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ChetCChet Posts: 21
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Spinal Stenosis
I've been receiving epidurals every other month for the past year without much success. The meds don't help much either (oxycodone 6/day and gabapentin 3/day. My stenosis is moderate to sevrere and my dr said surgery would not help. Depression is getting the best of me and really do not want to go thru surgery again (L5/S1). Does anyone know if its ok to have that many epidurals? I asked my dr and he stated that it was ok as long as its every other month. At times I want to stop with epidurals but afrid that they are working and if I stop the pain will be alot worst and not able to schedule another epidural for a few weeks(scary).
Any advice would be appreciated.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    All of my doctors, be in in terms of spinal, shoulder or hip, all feel no more than 3 steroid injections per year. That also happens to be the maximum allowed by my insurance plan.

    From a medical point of view, excessive steroids can start to break things down and would also lengthen the time before having any surgery.

    But, your best bet is to get the formal medical word from the doctor who is treating you.

    Also curious when any doctor says surgery wont help. There are always underlying reasons and justifications for those statements. There are so many types of surgeries that can address spinal condition including stenosis.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I would get another Orthosurgeon opinion if you need surgery. I had 6 epidurals last year but the other 2 Pain Management Drs I saw only believe in giving 3 a year. I've decided my bone health is important to not do any more injections this year. I've seen 3 Pain Management Drs for their opinions.

    I have tried Cymbalta, a nerve pain med which really helps my leg nerve pain. Has your Dr. reviewed your medications you're trying? Take care and keep us posted how you're doing. 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
  • Steroids can cause many medical issues that you may not be aware of. Any doctor that is telling you that giving you injections of steroids every other month is not well versed in the current literature about the use of steroid injections and I would be finding a new doctor yesterday.
    The recommendations are that a person should not have more than three steroid injections in a 12 month period. More than that, can cause osteonecrosis, which is the death of bone- it can happen anywhere in the body- but usually is found in the major joints, hips, knees, ankles, foot, shoulders, spine, wrists and fingers. I found that out the hard way- I have it in my wrist- and need a wrist fusion because of steroids.
    I don't know if you are seeing a board certified ortho or neuro spine surgeon, but if you are not, you need to. Who is giving you these injections? Is it your GP or someone else?
    There are other avenues that may help the pain beside epidurals. Anti inflammatories may help, adequate pain medications if needed, neuropathic medications if they are necessary, TENS, Physical therapy,swimming, massage, and even accupuncture all might help as well as simple things like heat and ice, over the counter heat patches, and there are other medications that can be used to treat pain as well.
    I wish you luck and hope that you will consider consulting with a proper back surgeon who specializes in treating stenosis.
  • advice not required removed by me
    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
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