doctor says I can have 1 cup of black coffee (even tho I always put my cream/sugar in! LOL..not like it's a blood test), and/or enough water to take my daily meds. The reason they want you to fast is because some people throw up from sedation. If you know how you react to meds, specifically versed and/or fentanyl, then you can probably decide if you can get away with that cup of coffee. Heck, on Thursday I even forgot not to eat because I'm used to having it done in the morning, not in the afternoon, but I ate literally right before I went in and didn't have any problems.

    If you're getting the injection in the L4/5 L5/S1 area(s), then it's not for your hip, unless the Doc thinks the hip pain is due to the nerves, etc. but you can certainly ask the Doc to inject the hip joint or SI (sacroilliac joint) as well! May not get it done, but doesn't hurt to ask!

    Just try to keep an open mind...the injections help some of us the first time, and others don't get any relief at all. The pain probably will increase for a day or so afterward but then once it "kicks in", hopefully you'll get relief. With me, I've been getting them for so long and so often that I'm lucky to get more than 10 days of relief, but I am OK with that, because that's 7-10 days that I get to do things with my sons and do cleaning, caring for my flowers out front, etc. that I can't normally do. I will keep getting them as long as I can simply for those few days of "normalcy".

    Can't hurt to try, just as long as you're willing to give it a good fair shot!

    Sure hope you get relief and have a positive experience. I'm certain that once you get past it, you'll wonder just what you were so worried about, just like I did. (hey, I still get nervous right up till she injects the cocktail into my IV! Not as nervous as I used to, but still nervous)

    Be sure and let us know how it goes and keep us posted on what level of relief you get, etc.

    Take care of you...

    PS-Sometime when I'm back to my usual weirdo mood, remind me to tell you some of the stories of what I say/do after the injections. Both in recovery, and at home! I always tell everyone that happens to be driving or around me on those days that I'm not to be held accountable for anything I say or do while under the influence of versed. ;) 8}
  • So I just found out, that I will not be sedated tomorrow. Just a local anesthetic. I am really trying not to panic about this injection. But that's what I do. I told the nurse that I am not on any meds now, except the prn percocet my neuro gave me, and its only enough till tomorrow morning. I told her that I know I should expect worse pain after the injection.

    She say's, that is something they usually tell you after you have had the injection. Now that you already know, yes you will have a lot of pain for up to 7-10 days until the steroid has time to release into the body.

    I asked her if the doctor will prescribe anything, or if this type of pain will even be relieved by medication. She said that I can take some tylenol or advil, whatever I can tolerate.

    yay. This sounds like its going to be well worth it. I can't imagine being in MORE pain. Yesterday was absolutely miserable, and to think of it being even worse??? OMG
  • I couldn't make it post injection without some stronger pain medication. NO WAY! They better give something to you or I'll be mad! X( The nurse will ask you how your pain level is right before they release you to go home. Tell her you're dying!!!,even if you aren't at that very moment. Maybe they'll have mercy.

    So you're off the Ultram and not trying anything new?

    Are you getting a caudal injection? I had two of those. No sedation. It wasn't as tough as I thought it would be. The worst part is when the local wears off.

    Are you driving your self to the appointment? If you can have someone take you so you're not driving when the local wears off.

    And don't plan on doing anything the rest of the day(or maybe more) except nursing your pain. Try to have someone help take care your lil' guy for you.

    Good luck. HUGS, Donna
  • I don't know exactly what they are doing... They said epidural, similar to what I had during labor. They also told me that I need someone to drive me home, so my husband is coming with me.

    I've been trying to discuss getting a new pain med from my neuro, he gave me 15 percocet to last till today. He told me to call him after the epidural to let him know how things are going. I figure if I'm in a lot of pain, and they don't help me out at the PM today, I will head straight over to my neuro after the epidural.

    I'm very nervous right now, and dieing for some dang coffee!!! I can't wait to get this over with, so I can stop worrying!! I printed out the page from depression and coping, I wrote on Sunday. I'd like my PM to read it, so that he knows what I am going through everyday.
  • That was just brutal. I cannot believe they actually do that to people. My whole spine hurts from my tailbone up to middle back. and my legs hurt. Oh, and they said I should go on antidepressants.
  • I'm sorry your in so much pain. Did you have any luck in getting better painkillers? You recently went off the tramadol with no replacement right? Sorry if I'm asking too much (if I am just ignore), but why the antidepressants? If you are depressed right now pain with no relief, and going off the tramadol sounds like it could be the culprit IMHO.
  • I figure stopping ultram would cause some mood swings, along with the fact that I'm flying solo here. My neuro gave me 15 percocet Friday, to last through today. I took the last one this morning. I personally have dealt with depression, and I don't think that I am depressed. I think I am in pain. Period. And yah, the fact that I can't get up and do what I used to, makes me a little blue sometimes. If I could get some relief from this pain, I don't think I would have this problem.

    They think that I am depressed because I showed them the post I made on Sunday, about how much pain I am in (depression and coping thread) The nurse actually cried when she read it, and the other nurse said she had to leave the room before she started crying. It's kinda funny when I think about it... getting prepped for the epidural, and the three of us in there crying...
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