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facet injections finally done here's the update!

Thanks to everyone who gave me some great advice on what to expect!
They were not even (uni lateral) they were uneven shots
about half an inch apart different is this normal?
left side was lower than the right side.

I didnt feel the right side felt the left side which i didnt think i would since i normally dont feel much on my left side since my TIA last june but this time i did!

its been 24 hours+ and have not had any relief at all, my pain level is still sitting at a 7.
They said they were going to inject me in my way lower back by my s1 they did it in my mid back sorry dont know they exact spot.

still cannot sit or stand for more than 20 or 30 min with out pain, have to sit with a cushin on my cushined chair, have to lay on the couch to have any form of comfort, now I know it can take more time and I'm willing to give it more but they expected it to be right after the injections to bring me releif but it didnt once the local wore off my back pain came right back about 10 min after i left the office all my numbness in my legs was still there nothing changed at all, so now once I go back in 2 weeks they will end up telling me that they have no ideas on what to do next.
any thoughts ideas?
michael thornton


  • It took a good week before I started to feel the benefit and probably 2 weeks before I felt "better". My back pain was considerably worse for 2-3 days afterwards. I have had a really good few weeks where I felt nearly normal - still a bit limited on endurance but sooooo much better than before. I think you have to give it longer than one day to know how it will work out.

    I am now nearly 7 weeks after and I think they are starting to wear off - I have some back pain and some nerve pain, but not as bad as before. I can manage the pain like this though so I can't complain I guess!
  • Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
    edited 07/07/2012 - 4:00 AM
    I had facet injections at L3/4 eight days ago and like you, didn't get any relief at first but it started to get better. Now, a week later, I can have days where I'm back at a 7, sometimes with nerve pain, sometimes not, and I've actually had a couple of days where I had no pain at all.

    I've decided I need to wait another week before I make the final determination on whether these worked or not. I'd say that I feel better, but it's inconsistent. As was before, standing too long or walking to long makes my lower back pain worse. I also had a terrible back spasm last night that shot up from my L3/4 and down, all the way into my leg. It was like a lightning bolt.

    I don't know what your docs will suggest if the injections don't work for you, but mine said that the next step is a rhizotomy. The very last step for me is a 5-lvl fusion, so we have to do everything we can to stave that off.

    Good luck, give it time, and I hope you start feeling better.
  • thanks everyone i'm keeping a daily log even though they didnt ask for one, just a one week call in and a 2 week follow up.
    Everyday seems worse than the last.
    They said that if there is no relief they cant do anything no nerve blocks or fusion since the steriod injections havent worked, since 90% of their patients get relief right away in the office and I didnt have any relief.
    I had some (but it was the local) and from prior things done i knew what local felt like and could feel my back pain through the local so everytimethey came in which was 2x's to check on pain and do a BP check my answer was the same i wish I could have told them i felt differently.
    I'm giving it everyday hoping something changes, and as my wife has pointed out since the injections (I walk with a cane) I'm more hunched over than I was before the injections. and in more pain than before.
    So thank you everyone, I'll post dack in a few days when its been a week and let everyone know if there's been any change.

    michael thornton
  • How are you feeling since the injections? I seem to be worse, mostly due to added nerve pain. The old back pain is back and I'm unable to do too much at one time. Back to needing rest regularly. In other words, it didn't help and might have made things worse. If it's not better by now it won't be, from what I understand. What about you? Any better?

    Let us know how you're getting on.
  • Hi again Michal.

    You said your doc said: "They said that if there is no relief they cant do anything no nerve blocks or fusion since the steriod injections havent worked, since 90% of their patients get relief right away in the office and I didnt have any relief.

    I don't understand that statement - facet joint injections are just on of a host of conservative treatments that surgeons try before they decide surgery is the only answer. His statement sounds rediculous to me. 90% of their patients get relief right away in the office? Really? 90% I don't believe that for a second, but if I did even a little, my bet would be on the temporary numbing medication, not the facet injection itself.

    I'd really consider getting a second opinion, from a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, one that only works on spines if I were you. Just MHO.
  • hello all,
    it was just the local that gave me temp releif, and i knew that so i didnt give them any of that answer, ive had prior surgery hernia and angiogram's so i know local!
    and my pain level is still sitting at a 7-8 daily still sore stiff and nothing has helped bring any help.
    The doctor I spoke to and the one doing the injections both told me that if the injections failed there would be nothing they could do in terms of helping me in the future in releving my back pain, no fusion or nerve blocks, that the trial facet injections would be all they could do. So here i am at the end of my road wondering where to go doing more testing with other doctors hitting the walss with them as well,
    Thank you all for your help and thoughts.
    It helped me out alot
    michael thornton
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