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Scared & want to cxl my spinal injections. Need Advice!

pen2005palppen2005pal Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone,

I've had back pain for 8 years. I put it off for that long. I had an MRI and the results were Spinal Stenosis, Arthritis and degenerative disc disease. It also said no pinched nerve but narrowing of the nerve (whatever that means).

The worst part is that my symptoms are that when anyone touches me, it feels like a knife going through my skin. It's worse than pins and needles. It goes all the way from the middle of my back to my lower legs. It's HORRIBLE and unbearable. I sometimes have a low ache but that is nothing compared to the knives in my back and butt area. If I drive more than an hour, my hands and feet get tingling and feel numb. Very frightening. As fat as I am , my tailbone feels like a knife going through my skin as well. One would think I would have enough "cousin" for my tailbone.

Anyway, my doctor wants me to have to spinal cortisone injections next week. TWO of them. They are giving me sedation but they are telling me that I have to be awake for the procedure. A friend of mine who had this procedure done said it was the worst thing she ever had. I am considering canceling because there is no way I can humanly handle pressure and that "knife" going through my skin. Heck, if my husband just touches me lightly there, he's in danger of getting kicked (that is how bad my pain is). I don't understand why they can't knock me out completely. The nurse thinks it's a simple procedure. That is easy for her to say.

Has anyone had these symptoms and how did you handle this procedure? Need advice, please!



  • Welcome to our forum.

    Can understand why you would be scared after your friend's experience.

    I've had several epidurals under sedation, and I was fine. The doctor gave me a few local injections around the site, which sting a bit. I could feel the cortisone injection, but it was ok.

    I had a good pain management specialist give me the injections in the hospital, where I was only for a few hours. After it was finished, then I went into the recovery section for about an hour, and then a light meal.

    I'm sure you'll be fine, and if the injections help with your pain for a while, then you'll be very glad that you had them.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • I have had the transforaminal injections and I will say that the sedation is minimal and if the nerve root is inflamed, as mine was, the pain is awful during the injection. However, it is worth a try because it may stop the pain for awhile!

    I recently had a caudal-entry epidural injection done by a Pain Management doctor (anesthesiologist), and they almost completely knocked me out. It was a virtually painless procedure and I left the office with zero pain. I was sore for a couple of days once the Fentanyl wore off. I'm going back for another injection next week and I'm looking forward to it because I think it helped.

    I'm very concerned by what you describe to be stabbing pains at the slightest touch. My daughter has RSD and it sounds hauntingly familiar. I can't diagnose your condition, but it wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor about RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), which is also called CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome).

    Please don't give up on medical treatment for your pain.

    Take Care,

  • Hi I am phobic of needles and medical procedures so when I last had an Steroid injection they completely knocked me out. Next thing I knew was I was awake in recovery room. It helped for few weeks but soon after I fell pregnant so not sure whether thats why pain relief didnt work to long...she was over 9lb and I had Pelvis Dysfunction Disorder carrying her(complete agony) I am having another injection soon and hoping the pain relief will last longer. Im scared of surgery as this scar tissue business sounds terrible and there is no cure for it. My dad had two ops and he is now whhelchair bound as so much nerve damage done. Im sure if u tell them you'll freak out they will knock u out completely
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    You'll find many different experiences here with spinal injections. For me, I've had ESIs and facet joint injections and none of them were unbearable for me. Most times, the docs will be very gentle with you and some will even prescribe some valium or xanax for you to take prior to going to the injection to help calm you down and help you relax.

    I, too, am concerned about how you have pain when just touched and think you might want to explore that further.

    Take care and please keep us posted.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. the doctors and nurses are very understanding during these procedures and i am sure if you explain your fears they will take care of you! no one wants to hurt you! the first time you try alot of these procedures, it can be scary, especially when you cannot be touched!! you should look into that! you will get through it with the doctor's help! good luck with your procedure! keep us informed! Jenny :)
  • Hi Pen2005Pal, Sorry to hear about your fear. I Have had all total about 24 injections and three of them was done without being put out. Just the local on the skin. I just took a deep breath and it was over before I knew it. The ones that I was put to sleep for they gave me something to sooth my nerves before going into the OR room. If your pain is great just ask for more satatives tell them that you are afraid and I'm sure they will accommodated you. I tell you the normal pain from the Back made me say the heck with it. And go For it. SLH
  • I've had many injections like the steroid epidurals (caudal) and other facet joint, trigger and nerve blocks and take my usual pain medication before I go but they do tiny little injections of freezing to numb the area fist and take a deep breath whenever I get the injections. It's uncomfortable but I don't have any sedation so just try to use imagery like laying on the beach and the sun is shining on me and the waves of water coming up and it helps me relax. I've had over 40% relief of leg pain afterwards and although my back is tender after I put ice on as instructed by the Dr.

    I'm always nervous before hand and come here to ask for everyone to pray or send positive thoughts for me and it's a great support. It's worth the discomfort because afterwards there's usually relief of pain right away or up to 2 weeks after the injections as the steroids take away the inflammation. 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 think most people find the experience not intolerable. Certainly get the sedation, which will help make it a less unpleasant experience in the long run.

    Putting you under a general would really increase the risks of the procedure, so I imagine very few doctors would agree to do so.

    Imagine life without that pain when people touch you! That's what you have to look forward to if these injections are successful. Keep that wonderful picture in your mind to replace any terrible pictures that creep in to make you fearful :)
  • :H HI pen and welcome to the site..
    I really understand your fears as Im going in this Wednesday for my 16th procedure of Epdiural injections, nerve burning and facet and SI joint injections..

    My Dr uses Fentanal as a sedative as they are still able to speak with you during the procedure as this is important so they get it in the right spot..I dont get the cortisone anymore as it made my liver very enlarged and it hurts more without the cortisone thats for sure.

    Overall, my procedures have worked, just not in the Thoraic area and now Im going to have a stimulator trialed for that area in November..

    I wish you all the best and feel free to ask me what you want and I hopefully can help as Ive also had 5 fusions and 1 total disc replacement..

  • i have been a member of the old and the new spine health for many years now and its the best site on the web ..so you are in the right place for information.
    speaking from experience ...i would say that spinal injections are at best ,a stop gap and they tend to be very hit and miss.i have had many different types if injections and i have not have any good experiences with them .so i dont have them any more .have you seen a neurosurgeon or and orthopedic surgeon yet? and if so have they suggested any operations? do you work? what medication are you on ? sorry for all the question ..but the more we know the more advice i may be able to give you .
    have you tried the acticare unit ?? its a high end TENS with an external spinal cord stimulator .they are made in the uk but they will deliver world wide .in the uk you get a 30 day trial period but i have arranged with acticare that any spine health member living outside the uk will get a bit longer to try the device .{i use mine all the time } please done confuse the acticare with a cheap TENS there is a big difference the acticare is a professional unit .you could also use ice packs on your back .SLEEPING ..how do you sleep ? an electrical adjustable bed is the best for anyone with back problems {but i understand that they are expensive and not everyone can afford them } but if your bed is due for a change maybe you may think about investing {if you do please contact me and i will give you some good advice } the same goes for pillows .i use the tempur millenium queen pillow its not like any other memory foam pillow and worth every penny .if you live in the uk i can give you some good website to get a good bed and pillow.
    tony {aka STRAKER}
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