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30 minutes..what?

kyadog115kkyadog115 Posts: 266
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All..
I just got a call from the hospital asking the usual pre-surgery questions however, they asked me what procedure was being done. I told them epidural steroid injections. The woma said it would be 30 mins in the O.R and 1 Hr. recovery. Does that sound? 30 min's for an injection...i thought a lot less time than that. Now I am getting nervous.




  • The injection only takes a few minutes but they need to prep you. They need to hook up the O2, BP cuff, give you the fentanyl/versed happy juice. They need to get the flouroscopy x-ray equipment positioned.

    Paul, I have had 2 rhizotomy's and about 15 ESI's. You will have no issues with it to speak of. You will feel a needle jab and that should be it.
  • I've been to 3 PM Dr's and each took about 20-30minutes for the injection. One PM took longer but the last PM Dr. I went to was even less time. I was out within the hour but this time I had no IV and I've never had sedation or flouroscope so I imagine that takes longer. This last time was the best results I had so far. Your Dr. sounds very thorough which is good. Best wishes. 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
  • My feeling is that they're giving you the 30 minutes timeframe to cover themselves, depending on what happens in there. This time includes getting you rolled over onto the OR table, getting you swabbed, sedating you if that's going to be done, getting your arms and head in the right position, doing the procedure, then getting you unhooked if necessary, rolling you back onto the bed, etc.

    They should be using an x-ray scope while they do the injections and sometimes it takes a few minutes to find just the right spot. Are they doing multiple levels and sides?

    I've had ESIs and facet injections and found the whole ordeal to be overkill. They set you up in a pre-op area, just like you're going to have surgery, with an IV, laying in bed with the hospital gown on, the nurse(s) come by and ask a bunch of questions and explain some stuff, sign papers, etc. Then you wait and you're finally wheeled in. My injections never took longer than about 15 minutes, then the waiting and waiting in "post-op".

    After having these done, it seems to me that you should just be able to walk into your doc's office, pull your pants down, bend over and let them shoot you up, then leave. But, they make this a big deal to make sure you're safe, they've done what they need to do, you don't have any adverse reactions, etc.

    Don't worry, it's really not bad at all. I doubt you'll be in the OR for 30 minutes even though that's what is scheduled.

  • ok thanks for that....it just seemed a bit long to me...I'm kinda startin to think i probably should just have another micro'd on that disc since I'm gunna be in an OR anyway and more than likely, thats where this is headed anyway...
  • Thanks Charry for that...I dont know how u did it w/out sedation........dont think I could...
  • Thanks Cath..u r probably right. To b honest. I dont know if it's multiple level, sides or what. All I know is I have herniated L-5 disc and I'm in a lotta pain.The woman from the hosp. did say I'd have to go and put on the gown and the some1 from anesthesia would come in and talk to me. This is looking just like surgery..
  • Paul, really they aren't bad at all! After all of this anxiety, you'll think, "that's it!" I have had so many over ESI's, facet injections, S.I. and caudal injections over the past 5 years, I can't even begin to count. Now my PM has a surgical suite it his office, Before my fusion I would just show up, tell him where I hurt and what I wanted done, and that was it.

    You want them to take the time they need and not feel rushed. And I always had sedation! They may not tell you this, put I would try to time my pain meds for before I would go. And if I used ice 20 minutes each hour, for the first 24 hours I did well (I usually had caudal injections and SI injections).

    Good luck. I hope you get the results I always did! Shari
  • I have had both the Epidural and Facet Injections. Mine were done in the Specialists office. They hooked up the IV and provided local anesthetic to the area of injections.

    Total time for these was about 1 1/2 hour from start to leaving office. This was for cervical injections. I do not know of lumbar area is different.

    For me, neither of these injections provided me any type of relief. The facet injection seemed to provide relief only during the time of the local anesthetic was in effect.
  • Thanks for that reply. I'm seriously doubting these will help, but b4 surgery I'll try it. Take it e-z w/that acdf..u r only 28 days out. I had a 3 level in 08...takes time. I used a stim too, i think it might have helped me as I fused ahead of schedule.

  • Sounds like only one level, but could be both sides. It is an OR-type ordeal but once you have it done it'll probably be like everyone else here says - "What's the big deal?"

    Because of the numbing agent they'll put on your back, you should only feel a little prick of the needle, if anything at all, and maybe a little pressure. My biggest problem was some pain down my legs when they rolled me back onto the bed they rolled me in on, but that went away within about 15 minutes.

    I found facet injections amusing because the doctor (I could see him out of the corner of my eye on the left side) would place the needle then jump back with his hands in the air (like someone said "Hold 'em up or I'll shoot") and look at the x-ray screen. He'd say "perfect" then go back and do it again. I had six facet injections at one time and he'd do this each time so it kind of cracked me up watching him.

    Anyway, I'm really hoping that you get some relief from these injections. Good luck, Paul.
  • I've had the following done to me:
    Cath111 said:

    After having these done, it seems to me that you should just be able to walk into your doc's office, pull your pants down, bend over and let them shoot you up, then leave. But, they make this a big deal to make sure you're safe, they've done what they need to do, you don't have any adverse reactions, etc.
    After long reflection my last drop trou by my first Doctor created my current problem (Adhesive Arachnoiditis). That was the day he nicked a nerve and I never went back to him. Years later I found out that these injections should always be done under the guidance of a flouroscope.

    Paul, its sounds like a major production when done through a hospital rather than in a PM Doctors Clinic. The most you'll feel is a prick and maybe some of your normal pain as the steroids are injected. It'll be over before you know it.

  • Yes, I was definitely exaggerating there, I understand the need for a fluoroscope with the procedure (all mine were done with one) and that it should never be done the way I joked about it.

    I guess when you have a good doctor and nurses, they make it seem so simple that all the other stuff seems like overkill. But I understand it isn't and I wouldn't do it any other way. I suppose it's kind of like watching someone bowl or play golf - they make it look so easy that you say to yourself, "Oh, I could do that. Piece of cake." But that's not reality.

    Injections are no joke and should never be taken as one. I'm sorry to hear that you actually did have it done the way you did and had such bad results. I never heard of Adhesive Arachnoiditis so I looked it up and came upon a web page of the COFWA. Once you have this it's incurable and untreatable, is that correct? Is yours progressive?

  • Your doctor pretty much has to prove to the insurance companies that the patient has tried a serious course of conservative treatments before they will give authorization for surgery these days...so, whether the injection helps or not, most people have to go through them. For the people they do help, it saves all the expense and potential risk of surgery...so for that reason, they want patients to give it a try.

    Good luck. It will be over before you know it.

  • I should update my response. I had mine in the Specialists office. But, he had the fluoroscope and took x-rays during the whole procedure.
  • I had a total of 3 ESI and never was offered any kind of sedation. They just used a local at the site to numb the area. Huh...I wish they would have offered it thinking back. You will do fine.

  • To answer your question, yes my AA is currently progressive. It lied dormant with minor burning symptoms in my feet for years. I never mentioned it to my current team because I truly believed I had recurrent athletes foot. Was I ever wrong.

    To those doubters, yes I did have an epidural without a flouroscope. It was one of the few times that I left a Doctors office with tears in my eyes. A nurse asked me one time to rate my pain with 0 being no pain and 10 having surgery without anesthesia. A bad epidural on that scale is a 9.

    After my fusion surgery, it turned from a minor nuisance to a progressive condition. I should clarify that my condition is progressing very slowly, so I'm thankful for that. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

    The best thing for anyone to consider when thinking about back surgery is to tell your surgeon all of your symptoms even if you don't think they are related. I still would have had my surgery when I did, but at least I would have been better prepared for this eventuality. Kind of dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.

  • I had 3 of them done without sedation on an xray table, by flouroscope...it took about 3 minutes and had to wait out in lobby for 15 minutes to make sure I could walk after they took my blood pressure and then I could go home. Of course I had to have a ride and had to stay down for the rest of the day and couldn't drive for 24 hrs. He injected numbing medicine then the other needle then he was done. I was pretty scared about it and it hurt, but it was pretty quick. It was done in a surgery center. They didn't do any good for me, but has worked well for others. My PM doctor did them across the street from his office...
  • Tonya..
    Thanks for the reply. I think I'll b ok, just cant wait ta get it over with...

  • Paul, one thing that I was told was that it's best to rest and not move too much for the first three days, even thought the doc usually will say just the first day afterwards.

    Resting for three days will allow the medicine more time to get to its target point, while moving may disperse it throughout other parts of your body, not allowing the maximum chance of relief from the injection.

  • Thanks Cath....i think someone somewhere along the line said that too...
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