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Hey everyone! I am scheduled for for my first ESI next month, I have read up on what it is but I can't find anything about how the procedure is done..? Do they put you under or medicate/numb the area first? The thought of a needle going into my back sounds so painful, as I cannot even touch my lower back without severe pain. I had an epidural when I had my son but it wasn't in the same area.

My grandmother in-law said they had her lean over something for support and it wasn't too bad. If y'all don't mind telling me about your experiences I would really appreciate it. Thanks guys!


  • Hi , I have had two done now- both helped the pain level for a few weeks. The first one- I was so scared! I read and saw all I could on the procedure.. and ended up working myself right up! Anxiety supreme! It wasn't so bad after all. Yes, it was uncomfortable. Not horrific though, as I had imagined.
    I went in for a second one- went much better for me. I told myself.. no stressing until I am in the waiting room. Then, I told myself.. it is too late to stress. Used some great distraction techniques while it was happening. FOr me, the oddest part of it all was the pressure feeling in my back, in the injection site. Felt very odd- and to me, the unknown is scary.
    I also did some research on the doctor-- this helped me feel a trust with him before I met him-- first time for that! (not trusting person.. ).

    Good luck with yours== hope it helps ya!!
  • I was considering it because my doctor wants to do one, but luckily I've been able to put it off due to deductible issues; but after reading a post on here about all of the side effects, I'm not so sure its worth it, for me at least (my Gyn NP and BC methods make it a not so good choice for me). Good Luck AidensMommy, I've been reading about your plight to get treated. Hopefully it works out good for you and you get some relief from it.
  • BlueSkiesBBlueSkies Posts: 59
    edited 06/27/2012 - 3:42 PM
    I had my first one in early May and my second one 2 weeks after that, and I thought they were a piece of cake! I was nervous because the facet injections I had last year did hurt, but the ESIs didn't at all. My ortho doc did the facet injections, and he didn't sedate or do anything except a local, and the anesthesiologist did the ESI, and same with him (local only). After the ESI, I felt immediately better, then it waned in the evening, and the next morning, felt great again. I still don't have pain in my leg, though the hip is hurting a lot.

    As far as how the procedure is done, I went to the surgery center, put on a robe (kept everything on except my shirt), leaned forward over a pillow, and that was all. He gave me a shot which smarted just a little and then did his thing. We talked about training our dogs the whole time. Piece of cake. I did tell my husband they told me to take it easy the rest of the day...heh heh heh
  • AidensMommy361AAidensMommy361 Posts: 56
    edited 06/27/2012 - 6:54 PM
    I'm just worried about it I guess, when I had my epidural when I had my son I almost fainted, my BP dropped and they had to administer some kind of medication. It was a horrible experience lmao! I'm going to ask if they can give me Valium or something before I get the ESI. Lol
  • Yes, they will want to know that. They asked me about any bad experiences with epidurals before, but I haven't had any. I am sure they will give you a Valium or something to relax you if you're nervous, especially the first time. They won't let you drive yourself home anyway. The first time needs to be a good experience so you won't fear them in the future!
  • Hi AidensMommy 361 I hope you are doing well and not sure if you have had the ESI yet. Since 1994 I have had numerous injections and blocks. The ESI for back is different experience than during childbirth. I had a series of 3 which were 2 weeks apart. They did give me a Xanax to calm me down and they put you on your abdomen and have a live xray machine that shows them where to put the needle. They inject lidocaine to deaden the area and after that all I felt was alot of pressure but did feel pain when steroid was injected and the medication ran down the sciatic nerve. It was a very intense pain but only lasted a few seconds. The doctor knew that he had hit the right nerve by this reaction. The relief is instant and will last about 24 hrs due to lidocaine put in with steroid. For the next few days I had slight increase in pain and then after about a week I felt so much better. The first series lasted for 3 yrs and then the second series lasted about a yr. and as I had to get more the time in between became shorter and relief lasted less and less time. I Had 2 more surgeries in 2008. I tried a block on thoracic at beginning of May of this yr. but it did not even affect the pain at all and had surgery 3 weeks later. It seemed the thoracic was much more painful than lumbar. I almost passed out from pain and BP dropped low 60/40 and felt as if I would vomit. Never had a reaction like that and don't want to. I am scheduled for more injections since my surgery in May did not alleviate pain. I am nervous now about having them but if it will help the pain I will probably have them

    I wish you luck and if you have had them I hope you did well and little pain or side effects.

  • I had my ESI under the fluoroscope. I laid flat on my tummy while the anesthesiologist did his thing. He gave me a shot to numb the area then stuck the big needle and gave me the medication. I will say though if you have had sciatica the shot is make that nerve angry and it will hurt for a minute or so. My ESI only lasted about three weeks. I hope yours works well for you.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • I am going to have my 2nd ESI next Tuesday. Mine are also done under the fluoroscope, laid down on the tummy but bent over on the table so that tummy and my weight is on the table and legs on the step stool. They have me take calming meds 2 hrs before. Last time it did not hurt very much. The left side nerve got irritated for a week, and it took about 1-2 weeks for the steroids to kick in. Best injection for me, since all the other nerve blocks and facet injections have always made me worse, and even to the point where I could not stand up or walk at all for a week.
  • Sally711SSally711 Posts: 156
    edited 11/08/2012 - 2:00 PM
    Hey.. checking in.. and wondering how you are doing. did you have it yet? if so, how was it for you...relief? how long?
    And, how was your second one finnora?
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