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I am looking for anyone with success with cortisone injections

MsHumptyDumptyMMsHumptyDumpty Posts: 1,567
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Lower Back Pain
My PCP who handles all my back care has been telling me since my last fall and more disk damage (sigh) that he would like to me to try cortisone injections for the new pain in my thoracic spine area. I have always had all my pain in lower back and of course down the but, legs, etc.

My pain meds handle those pains very well but this new pain from thoracic area pain meds don't touch :(

I don't mean to sound negative but I have yet to hear 1 person say they got relief from this treatment.

My own research shows that the injections are know to cause further disk degeneration, which for someone with DDD that is not good.

Plus the Dr said I may get relief for aprox 3 months max but they are only allowed to give injections 3 times a year.

If I am wrong about any of what I understand or if you have had this treatment and it been helpful please share your story with me :)

L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.


  • no one? I see this has had 49 reads and not 1 person who has had a good experience?
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I just posted on someone else's post about injections. I haven't had any thoracic injections only lumbar and they help only for s short period but when I was in so much pain I would've tried anything...

    I don't know what I would do if I had thoracic spine issues. I hope you get more answers from others. 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 have gotten wonderful relief with cortisone injection. But here is the catch. I have not had any in my spine, just my knee!!

    It is true, or so i have been told, they can cause problems in the joints if given to often. I can get one every 3 months. The pain relief lasts me about 3 months.

    Several years ago I was getting one once a month but for the life of me I can't now remember where I was getting them. It was not for my knee because I just injured it about 3 years ago. Now this is silly....I can remember that they helped but can't remember what they helped!!

    The first shot I got in my injured knee was given to me by my PCP. It did not help at all. The next one my Orthopedic surgeon gave me and it really helped me. I had been in savage pain for 3 long months with my knee and overnight after the injection, the pain was gone!! When I told my surgeon about the injection my PCP gave me not helping he said the injection had to be put in the right place!! Perhaps there is truth in getting the injection in "the right place"for it to help!!

    Anyway that's my story....just thought I would pass it on. I still get injection in the same knee but they no longer help for 3 months...more like one and 1/2.

    Cheers my friend :H
    Patsy W
  • I've had great success with injections in my SI joint. I've had three ESI's in my lumbar area with very limited success to even increased pain. Not sure why cortisone works well for me in one area, but not another...Mitch
  • i have had three injections now in my upper lumbar and the medication does travel to my thoracic spine as well. two injections did reduce the pain in my thoracic spine for a while about a month before it started to get bad again.
  • I Thank each of you for responding, I do really appreciate it :D

    I only ever had 1 steroid injection and that was in my knee with the hope it would help me until my surgery date - it did nothing for me. I was not worried about it messing with my bone as I knew they were coming out any ways.

    So would you pretty much agree that these injections are a temp fix if they work?
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • after my first one i realized that this wasn't going to be the fix all for me,just a temporary fix. It gives me a break from the constant pain and what a relief when the pain is gone for that period of time.good luck with them.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,855
    For Lumbar, Thoracic and Cervical problems. Along with countless number of cortisone injections for my shoulders and hips.

    When I look at them all, I would say I had about a 50-50 good luck ratio

    I only had one real bad injection and that was last year for my hip.

    The others gave me some initial short term relief, just enough to get me over some hurdles. Then there were ones that really didnt make any noticeable difference.

    They still beat having surgery, and if they can buy you some time or give you some relief, then I am all for them
    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 have had them 3 times in my SI joints and they helped considerably. They last 6-8 months for me and I am going back to get more in a week. I got my last shots in May and they wore off last month. They help my pain 90% which is a huge relief. Without them I have a constant severe pain in my SI joints going out to my hips it feels like someone's pulling me apart. I stumbled across this post because I am thinking about asking to have them in my thoracic spine. I'm a little leery about that, though, because I don't know how well they work on the thoracic spine and I have a desiccated disc in my t-spine. I have a bulging disc in my lumbar area the very bottom one so I think that is what causes the pain in my SI joints. I'm worried the shots may cause the desiccated disc to get worse. I heard that the shots only damage tendons, not bones or discs but I'm not sure about that. I may feel differently later in life (I'm only 30) but for now they help me tremendously so I get them once or twice a year. Have you tried inversion? I got an inversion table (Walmart has a good one that is reasonably priced online) but it did not help me, it caused severe sharp pains in my right SI joint, however they do help a lot of people and it's certainly worth a shot before resorting to injections.

    Anyone have any feedback about getting them in my t-spine where I have the desiccated disc?
  • I have had many over the years, some that worked and some that didn't. Most recently I had injections in my SI joints. I received relief, which also indicated that it is my SI joint causing pain. But it is just a temporary fix and you are limited to the number you can have in a certain time frame. I would say its worth trying. Good luck.

    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.
  • In my opinion, I think it's always worth trying ANY conservative treatment first in case it really helps to get rid of or reduce the pain.

    I've had many in my lumbar region. The first one was brilliant, it gave me just over 4 months pain relief. However, after each subsequent injection or epidural, the pain relief reduced until my last one - only about 1 month relief. Because I'd had 7 until that point, the Consultant Anesthetist advised I should stop them as they cannot be given indefinitely (as too much steroid can do more harm than good, evidently).

    Since my fusion surgery, it's now been confirmed that I've now got S.I. joint dysfunction which is a complete pain in the butt. I had an injection in May 2011 but only got 24 hours pain relief. Really disappointed with that.

    At the hospital I have attended for the last couple of years, my surgeon has said that whilst he knows of S.I. operations

    *he wouldn't recommend me having another operation in the lumbar area as the scar tissue damage could create even more pain than I'm in at the moment (just had my 4th lumbar operation)
    *that their hospital does not offer S.I. operations anyway
    *and, in his opinion, there's no evidence to suggest they do not cause more problems in the long term (although everybody is different, of course).

    He has now put me on his waiting list for another S.I. steroid injection. I really hope I get a lot more pain relief this time, but it's not an exact science and everyone benefits [or not] differently.

    If you do get the injection, perhaps you'll let us all know later on whether it helped with the pain and, if so, for how long? Good luck.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • I've had multiple cortisone injections right on the thoracic spine and I had zero, nada, zilch, relief from cortisone. I've also heard from multiple sources that the cortisone is bad for you, especailly in the long term. I'd be willing to deal with the long-term if I received any relief but, like I said, I got thing. From what little I understand, they are temporary at the very best. Best of luck, Jerome
  • I am verty happy for those of you whom these shots have worked for :)

    I like Jerome am still worried that since I have DDD and the shots do "erode" (can't think of medical term) disks that maybe the 50/50 is not worth it for me.

    Sometimes this all can be so confusing.

    Maybe a silly question - is it illegal for Drs to lie to us?
    I have had some Drs tell me the info about the shots and damage they can do to disks and I have had others Drs say it is not true..

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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