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? on ESI that amy lead to foraminotomy

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 181
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have a question regarding an ESI to C4C5.
I have a hx of 2 seperate fusions(1 yr apart)C67 first then C56 with cord compression that caused myelopathy and chronic pain and weakness to left arm. Six months ago I started with rt arm pain but no weakness thank goodness. It is worse with activity and I know what nerve pain feels like so I am certain that is the problem.
My orginal NS was not impressed with my MRI.
Last week I had an orthospine to look at it. He showed me the MRI on a 50 inch screen which he said showed foraminal stenosis at C45.He wants me to try a ESI at that level and if it provides relief do a foraminotomy. He states it is very simple surgery,so easy they shouldn't even call it surgery. Does anyone have any experience with this? It sound scary but you input would be helpful.


  • There is one important question I have is he doing this anterior or posterior. There is a video here on posterior cervical foraminotomy. As far as recovery if it is posterior it is the actual incision that is the most painful not the procedure itself per say. The recovery time is with the posterior muscle. Is the injection they are doing a nerve block? Typically they can put the blocks into see if the procedure will indeed take away the pain. Now the only difference in your surgery is they aren't working from a virgin slate but it is far less than the fusion surgery you have had. I have had this procedure at the same time they were removing hardware. If i can be of any assistance don't hesitate to pm me.
  • When I looked at the order the Dr wrote NRI to C4 C5 not ESI.
    Do you know what a NRI is? Is that a nerve block?
    Also can a foraminotomy be done from the anterior approach?
    This surgeon makes it sound so simple, easier than a root canal!
  • That should stand for Nerve root injection. Which is kind of what I thought he/she maybe doing. They are trying to isolate out the area to see if it is the pain generator. Did they ask you to keep a journal following the injection? If the the injection relieves the pain they know they have the right level and nerve but if it doesn't then they know it is not it. I actually have to say I love those injections if they hit it right. It is just welcome relief. The foraminotomy I wouldn't go so far as to say it is that easy. I would say it is not as bad as when they mount hardware on your spine. The issue is like I said the incision through the posterior side. I have seen a few members recently whom did a anterior forminatomy but not many, which is why I asked sense your surgeon is making it sound so easy. I will say on that particular surgery following the surgery i was complaining really bad about the pain, and they had to get the surgeon. He came in and looked at me and said get a x-ray something is wrong. But I also had my hardware removed at the same time. So it is hard for me to gauge. Oh there was something wrong, but it had to do with the hardware removal and ended with me back in a brace. But in my case that was my third surgery. Once they added the brace what I was complaining of stopped. With the brace on it was actually pretty easy going, but that was the second entry for me posterior. I say easy going, as compared to what I had been going through, with a hardware issue. So if this is the first time for you, I don't think it will be as easy as they claim. One thing I think is most important is to have good muscle relaxers. I remember calling after the first posterior surgery and telling them I needed something stronger,but not pain meds, muscle relaxers. I ended with valium and it did the trick. Also I think message therapy goes a long way following that surgery, to help with the spasm as soon as it is safe enough. I think the surgeon says easy as it is a easy surgery for them to perform. Keep us posted how the injection goes. Take care
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