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I'm confused

Kris-NYKKris-NY Posts: 2,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Spinal Injections
I'm confused. My neurologist explained that I have a boney ridge that is now pressing into the T2 nerve root at the vertebra. I'm guessing this is the spot where the fracture healed but he wouldn't commit to that (doctor cover thy butt).

So he is proposing ESI. From the little I have read so far I don't understand what this will do since it is steroids to reduce swelling. I don't have swelling. I have nerve irritation from it pressing on this boney ridge. I'm guessing it would temporarily relieve the nerve pain by numbing the nerve. But how long does that last and what will all these steroids do to me?

Tomorrow I see the surgeon. Can't wait to see what he says. I've suspected since I found out about the fracture that he is covering up or at least brushing off the effects of this problem. I honestly don't blame him but don't know how to make him believe that. He was the only one who was willing to do this surgery and we knew it was a tight spot to get into.

In my mind I am thinking that another surgery is in my future. Don't want to end up with permanent damage to that nerve.


  • Kris, I am so sorry you are going through this. ESI's have never worked for me, but my understanding for most people, they cut the pain down a lot! I'm thinking if they have to go in and trim that bone out, they might be able to do it without a lot of cutting? I will keep my fingers crossed for you and your appointment results tomorrow. Gentle support *HUG* coming your way!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I have bone fragments impinging on nerves due to a fracture as well, and my doctor said that the ESI could reduce the swelling of the nerve itself and the tissues around it. Maybe. Or not. In my case, it helped a little, but not a lot.

    I figured it was worth a try :)

  • I'm not real eager to do injections. Both because of the location and even the experts say its a 50$% chance of it helping. And if it only works for a few months at best that means alot of shots all my life.

    I'm thinking he will have to go back in to shave it down. What I want to find out is how the rest healed. If I'm getting calcium buildup every where he touched it might not help to go in again.

    THe surgery really wasn't bad so I wouldn't mind doing it again if it will work. Just not sure what the surgeon thought of it. Hes getting to T2 from my neck which is pushing the limit of accessibility.

    Can't wait for today's appt. Keep your fingers crossed.
  • I hope you get some answers today

    I understand your concern, the injections may just mask the symptoms for a little while but it is not taking care and resolving the actual problem that has been created.

    Stand your ground about wanting it repaired if the surgeon is wiliing to go in and shave it down or somehow remove the part that is pressing on your nerve.

    I also found that the steroid injectios are also resposible for weight gain, so i didn't like having to do so many shots,and believe me I have had many!!

    I am keeping my weight in check now, actually the stress and recovery from this last surgery has caused me to loose a bunch of weight, I have no appetite and can't eat. I see my doctor today too for my post-op visit....good luck to both of us, your not alone and I really pray you get some good answers today.

    Thinking of you, please let us know what happens.

    Sandra :-)
  • Hi Kris,

    I'm anxious to hear what you found out, so hopefully you'll be able to give us an update.

    My non-expert opinion is that sometimes doctors offer injections because it is the only thing they can offer. I have found that a lot of times the attitude is that the injection won't do any harm, and it might help, so why not give it a try? Easy for a doctor to say, but not necessarily true for us patients as we sign the consent forms, go through the emotional cycles of hope and disappointment, and then foot the bills.

    That said, the ESI could help because if the bone has caused just a temporary aggravation of the nerve or if swelling is what has caused the nerve to press up into the bone then the ESI could be a reasonable option. My doctor explained it to me that the nerve roots are basically floating in the cerebrospinal fluid, and sometimes they can sort of get hung-up and the cortisone can help them get unstuck. If the nerve has for whatever reason gotten hung up on this boney ridge then maybe the ESI could be a good thing? But, if the boney ridge is actually compressing the nerve then it doesn't really make sense how cortisone could help that because it won't do anything about the boney ridge.

    It sounds like you're approaching this really logically, and maybe if your doctor could clarify why exactly he thinks an ESI would help since it seems to be a bone problem...Hope you got good news today!
  • I got the answer I expected. THe nerve root is pressing against this boney ridge. He wants me to try injections and the neurontin. Didn't really think the ridge could cause that much pain so I guess the injections could possibly prove that it is the cause.

    He could do surgery but he would have to remove so much bone he would have to do a fusion. A fusion at this level is not really a big deal since these vertebra don't move normally.

    I'm not happy about the injection idea but I'll go listen to the PM doctor. THe other option was a mylegram which doesn't sound like fun either :(

    My feeling is lets make sure this is the problem and then do the surgery. I have almost two years left under the no-fault car accident insurance so I'm thinking maybe next January if this proves out.
  • Kris,

    Glad to see you finally have answers!! I hope the shots work and you can delay surgery to fix it. Fusion if needed huh? Bummer, but it would stop hopefully a lot of what you are going through. Please let us know if the shots helped as pain sux big time! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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