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Facet injections-Need advice

asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello friends,

Just to report that I am scheduled for facet injections with a new PM. I have had other injections before (not this) but never without sedation due to my issues with anxiety and panic attacks. This PM said just take a 10mg valium 30 minutes prior to the procedure. As it gets nearer my anxiety has been rising. My other doc gave me sedation, but this one said it wasn't worth the hassle of an IV for a 5 minute procedure. I don't think he understands my issues outside of the back issues with severe anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

I'm afraid I won't be able to do this and I need advice. My back surgeon wants me to get this as 1 step trying to avoid another surgery with 50-50 odds of helping at all. SOme people don't understand or don't care about how real this anxiety is or how paralyzing it can be.

Any ideas???


  • Could you have the doctor that is treating your anxiety make a call on your behalf to the PM doctor? It might help the PM doctor to understand. Just a thought.
  • in the uk ..they try to fob you off with the ..no sedation needed rubbish ..but i always insist .my top saying is ..would you like to swap places and have a large bore needle stuck in your spine!?.after some face pulling the have to give you sedation unless you are medically indicated other wise .so insist .i have had facet join injections lots of times and they never worked on me .what i get the most benefit from {after oxycontin} is my TENS unit i have it on every day for hours .better than any injections for me any way ..good luck and ask for your sedation
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I would go to the new doctor and tell him you need the sedation, and provide him with the name/# of your other doctor if he needs any additional info. Otherwise, I'd go back to your previous PM doc or find another one.

    I had cervical injections and they always did mild sedation. I had my first lumbar a while ago (with a new doc since we moved) and he didn't do sedation. I asked him about it afterwards, and he said he would if I really wanted it...which I would next time.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Yes go for the sedation. You are the patient and the doctor should understand your concerns. I have always had the choice and the one time I went with the doctor(like yours) "its only a 5 minute procedure" it turned out to be the injection from hell due to all my scar tissue. Oh how I wished I had had the IV. If your doctor won't respect your wishes find another one.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I will be on the phone tommorow getting something done. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't being totally unreasonable or something. I really need something done about this or I probaly won't be able to go through with it and I need to try this. I hate when doctors give you a hard time because they don't want to take a few extra minutes to be kind and helpful to your needs.

    Thanks guys & Gals
    AL S
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    If they woun't go for IV sedation .... ask them about taking 20mg of valium .... but have someone to drive you home afterwards!!!

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Ok, I will, but my anxiety is already getting high and they should understand it's not something I can control.
    AL S
  • Part of your doctor's hesitation may be that they don't keep controlled substances on hand at their clinic. Most PM's don't maintain a stock of narcotics due to the theft potential.

    You may want to ask if he will write you a script for one dose to take right before you go.

    I had this procedure done a month ago and go back this Thursday for a second round. It does smart a little bit, but I try to "find my happy place" mentally before he injects my back.

    Hope you feel better!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I appreciate that advice, but between pain and chronic depression over years I can't remember my happy place. I feel like the living dead most of the time.

    Hope everyone is doing better than I am.

    God Bless,

    AL S
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