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Epi injection

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

I am debating whether or not to get an Epi injection and seek some opinions from those who have tried. Recently diagnosed with C5-C6 and C6-C7 bulge that occasionally blows up to cause the excruciating neck and arm pain. This has been going on and off a few years, but now confirmed by the MRI.

Most recent attack has abated , but now experiencing numbness and weakness in the left arm and some annoying twitches. In the absence of excruciating pain (which I am free of for now) is an Epi warranted? My hope would be it would help alleviate the other symptoms. I am leery of the "needle", but would try it if it has a chance of working.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    Do you mean an ESI (Epidural Spinal Injection)? Who ordered your MRI - was it a spinal specialist or surgeon?

    The reason I asked is because whoever is going to treat you for this will most likely try conservative measures before considering surgery - physical therapy, ESIs, traction, etc. So I'm wondering if you've consulted with a doc who's suggesting the ESI.

    I never had an ESI for my neck. I tried PT, but it was too bad and nothing would help but surgery. I am going to have an ESI early Aug for lumbar issues, though.

    Anyway, again - Welcome to Spine-Health.
  • Thanks.

    I have seen a neurosurgeon, who pointed out the problem areas on the MRI, but he does not recommend surgery, which is fine with me. Pain is usually tolerable with meds when it hits. However, the prolonged numbness/weakness has me concerned that damage is being done, and thats why I am thinking about the injection.
  • Cool, I'm glad you're seeing a surgeon. Is this surgeon a spine specialist by chance?

    Anyway, I agree that you need to address your symptoms. If it were me (just my humble opinion), I'd try PT before an ESI. I found that the traction they did in my PT sessions was very helpful before things got too bad.

    In any case, I'm glad you realize that something needs to be done before you get any permanent nerve damage.

    Hopefully someone will pop in and let you know how the cervical ESI was for them. You might want to browse through the Spinal Injection topic also.
  • I haven't gotten any shots as of now. I had a bad reaction to a Medrol pack, so I'm pretty weary of trying the shots for fear of another bad reaction to the meds. It's worth a shot(no pun intended)though to others. Did they suggest a Medrol pack instead?
  • In my opinion, I think the road of conservative methods is worth a try. Provided you have a doc you trust and feel comfortable with.
    I've had a facet block, and the pain of the shot was minimal for me. However the block didn't do a whole lot for the pain and discomfort I've been dealing with.
    Just recently the same doctors office informed me that I should have had an epidural. So needless to say, I found another doctor.
    The new doc is suggesting a total disc replacement first, or the conservative route of an epidural injection. In my research, (which confuses me more and more)I've found that herniation's can reabsorb with time and proper exercise. So my thinking is, maybe an epidural injection may buy me some time to see if this monster herniation I have can possibly go away.
    I too deal with muscle spasms and have weakness in my left arm and am concerned about permanent damage.
    I hope this helps you.

  • Thanks for the info and advice. Its a real dilemma because pain is tolerable, but numbness and weakness tell me some damage is being done. Will perhaps wait a while longer...
  • I've had 5 epis but in my lower back as oppossed to the neck area and they were beneficial for the pain and numbness I had in my foot and leg and most of all help that tingling feeling which is just dreadful. Lyrica also helped with the tingling and pain. If you're concerned about the weaknesss/numbness have you had a 2nd opinion yet? Have you had an EMG yet? Anyway I'm not a Dr and only they can decide whether certain tests are needed. I just wanted to share what happened to me. Best wishes. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I think that you are doing the right thing by going to a neurosurgeon first. I had a discectomy by an ortho surgeon and it only caused more pain. By reading all that others post here it has helped me know that I should have gone directly to a good neurosurgeon and tried conservative treatment. I also had up to six shots from nerve block, facet block and epi's but they didn't help. This likely indicates that my surgery was NOT the best choice, but I was in so much pain that panic set in. Stay cool and be sure to ask your neuro about any concerns that you have after reading about others here. If he/she recommends epidural or ESI, this should help determine if surgery will help you, or if PT or other conservative treatment is best to improve your situation. GOOD LUCK!!!
  • EMG was normal, I guess. Symptoms have improved over a 1 month period, but never back to fully normal after the flare ups.
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