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Is this normal?

Hello, last week I had two injections in my lumbar spine between S1/L5 and L5/L4. This now makes 4 injections so far. Since these last two injections, I walk extremely slow, use walls and handrails more, and cannot drive my car with a manual transmission. Is this normal?
degenerative discs, arthritis, sciatica, bursitis, TMJ, and Fibromyalgia
pain and numbness up and down spine. Right leg is numb most of the time. Both legs give out at times.


  • I had my 1st ESI on Dec 11, for me the pain after injection had me so that I could barely walk. Much like yourself I also used hand rails and walls to aid in getting around. My pain was at a 9-10 for the first 3 days after injection and only in the last few days I'm slowly returning to my normal daily activities. I believe the main reason for alot of my pain post injection was due to excess fluid both from inflamation and the medicine injected and also the nerves being aggravated by the procedure. I also am dealing with abnormal uterine bleeding which started the day after injection and still continues over a week later. My primary care doc says the steriod is most likely the cause which was what I suspected to begin with. So sorry for going on and on, but basically from what I can tell, there's no hard and fast rule when it comes to what's normal after an ESI, either way I would be sure to inform your dr of what's going on, if you haven't already. Good luck to you and know that you're not alone ;)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    If you search through these forums you will find a mix of people that have had good success , no success or bad problems after injections. It has been very difficult to pinpoint the why's of this. I tried to do a little scanning to see how some of the folks with bad problems had their ESI's done.

    A good number of them told me that there were done in a doctor's office, no operating room like facility, no sedative and no fluoroscope to aid in the placement of the needles. While many that had good luck had all the things that were missing above.

    I know I only have a small sample, but I do wonder if it is related. Over the years I had about 12 ESIs, some with good results, a few with nothing, but never had any negative impacts. Sure there was a lot of soreness and discomfort for a couple of days, but nothing what you are describing above.

    I had about 8 steroid injections in my shoulders and 4 in my hip. Both times that the doctor did NOT use a fluoroscope and went blind into the area, I had lots of problems, especially with the hip one. I was in more pain and had trouble walking.

    Bottom line, your pain does not sound normal to me. I would contact the physician who did the ESI and explain your current symptoms. Treatments that are suppose to help should NOT cause more pain.
    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
  • SassiegyrlSSassiegyrl Posts: 12
    edited 12/20/2012 - 8:17 AM
    Thank you for your replies. My injections have all been done at the same surgical facility using an machine. Had two different Doctors though, one did the first 2 at different times and then this last one did two injections. The spine specialist did not do any of them but said that if I was still having pain after this last injection that he suggests an injection in the SI joint. Right now I am not sure if I want to go and do that if it is going to cause more issues.

    Then i am also fighting a uti that i did not even realized i had. Now i am on a strong antibiotic.

    I am strongly pursuing a second opinion to another place. still no word back yet. I may have to venture out of the area and got to a major city over 200 miles away.
    degenerative discs, arthritis, sciatica, bursitis, TMJ, and Fibromyalgia
    pain and numbness up and down spine. Right leg is numb most of the time. Both legs give out at times.
  • I have had cervical and lumbar injections, I'll swear by the lumbar and have no need for the cervical as I've never gotten any benefit to last more than a couple of days.
    All the injections were with flouriscope some with and some without anestesia, most cervical without. onluy had one issue when one dr did the injection from the side of my neck.
    I have had increased pain for a couple of days but nothing like has been described. I do feel a little fluish for a couple of days after.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Hi davrunner,
    Interesting, I've had 8 cervical injections. The Doc for 3&4 went in from the front/side at 1 week interval, without any anesthesia. That was the only time I didn't have problems/reaction from the procedure, and they only time they did any good. Got 2 months of 90% relief. Neither that clinic or the other in the area will do them from the front anymore. They now say it's too risky to go in like that.
    Severe DDD, Severe neural foraminal stenosis at 2 levels, moderate canal stenosis at 2 levels, significantly impaired left shoulder & arm function. Chronic moderate compression fracture at C6.
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