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Valium as sedation for Facet joint injections? Please help!

christiecchristie Posts: 28
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Spinal Injections
Hi there. Well, tomorrow I go for another FJI with a new doc. The first I had was a caudal with NO sedation at all and I was in so much pain they had to stop the procedure half-way through.

Then, with another doc (moved) did FJI and RFA under iv sedation. I may have felt a little relief but then I twisted my back while hiking and the pain was back.

Now I'm with a new insurance and I basically feel as though to prove to my phys. med. doc that I'm serious about getting relief, I have to have an FJI. That will be tomorrow and under this insurance, they won't do iv sedation! So now I'm very scared. No - terrified!

I couple of weeks ago, I had a deep muscle spasm and my pcp gave me valium (10mg). I'm not really sure how much it did for the spasm because it always made me fall asleep. So I plan to use it tomorrow.

My question is: has anyone used valium as sedation for these types of procedures? And if so, at what dosage? I seem to have a really high tolerance to meds (xanax didn't do anything for me, am on a 50mcg Fentanyl patch and have major pain right now) but I've never taken valium before now and I'm not sure of how much is too much/how much I'll need to be somewhat comfortable with the procedure.

If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading! I appreciate any and all advice!



  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    My pain doctor always gives me 2 vicodin and 2 valium before any injection
    And yes it made a difference
  • I took oxazepam (cousin of valium) before my facet joint injections and it helped a bit. I don't know the dosage they'll give you but hoping all goes well with your injections tomorrow. 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
  • So the injections went ok. I don't have much experience with valium so I'm not sure when it starts to work/peaks but I slept for about 6 hours after I got home! The injections themselves were not as bad as I had feared (don't know if it is due to the difference or something else). I definitely felt pressure and the lidocaine needle but I'm OK with going back for a recheck/another round in 6 weeks.

    Only problem now is that I am feeling pain again (not soreness from the injections).

    Thanks Susan and Charry for your advice.

  • I have my ESI next Tuesday but my doc has not mentioned that I should take meds beforehand to relax me or whatever. Should I call and ask or just show up? I'm assuming this isn't going to hurt! But I am freaked out a bit. Thanks!
  • Why not call the PM clinic and ask if there's any sedation before the ESI's? For me there was none and I took my own but you should know before hand. 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 called my doc. They said they would give me an IV or Valium. IV for an injection? Sounds like overkill to me, or maybe I'm trying to be too tough. I figure a little local anesthetic, a Valium, and I'm good. I hope it's not too painful!
  • Kkubala,

    After now having had 4 of these procedures (each one a little different from the other), go for the IV!!! Unless you feel as though you are a total lightweight and have a high threshold for pain.

    I'm not trying to scare you it's just that as you can see from my original post, my first experience was not a good one, last one was not bad but the two with iv sedation were completely fine! Maybe you can talk to the doc and start off at a low dose and increase it if you feel you need to. Because I have such a high tolerance to meds, my doc kept increasing the dosage in my iv and i didn't even feel loopy!!!

    Best of luck to you tomorrow. Let us know how it goes!

  • I was sedated completely. Don't remember a thing! And I was only loopy for about an hour afterward. Worth it! I was numb all yesterday from the local. Feeling normal today. Doc said it would take several days for steroid to take effect, so I'm looking forward to my progress. Just icing and resting today.

    I soooo love this forum....answers so many questions. Especially for a newbie like me. This is my first taste of any medical problems.

    Thank you all!
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