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Discogram/disc block

BackbadgerBBackbadger Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Lower Back Pain
Long term low back and right leg sciatica. MRI shows DDD and disc tear at L5-s1

Yesterday I had a L4-5 discogram and L5-s1 disc block. The L4-5 disc was found to be normal (as expected). I still have pain in low back and right leg. Does this mean that the L5-S1 disc block has not worked or will it take some time?

Would appreciate any advice from anyone who has had a disc block.

My Surgeon is proposing a TLIF but if the block doesn't work I'm unsure if the TLIF would work also.



  • No such thing as disc block. You must mean a nerve block on that level,

    If the l5 s1 has a tear might be the cause but the nerve block on that level should help to confirm thats the pain generator,

    Most important thing is to confirm the cause of the pain otherwise they can do surgery and make it worse when the wrong surgery was done at the wrong levels,

    Hapens all the time becsuse spine is not simple, So dont rush in to anything and get more then 1 opinions. Who is to say tear cant heal and only removing small part of it off the nerve wont help before doing the more invasive surgery of fusion,

    Good luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Sorry to contradict you but last Thursday I had a steroid injecton directly into my L5/S1 disc. Not into the facet, not into foramen or nerve root area but directly into the disc.

    The Idea behind this is that the disc already has a significant tear in the posterior wall and the nucleus shows black on a t3 mri. If the pain is purely discogenic, this injection should alleviate the symptoms.
  • Oh ok. I just never heard it called a disc block, What was dr,s opinion on the test!?

    Fuse or not to fuse? That is the question!
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I have to report back to the doc in a week. Unfortunately the block has not relieved the pain yet, that's why I was keen to hear from anyone who has had similar.
    I've had pain for 19yrs and already had decompression and microdiscectomy, RF Ablation, and a bucket of injections. I see you have trudged through similar, it's a tough road sometimes, thanks for your reply and I wish you well.

    I will post Dr's review on here when I get it just in case anyone's interested.
  • Well mine started with a tear in the disc and after about 20 years of back pain had the big artificisl disc replacement which they might put on the table for you as an option if not fusion,

    Hopefully you can avoid any of those invasive surgery with some other pain releif especialy if the test or injection did not give you releif,

    Good luck and yes let us know how things turn out,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Welcome to SH. When you had your discogram did you have extreme pain at L5-S1, positive result? I know you originally posted the day after, are you feeling any relief from the block now as I imagine after the discogram it would take awhile for things to settle back down. For your block, was it just a quick test with lidocane or did they also inject a steroid?

    Wishing you all the best at your appointment next week.How long have you been suffering with back pain? Have you tried any conservative treatments already, ie. Physio, tens, heat/cold?

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I've had epidural injections directly into my discs (steroid/slow release anaesthetic, I think). It was along time ago now and the pain, if I remember, did get a little worse before it got better, but unfortunately I only got about one months limited pain relief from it. That was before I had the discectomies (twice).

    I really hope, by now, you're seeing some signs of improvement. They may have only injected anaesthetic for diagnostic reasons. If the pain is relieved a little, then they may follow it up with a higher dose and include steroids.

    I'd be interested to hear how your appointment goes and what your prognosis is.
    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 have similar problems at L4/L5 and had injections into my facet joints, positive/abnormal discogram, and RF nerve ablation around disc two weeks ago. Facet pain is much decreased, but doesn't appear that ablation has worked, since my 'regular' disc pain remains. Interested to hear more about the disc block...? Hope you're getting some relief!
  • Well, it's been 2 weeks tomorrow, still waiting for the doc to call re-followup.
    First week the pain was worse, it felt aggravated by the procedure, then it settled down to the usual pain but not much relief (if any). I'm a bit disapointed.
    The injection was with a Steroid.
    My MRI shows I have a L5-S1 disc tear and dessication of the disc.
    I have had debilitating pain for 19yrs - low back, buttocks, and RHS sciatica.
    I know the surgeon was looking at doing an ALIF or TLIF but don't know what he will have in mind now?
    I will update further when I have spoken to him.
    Thanks for all the interest and kind words.
  • Backbadger,

    I really do hope you get some relief soon. 19 years must seem like an eternity. I see my doc tomorrow for my 2 week follow-up, so interested to hear what he thinks of my progress from the facet injections and RF nerve ablation.

    I've only been fighting this for a year, so feel like a newbie when I read the stories on these boards. Been very hard for me since I'm only 35 and spent the last 10 years doing every distance of triathlons out there, including full Ironman races. I think the one thing I underestimated is how much my mental health has suffered with the significant decrease in activity my body allows now.

    You mentioned several types of fusions...any mention of a full disc replacement? We live in Singapore, so there is much more experience with the artificial discs overseas than in the US. My husband had a full replacement 3 years ago and has made a 100% recovery, so much so that he just returned to full Ironman triathlons this past December.

    Anyway, please do keep us updated. All the best to you. :)
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