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Getting concerned

JennyfooJJennyfoo Posts: 81
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
I had an epidural steroid injection at L1-L2 on Tuesday. No, it does not seem to have helped in the least as of now. I thought perhaps on day 2-3, it was helping, but now, the pain and inflammation is even worse than before. My main concern is that I've not had a bowel movement since Monday night I think. highly irregular(pun intended) for me. I am on pain meds, but I take a stool softener daily and have not had a problem. Before the ESI, I was having problems with urgency with both bladder and bowel. Basically, I didn't know I had to go until I really had to go: not much warning. Now, it's been 5 days since I had a BM and I'm still having urinary urgency, even wet my pants last night on the way to the bathroom. This is so embarrasing to admit.

Mainly, I'm wondering if the ESI could have slowed things down(intestinal-wise), or if Cauda Equina is possible with damage in the T12-L2 area??? I have loss of feeling and radicular pain in my abdomen that feels like severe menstrual cramps or even bowel problems, have for nearly 3 months now, so I can't really tell if anything is going on down there.


  • boy youd think youd be doing better after shot not worse...i'm real sorry this has happened.i recall reading about one spiney who had ces from L2. i believe the spinal cord branches out at L1 and the cauda equina begins below that...to be on safe side tell your doc about these new symptoms. hopefully they are just temporary side effects from shot....take care...pete
  • Hi, After I had an epidural for my back pain I was barely able to make it to the bathroom (urinary, no bowel problem). I had to go 5 times the first night and barely made it each time. I also had a nerve block shot which worked better for the pain and the urinary problem was not as bad. The incontinence eventually eased up and I am now back to normal although I am going for my second nerve block this week so will probably have to deal with it again. Good luck and please let your doctor know your symptoms.
  • I did call my Dr. This morning. Thank goodness he's out of town and his partner will consult, since my Dr. Has completely been ignoring me for weeks.

    The milk of magnesia did not work. I have extreme pressure built up at this point, it's uncomfortable to stand and sit. I feel like I have to go, keep trying, but nothing happens. I'm afraid that with the increased inflammation and pressure in my back since the ESI, that perhaps my spinal cord itself is being compressed. My herniation does go in toward the spinal cord andbin the thoracic region, there's little room for extra stuff. My legs have gotten horribly weak too and I've been having bouts of dizziness when I get up from sitting or lying. I've fallen back into bed twice, and caught myself on the bed post last nght so I didn't fall.
  • Try a Fleet's Enema. You can buy one at the drug store. Increase your fluid intake, eat more fiber, etc. If the enema doesn't work, I would again consult your surgeon for further advice.

    Take care,

  • My doctor repeatedly mentioned sudden incontinence as a serious problem (although if caused by spinal injection that might not count) and they always ask me if I have any weakness in my legs. One of my issues is severe stenosis which leaves little room for my spinal cord but I have been exercising 5-6 times a week which doesn't help with the pain really but makes me stronger and I feel better mentally (usually). I hope your doctor's partner is able to take the time to really listen to you.
  • OMG! The on-call neuro looked at my MRI and chart notes, etc and apparently said, "it all looks pretty benign." per the med assistant. He won't see me. Pretty benign! If it were benign, why would my neuro order me to lie flat on my back for a month. Why would I have no feeling from bellybutton to mid thigh? Why would I have developed urinary and bowel problems? Why would I be having severe nerve/radicular pain in my abdomen? Why would my legs be wobbly and weak? Did it occur to them that perhaps things have deteriorated in the 2 months since I had the MRI? I certainly didn't have all these symptoms when I got the MRI. I only had back pain and muscle spasm at that point, none of the neurological symptoms! Aaauuuuggghh! I am so fed up with all of this!
  • Maybe you can sue them too? It seems they are all gonna get you so get them fist and show them they can't mess with you.
  • I really just want someone to actually HELP me. I called my primary dr and left her a MSG as to what's going on. I know my MRI results don't show anything major, but after the exam and finding neurological deficits and motor problems, my neuro told me to get ESIs and lay flat on my back for another month, which I did. Nothing has improved. I have an inflammatory arthritis disease, perhaps it's inflammation compressing nerve roots? MRI won't show that. MRI was not full back either. It's possible I could have another thoracic, perhaps the T10-11 that was bulging at last year's MRI that's herniated worse or something. Just speculating. My symptoms are NOT benign. I don't have a history of hypochondria or anything, so I have no idea why these specialists are not taking me seriously.

    After a third dose of Milk of magnesia, I finally got results. I've never had issues like this and you'd think that with my symptoms, the neuro would worry that the compression is interfering with my bowel and hladder muscles or something. That's what my primary dr. is worried about. Perhaps I can convince her to a FULL MRI of my back. I should at least talk to her by phone tomorrow.

    It's so frustrating and I'm just so tired of fighting to be heard, fighting to get the care I need. I don't feel like I've got any fight left in me right now.
  • Ok, saw my primary care dr this afternoon. She's ordering another MRI, that covers full thoracic and lumbar. Perhaps there's something up higher causing the problems. Last MRI was only of lumbar.

    My patient advocate is trying to get me in for a 2nd opinion with a different Dr. at the Neuroscience Institute- other than the one I tried to see. She also thinks she may hsve found an orthopedic surgeon within the med group who might be willing to see me.

    Hopefully something comes to fruition. I can't live with this level of disability forever.
  • You want to sue the doctor who gave you the epidural. So why not go to town and sue all the doctors. None of them can guarantee results so if it does not go down perfect just sue. Even if you lose their reputation will be smeared.

    Post edited. Totally inappropriate and rude comments. This is not in the best interest of Spine-Health. When you have nothing but negative to talk about, I suggest you make your posts on a site that would appreciate what you have to say. People here care too much about each other

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health Administrator, 09/30/09
  • What the heck is with the snide remarks? I had an unnecessary ESI done in the wrong location, of which all my doctors and patient care coordinator have said was a terrible mistake that never should have happened. I'm still having problems because of that ESI. I'm not sue-happy, I just want to make sure stupid, unnecessary mistakes like this don't happen. Why shouldn't someone pay for such a stupid mistake, one that could easily Have been avoided?

    I don't work and haven't for 12 years. I've work my butt off caring for my children and family and my ability to do so has been greatly impacted by this back injury. My husband's job has been impacted too, because he's having to step in and help with chilcare due to my disability. Stay-at-home mothers get screwed if they get injured. They don't qualify for disability income or any social services that they would if they had been in the workforce. I handled all childcare before my injury. We don't have the money to pay for it.

    I'm mad that nobody's taking my problems, my pain and disability seriously, because I can't care for my family in my current condition.

    You don't know me or my situation and your comments are extremely judgmental and unnecessary.
  • Please see my PM to you.

  • I've got an MRI scheduled for next Tues. If I didn't have to have labs done prior, I could have gone in this afternoon, but I guess they're doing it with contrast. Yuck! Contrast made me positively ill last time. I felt awful all day, after that injection.

    The radiological place was so dumb. They scheduled me in a neighboring town, 40 mins away and all they had were 7:30 am appts for 2 weeks. I took one, then I found out they have an open MRI here in my town so I called that location and they have lots of appts available: afternoon ones too. A 7:30 would have been a nightmare. My in-laws are out of town and can't come watch the kids, so we would have had to get them up an hour early, have them get ready for school, and come with us, then be late for school. I'm so glad I took the initiative and called other locations.
  • i just hope the mri shows whats going on with your spine. its so frustrating to have the problems you do and not to have solution.
    i just was neglected by an scs company. i was made so uncomfortable i wanted to sue them because they didnt respond when i had an emergency. i never sued anyone in my life but if your injured you have that right. good luck with mri and keep us posted....pete
  • i would go back to your doctor and talk to him/her for bowl med s try movicol
  • Straker,

    I don't think the ESI affected my bowels directly, but that th inflammation It caused, due to my allergic reaction to it, caused more nerve compression that caused the bowel problems. I'm ok now. The inflammation has gone down. Bladder and bowels are about back to normal. Still in lots of pain, but it's better than it was. Thanks for the recommendation.

    And as far as suing over the ESI that was done in the wrong place, I can't find an attorney who will take the case. They've basically said it would cost more to put the case together and prove it, than I would be entitled to in damages. But the amount they thought I'd be entitled to was VERY imoressive, much more than I ever thought. I've dropped it, and will not pursue it further.
  • I'm doing a bit better. Thankfully the massive inflammation caused by the reaction to the ESI, has gone down. My legs are stronger too, not feeling like they're going to buckle under me all the time. Hopefully I've turned a corner and this trend will continue and I'll continue to improve. I overdid it yesterday and paid for it last night. Lots of pain and problems sleeping. But I did feel a lot better this morning when I woke up, so I think things are improving. I just have to be careful and not do too much too soon.

  • that you are getting better and no permanent damage. its the stress, pain and discomfort you went through that will be remembered for a while.....pete
  • Well, I'm still hoping there's no permanent damage. I still have no feeling from bellybutton to upper thigh and around my back. Hopefully that will come back.
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