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Lumbar spinal injection horror story. Don't read if you are scheduled for it.

Hunt0991HHunt0991 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Spinal Injections
I read other's posts and was so looking forward to my first lumbar STERIOD INJECTION for stenosis.
I don't know what went wrong, as was told I'd feel a couple of bee stings, then maybe some pressure.
I have a new scale for pain now, and on a scale of 1-10. It was a 15. The most excruciating pain I've ever experienced. I passed out from it, and my blood pressure dropped to 78 /52. They had to give me oxygen, smelling salts, wet towels, etc.
They will NEVER do that to me again. Intensely painful and a nightmare!

I will say my back, hip and buttock pain has dropped by 50% this morning, but I'm still tramatized and weepy from my horrible experience yesterday.
I won't do it again without some kind of sedation. If you do. Just make sure the "assembly line" (ortho pain clinic does 30-40 of them each day) can stop if you are not numb.

Has anyone else had such a negative experience??


  • First of all pain level is used from 1 to 10 as 10 being so over the top you cant take it and you would of passed out likely by 11 so you would not even know what 15 feels like,

    As we set our pain levels sometimes even when we think we have had level 10 we never even come close, its simply because we are not use to the pain we are not use to, When we do reach 10 as having injection will often for short time cause increase in pain and then we know what 10 feels like,

    Many of us with chronic flare ups may reach very close to 10 many times a few times a week so injecfion pain we know is short lived so we dont pass out as it has become a dailey life dealing with this,

    If you are new to this then the increase in pain can cause panic that can cause what you describe, I have found valium before the injection helps this as its almost the same as when they give you slight sedation,

    I dont even bother with the sedation by the dr as it takes longer then the injection itself,
    Valium works for me just the same,

    Valium helps with preventing being hypersensative to the increase in pain with blood pressure jumping with injection,

    Thats how i learned to deal with it in my 20 years,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • mommywomanmmommywoman Posts: 24
    edited 06/30/2012 - 6:22 PM
    I have been getting epidurals, facet joint injections and caudals off and on since 1994 in my neck, thoracic and lumbar. I will say that I think I would rather have the lumbar injections any day over the others. I have had a better luck.with my current dr of 5 yrs. I think it is part due to their use of flouroscope during the injection process. But, let me explain my experiences, which the dr had forewarned me about. First, the intense pressure/pain during the process is worse than your pain. Think about it this way, as they inject the steroids, there is little room to accomodate the amount of steroids injected, so you will have worse pain, probably for a day or two as it is absorbed into the body. Plus steroids are very thick and difficult to push. Second, it is dependant on how successful they are at hitting their target dead on. It is not really an exact science. The injection may take as long as 2 wks to fully work and the duration of relief can be anywhere from not at all to 4 months. If mine is not successful enough he will repeat it after 2 wks., bearing in mind that he will only do so many over a period of one yr. If it is successful, then he won't do another until I am ready. I have had them not work at all to complete success. My last lumbar was done 4-4 for leg nerve pain and it has yet to return. You are likely to have the same side effects you would have if taking oral steroids, increased hunger and thirst, personality changes, etc. As they explained it to me. The objective is to literally bathe the nerves to better help swelling and inflammation. I once jad a dr screw up a cervical injection where somehow anesthetic was mixed in w the steroids (some drs do that) and a very minute amount seeped into my spinal fluid causing me to pass out, blood pressure dropped to 67/32 and my whole body was paralyzed. I could hear everything but could not move a muscle including my eyelids and throat. They ended up intibating me. I heard them call for the crash cart, I heard them talking to me but was unable to answer. This dr did not use flourescope. The dr I see now does not mix anesthetic w steroids cause he sees no use. It does not keep you numb long enough to help and as he states, it's not as though I'm having a baby. They may have done a "caudal" which is injected in a slightly different spot and really hurt like a sob. I would be curious what state you live in. Maybe you could pm me. All of this information is based on my personal experiences.
  • and never let anyone other then a CONSULTANT anaesthetist give any spinal injections .even some surgeons are not as confident as some consultant anesthetist .and after 15 years of various spinal injections i can say they are NOT ..THAT'S NOT WORTH IT .if you spine has started to fall to bits and you need surgery there is not a spinal injection that will help .my latest consultant wont give spinal; injections because they cause more trouble than they sort out in the vast majority of cases.yes i know some of you will post saying that you got months of pain relief and you hardly felt a thing.well your back is not as bad as you think it is ! and you got lucky with you medical person ....♥
    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
  • WOW! I just had a thoracic epidural with sedation and I don't even remember it! I thought sedation meant I would remember but just not really care. Nope!! If you got relief, you should get another one and just get it with iv sedation.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
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