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Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection

Peggy43PPeggy43 Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Dear Sufferers,

I am new on your page, but not new to pains. My pains originated from a car accident 2008. I endured all imagineable treatments including injections, but non Steroid. The new doctor I have chosen suggested/ordered that he will use Epidural Steroid the next time. I worry much, since I heard horror stories from steroid (moon face, gaining weight). Thus my question to members/patients would be to people, who had undergone this treatment. Does it help, and if, how long, and for me important, is it really weight gaining? I am only 5" and have already 10 pounds more than I should, due to so much pain I have reduced my exercise. Is there someone out who has experience with Epidural Steroid Injection in the neck????

Grateful for every reply or advise.....


  • I've had 3. Unfortunately I didn't get any relief from them, but I also didn't have any weight gain as a result of the injections. I think that oral steroids are more likely to cause that increase in appetite and thus the weight gain. That's just my experience. I know many who have had great pain relief from the injections in the cervical area. I just didn't happen to be one of them. Wish I had been!
  • Thank You so much and I am sad that it did not help. My neighbor is also bad off, and she told me that she is getting Botox for her neck- and headaches, and that it works wonder. It is comforting to know that it is not weight gaining, not even after you had three of them. Maybe Botox could help you? The doc also "explained the risks" but, of course, the worst scenario - that could be paralyzed, hope that it is one in million, and not me. My good old doctor moved far away, and this one, is neither "talkative, friendly, nor does he explain much" just take it or get yourself another doctor, great ugh?

    Thanks again,
  • I had just about every imaginable injection in my neck and upper back with no relief. The steroid injections don't cause weight gain. The amount and strength didn't cause any extra hunger. I've also had botox, trigger point and facet injections, none worked.
    I've had injections done by 3 different DRs one who used IV and a little happy juice, one who numbed the area and one who just stuck the needle in (ouch).
    I do get steroid injections in my lumbar region and they work amazingly giving me 3 to 4 months of relief between. Have another one scheduled next week.
    Hopefully they will help you.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Dear davrunner:

    Thank you for your reply and experience. I am really glad that at least the lumbar region responded well to the steroid injectons. But what shall we do with the neck pain? My experience is close like yours, meaning the neck-head-shoulder pains. I tried also everything exept Botox. My neighbor lady "swears" of Botox, thus, I will give it a try. 2 Neurosurgeon were against surgery, then I found an interesting web page www.bnasurg.com on Internet, "cutting edge" mini invasive, etc" but they are in Boulder, Colorado. I live in Colorado, but I also learned that besides insurance, they take a lot from the patient, too, and, of course, NO guarantee. I backed off. It is such hospital like www.LaserSpineInstitute.com if you hve heard/read of them; location: Tampa and Arizona. - I will wish you lots of luck for the next injection. =((
  • Peggy,
    My present OS, does lots of minimally invasive surgeries, told me no surgery specifically because the epidurals don't work. He said he could fuse the 3 levels but wouldn't guarantee there would be any change in my pain, less than 50% chance of improvement. As to future, he said there will come a day when I will have to have surgery, but it will be because of loss of strength/use of hand/arms vice reduction in pain.
    He said there are some people with chronic pain that can't be isolated to a specific disc or discs and you risk making it worse.
    There are other treatments available but he wants me to see the physiatrist before we go down that path.
    I am in Tenn and can only use Drs in area otherwise risk insurance not paying and leaving me with the bill.
    Again good luck to you,
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Hi Peggy:

    About three years ago i suffered through an incredibly horrible episode with my neck. My seemingly "cut happy" neurosurgeon suggested cervical epidurals first. The pain of the shots relative to the pain level I was having was like a "1" on a scale of "10". I got excellent relief for a fair amount of time. However, the effectiveness was temporary, and i have never had that level of pain again.

    As an FYI, as of today I am 3 weeks post-op from a one level ACDF. Recovery is going well, some aches and pains, but I was back to work a week post-op.

    Good luck with the pain - i think everyone on this site sympathizes with what you are going through and are hoping that you get relief.
  • You all are truly nice members on this page. My case is just such agony since it is not just located in the neck; it showed clearly disc protrusion at C5-C6 which possibly affects the C6 root, since the pain radiates into my head and shoulder. I am a German widow and always thought that America is so advanced (like going to the moon), but they cannot figure out to get one pain free. No one had yet suggested surgery in my case, and one doc stated clearly, "that I will have to live the rest of my life in pain" great, ja? It is also stated from different doctors:
    Neck pain
    Cervical spondyloarthritis
    Whiplash injury to the neck

    No one can help. My sister in Tacoma had just 6 months ago a "Failed Back Surery" and is worse off. We don't live in a third-rate country? Should members reply to it, I have a much, much more interesting pain story that I endured over 30 surgeries and went to France and got fixed there. Great doctors here. Type in: www.TIPNA.org and you see Professor Robert who operated on me, after over 30 doctors/surgeries and the Mayo Clinic had no clue. I got fixed 2004. As mentioned in another thread to someone, "If an injection is successful, it depends on the skills of the provider." Right now I have one I wish to send back to the medical school.

    Thank You all for answering, but most comments are truly sad. My late husband used always to say, "Have surgery where you want (meaning also cosmetic or so), but NEVER mess with the spine...My poor sister can now hardly walk, what a mess, and I sit here over 2 years and have not progressed 1%. Great doctors, indeed.

    Much luck to all of you and don't give in to surgery too fast, I read horror stories on the back pain page, some had more than 5 over and over again.

    Much Luck to you all,
  • I tried PT, cervical epidurals, selective nerve root blocks and acupuncture. I feel that if you have the proper Doctors who listen to your symptoms and work with you, you will get the help that you need. My OSS was wonderful. He let me know all of the alternatives and that the possibility of surgery might be needed down the road. I worked with him and many other doctors for more than 5 years before I had ACDF surgery. The relief was amazing. Am I still recovering, yes. But it will take time which thankfully I have. Good luck to all. The only area we are truly behind is with ADR.

    Time will tell. Again it is treatable.
    ************************************************** **
    12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7 with plate, screws,
    BMP & bone fragment filled cages
    2/14/2011 trying to go back to work as a teacher
    2/17/2011 starting PT
    wearing bone stimulator 4 hours a day
    DDD, arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves
    3 months saw a little bit of bone growth (YEAH)
    4/9/2011 ROM much better, still achy and stiff in the am
    49 year old teacher
    dealt with pain for more than 5 years before finally having surgery.
    tried PT, cervical epidurals, selective nerve root blocks and acupuncture
  • CONGRATULATIONS! Finally some good news. Maybe, just maybe it has also to do with the attitude??? Not sure, but I have no luck with doctors, just one, and he moved away. My pain is bearable, one day better and one day worse. I use daily also pain patches (Lidoderm and Flector). As mentioned, I read here on this thread too many negative and sad outcomes so that presently I am not even thinking on surgery. I will give Botox a try; my neighbor is very satisfied with it. I use a lot of Zanaflex and Exedrin for the headaches, but no more narcotics for me.Have been too long on it with the 30 previous surgeries (Pudendel nerve) and am happy and proud that I could get off by myself (after 13 years).

    I wish you a continous, speedy recovery (I worked in a school, too, but only as a teacher's aid).

  • I have had two cervical epidurals - one in feb 2012 and the second in march of 2012. my doctor wants to a third and NO WAY. i started out as a 98 pound 5 foot one inch female and ended up 115 pounds ALL IN TUMMY!!! it started like 3 weeks after my second - i was gaining 1/2 pound to a pound a day. this is a very big deal to me because none of my clothes fit and i have been the same weight for about 20 years. i also can't control my body temp, have VERY frequent urination (four times an hour), muscle soreness and a whole host of other delightful s/e. i got a tiny bit of relief but honestly, he s/e aren't worth it!!!

    3 doctors have confirmed that CEI DO cause weight gain. :(
  • i have had the epi steroid injections in my neck several times the first ones lasted the longest and after that slowly stopped working, as far as the side effects go I was told by 2 docs that the only way most ppl suffer the side effects is if u take them orally (by mouth) when they are shot directly into ur spinal canal they are absorbed quicker and ur system does not have time to react to the side effects. I suffered nothing like moon face or wieght gain, or the mood swings. I now all about the side effects I was on Predisone(steroid pills for Crohns Disease) I was found to b highly allergic to them. The steroid they use is usually a corticosteroid. I hope that this info helps ease ur worries in a small way if not a large way. Best wishes. >:D<
  • I successfully had various cervical injections for a number of years. They lasted up to 1-1/2 years. Over time they helped less and less. I never experienced weight gain with the shots. I have had weight gain by taking various medications orally.

    I was told years ago that my neck wasn't "surgical". I had MRIs every couple years or so, then all of a sudden I was told I should have surgery within the next few months. I had multiple opinions and I had a 4 level ACDF. My surgeon said he couldn't promise I would be pain free, but he said it would prevent the issues from being worse. I did get some relief.

    I hope you are able to find relief.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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