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  • Maybe because steroids have a real bad reputation and they can have some bad side effects on people. My doctor would have to convince me to do them because I would't for the he-ll of it.

    Does your doctoe KNOW you did the steroids and all before your fusion?
  • Not a good idea. I've seen the effects of injections becoming infected and doing deep wound packings are unreal. Not to mention terrible side effects for the brain. Steroids affect the bones also and weaken them. You're opening a can of worms here that may have determental side effects. I'm not a Dr. but would stay away from these steroids. They can cause problems in the bone marrow where your blood is born so unless under the care of a Dr. I say no to drugs!
    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
  • jasoncamaro69jjasoncamaro69 Posts: 84
    edited 03/09/2013 - 9:04 AM
  • jasoncamaro69jjasoncamaro69 Posts: 84
    edited 03/09/2013 - 9:04 AM
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I asked my doctor about steroid injections for my knee and/or my neck in the next few months and he said spinal fusion recovery can be inhibited by steroid use (even oral steroid use such as what is used during a severe sinus infection). I don't know how this differs from anabolic steroids.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • jasoncamaro69jjasoncamaro69 Posts: 84
    edited 03/09/2013 - 9:05 AM
  • jasoncamaro69jjasoncamaro69 Posts: 84
    edited 03/09/2013 - 9:06 AM
  • We'll you might want to keep it a secret from him. We'll if it worked great for you, thats awsome, I just have seen a lot of problems from friends that got on them. I could see how they could help, but everybody is different. You sound like your in reasonably good health, like I am and can do that. Compared to someone say in their 60-70s trying to take steroids and do something like that. If you do tell you doc, I imagine he's not going to be happy. Just my opinion. ;)

  • I'm just concerned because at the ER where I work we had one guy come in and he was having a heart attack probably caused by steroids. Thank goodness he's okay now after an Emergency stent was put in his heart. But do be careful. Side effects-http://www.steroidworld.com/sideeffects.htm http://www.steroidea.com/index.php/Anabolic-Steroid-Articles/steroids-side-effects.html
    None of us are Drs here but concerned about your use of anabolic steriods without your Dr. knowing. There can be delayed healing also and increase of blood sugar etc. There should be more studies done on this topic for sure but I can't accept this as being an answer for others to purchase steroids to increase their healing of spine surgery. Please 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
  • jasoncamaro69 said:
    I understand that. I think in my case it has made a heck of a difference. I am not recommending it for anyone else, but am wondering if it is something that needs to be looked at. After reading a lot of experiences, I feel as if I am way ahead of the curve.

    I feel I can tell my surgeon since I cut myself off of the drugs already. I am not an addict, and am definately not a seeker. Maybe this is another option that needs to be tested. Just my opinion
    I could see where it would make sense, make your muscles stronger for the surgery and less recovery time. And to get off the drugs quicker is always good. Definatley thinking out of the box, but only thing anablolic steroids have a bad rep why I bet it would be frowned upon. ;)
  • jasoncamaro69jjasoncamaro69 Posts: 84
    edited 03/09/2013 - 9:05 AM
  • I'm just wondering if possibly you would have still had the same amount of success, if you had simply done the same exercises minus the steroids. As long as the core was strengthened properly in proportion to you physique, would you not have accomplished the same end result without extra bulk or muscle mass?

  • Jason I don't know anything about steroids so I won't comment on that. What I do know from my own experience is that by doing PT before surgery the recover is much faster. I did this before knee surgery(driving 5 days after), rotator cuff surgery(almost full range of motion 1 wk later) and now my back surgery(back to PT in 2 wks work in 3wks). I have gone back to PT as soon as the doctors OK it after each surgery and the therapists say I am way ahead of normal recovery.

    I wonder if any studies have been done on this? It would have to be a very controlled study. My guess is that it would be hard to get volunteers. Also since the steroids are sold over-the-counter already for the most part the drug companies don't have a big stake in it.

  • jasoncamaro69jjasoncamaro69 Posts: 84
    edited 03/09/2013 - 9:05 AM
  • Jason,

    My concern on this topic is that while you show how it can help muscle mass your missing the known side effects to the drug. The biggest of those being hypertenstion, left ventricle damage and damage to the liver and the lessor effects of ED and mania. But the primary is the heart issues. You can have pain and still continue living. But what would happen if you damage the left ventricle and since by your own admittance no one is monitoring these drugs how do you know you haven't already? Since a medical doctor is not prescribing these for you they are also not monitoring any adverse effects you could be having from them. If you had pain so bad that you weren't working on your core body strength, I would assume a doctor was prescribing something to aid you with it. Many of those drugs are processed through the liver as well. Then adding another drug in there your doctor is unaware of and he is only monitoring the liver with the doses he is prescribing and you in turn end up with liver disease. I guess I have to ask is the trade off worth it. While for you maybe just fine the next person trying something as this may not be just fine. These are not drugs that can't be prescribed by a medical doctor. I guess I question why would you not have a open discussion with your doctor why they wouldn't use them in your case. It wasn't a drug you were seeking a high off of but rather as you stated to improve your medical condition. So, if that is so, why not have a open conversation with your doctor in reference to the drug?

    You bring up the case of Mark McQuire who long suffered with back issues that is well documented in his career. But your saying that his use is wrong as he was a baseball player someone who had to perform but it is okay to use them outside the care of a doctor to get over the hump of dealing with surgery. The fact remains the drugs do have both negative and positive side effects. But why would you not openly work with your surgeon to see if they are a solution to your issues. I am not against trying new things but we all stress to check with your doctor before doing it. When you go in for surgery you say hey doc "I trust you with my life", but I am only going to tell you the parts I want about it. So if you felt this strongly about the use of them why not have had the open discussion with them. I am of the belief that I am trusting a doctor to keep me alive and have my best interest in their hands during a surgery that I want them to have as much information as possible to help me. After all when we go to a doctor we are saying I cant do this on my own and can you help me? Most average people when reading what you placed above don't have the knowledge to understand all the words and pick out the words they want to hear such as builds muscle mass. Also depending on what site that article came from could be a game changer. If it is a site that promotes the use of something the data is always skewed and facts are left out to promote the product. The other question remains when you get something from a illegal source how do you know what is really in the bottle? A lot of places that sell illegal steriods are just giving you aminio acids. Now your personal data is unreliable because there is no facts that is indeed what you got or had? This has a lot to do with why we caution people on using the internet for research purposes and it should be a tool used in conjunction with your doctor. Would you have had surgery if you were using the steriods probably not as your doctor would have thought you wanted to go the conservative route. Could there have been consequences in surgery from you using the drug you betcha and the question if that happened would you have openly admitted using them or let the doctor take the fall for it? I am not scolding you on the use just the fact you left it out of your medical charts and from your surgeon. Furthermore for some reason you didn't fully trust your surgeon and that is evident by not having a open conversation with him up front. Now I wouldn't be letting someone cut on me that I had trust issues with.
  • All I know is that when I developed Avascular/osteonecrosis of the humeral head in my right shoulder, the question I was asked over and over again was if I was a steroid user at anytime in the past or present. (answer is NO)

    It has never been documented, but there has been some indication that steroid use can lead to dead bone. I can't help but think that doing steroids without doctors consent would be a bad idea when you are trying to heal bones.

    Plus the big concern as to what are you actually injecting? No thanks.
  • Interesting concept and probably one that would make for a great research grant idea either in states or abroad. But there is a reason these steroids are still banned...side effects that outweigh the benefit that the common people believe they provide.

    There may be a safe dose/approach/use of these steroids but that's why research is used. The same approach applies when they use new cancer treatments. There are approved drugs and experimental drugs. Why? On the surface a drug may have the ability to improve the immediate situation at hand but the scientists needs to look at the mid/long term effects...are they really helping or just masking? are they creating other, worse mid/long term effects.

    Anyhow..interesting concept. To me it would be better if you could find a study to participate in so it would be controlled. YOu say you healed in 1/2 the time...but how do you know? There's no control group. You may have healed just as quickly without. I just think your statements are off-base. A 'single person' doesn't make a controlled study.

    What is most alarming is that you are doing stuff without your doctors knowledge and to me that says you have a problem. Why? Because you are putting both yourself and your doctor at risk. Your condition is not life or death but the way you are handling it would probably nullify a lot of your insurance if anyone found out. That's my 2-cents worth.

    But I wish you the best. Sometimes life needs risk takers like you to find new solutions to old problems. I just think there are more appropriate ways to go about what you are trying to prove. I think you have a good idea that could substantiate a good study (if there's not already one out there in progress).
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    any steroid UNLESS their doctor was fully aware of the situation.
    No matter how much research we can do, it doesnt mean that taking some medication is the right thing to do.

    Steroids will break down and cause more damage to your muscles and more over a period of time. That is just one of the reasons why Spinal Injections (ESI's) are generally limited to 3 a year. And why my doctor will only do steroid injections into my failing shoulders 2 times a year.

    I am with "C" on this. Forget the medication, the exercises that are done (and approved) will have a better long term effect.

    In one of your posts, you mentioned how you can potentially get an infection using at the site. Even under the best 'operating room' and sterile environment, there is always a chance of infection. Alcohols swabs and other preventative measure are used to 'reduce' the chance of infection.

    I had steroid injections done this past January in attempts to calm down a failing arthritic shoulder. The injection did not work, however, because of the Cortisone/Steroid injection, I have to wait 90 days before I can have any type of surgery.

    Of course every one is entitled to do what they believe will help them. Just understand that many people may not agree with your course of action.

    I think the general consensus of people that posted here are saying the same thing.
    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
  • I have no experience with the streoids and affect on the body, especially fusions. I really just wanted to say that I was glad that you at least feel safe enough here on this site to post what you did, as it is a controversial topic.

    Like I said, I really don't know anything about the subject matter, but maybe it can be looked into in the future, or other patients at their wits' end might suggest it to their doctors and find some help, I don't know, just thinking aloud.....

    Oh, but I think you should tell your Doctor so he knows why you're doing so well post-op. Best of luck to you on your continued recovery, Lisa B
  • I also wonder about the effect of just strengthening your core vs. the steroids.

    I also had a VERY weak stomach and back prior to surgery.

    I still did my PT and my exercises before surgery and then did everything I was allowed to do after surgery - plus - I lost a lot of weight and changed my diet habits. I did add protein shakes to my diet and that's about as close to supplementing that I got.

    I also have amazed my NS with my recovery. I did have complications (nerve damage from the surgery), but the actual healing and fusion were better than textbook according to the NS.

    Jason your question is valid though - what effect do the steroids have on your recovery vs. just exercise. I don't know. It would need a full-on study to determine that. I know I did incredibly well with just the exercise - despite my weak muscles (at the time weak, now they are rock hard ;) )

    All that said - I would not want to be one to of the guinea pigs. My back is too important to me. My heart is too. I have too many complications with just that, no need to add anything else on top of it all.
  • jasoncamaro69jjasoncamaro69 Posts: 84
    edited 03/09/2013 - 9:05 AM
  • hmmm, while I am all for thinking outside the box, to me it seems like a justification to compare anabolic steroids to theraputic pain medications and heroin. In my mind, they are vastly different for many reasons. Perhaps one of the reasons your PM didn't test your bloood level was based on trust and the understood agreement that he was to be the only one to prescribe pain medications. I know I signed an agreement. And I would be VERY upset as a patient (with documented damage in the spine) to have my PM test my blood.....for what it's worth, just my thoughts Take Care, Shari
  • jayhawk said:
    hmmm, while I am all for thinking outside the box, to me it seems like a justification to compare anabolic steroids to theraputic pain medications and heroin. In my mind, they are vastly different for many reasons. Perhaps one of the reasons your PM didn't test your bloood level was based on trust and the understood agreement that he was to be the only one to prescribe pain medications. I know I signed an agreement. And I would be VERY upset as a patient (with documented damage in the spine) to have my PM test my blood.....for what it's worth, just my thoughts Take Care, Shari

    I agree totally, also there is kind of a un-written law, with doctors. Don't mess with my work. Doctors don't like people screwing with their work. And there being no testing on it and all. Your justification of the opiate based drugs, how many years of testing of those said drugs do they have? TONS, and they know what can happen, people can become addicted, people can overdose, etc....... Why they are so careful with them.

    Now if you were a test bed for all this, I bet they would be all for it.

    I mean dude, personally, I thinks its pretty cool what you did because it makes sense and is out of the box. But you have to look at it from the medical side and they might not. Good Luck, I would definatley like to hear your outcome. ;)
  • jasoncamaro69jjasoncamaro69 Posts: 84
    edited 03/09/2013 - 9:06 AM
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