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Injection Scheduled - still nervous

ohmyback.oohmyback. Posts: 5
edited 03/07/2013 - 7:30 AM in Spinal Injections
My PM office called yesterday to tell me they scheduled my injection for Tuesday. Despite almost everyone telling me it's simple, I'm still so nervous! They told me over the phone that the pain will likely get worse before it gets better. Will they prescribe me pain medication with this in mind? Currently all I take are anti-inflammatories, which by the way, they told me I can't take them between now and then! I anticipate this being a painful few days before the injection! Also, a friend mentioned "happy juice" before the injection. Some sort of concoction of relaxing medications. Will I get this, too?

Thanks all for your responses. Sorry if I sound like a total baby. :)


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Ok, take a few deep breaths. The Epidural Spinal Injections (ESI) are really easy to go through.
    I am not sure if I passed these articles on to you, but you should read them and watch the video.

    This is a common scenario for ESI

    1 - Arrive at the center that will do the treatment. A nurse will talk to about your procedure, give you the hospital gown wear and take some vitals.

    2 - The doctor will come in to talk to you, verify what you are having doing. Most of the time they will even mark the area where the spinal injection is to be given. No mistakes, every one is on board.

    3 - You will be taken to the 'sterile operating room' placed head down on a table. Nurse will start to take your vitals Most doctors will provide some level of sedation, just to ease everything. The doctor will talk to you again, verifying what is being done.

    4 - Procedure starts. The area will be numbed, then the doctor with the aid of a fluoroscope inject one needle into the area. Think of this is a the vessel that the steroid will be injected into. Next the steroid injection is given. You may have
    a warming feeling in the area, but basically no pain.

    5 - You are taken to a recovery room where they want you to lay down for about 15 minutes. After that they generally give some soda and a cookie. Your vital signs are taken again.

    6 - Right before you are ready to leave, the doctor will give you a couple of papers that detail what you should expect the next 24, 48 and 72 hours. The initial night, the injection site will probably be sore. The next day, you may have some more soreness, but then anywhere starting around 48 or 72 you should start to feel some pain relief. I wish I could say
    everyone will feel this. But it just doesn't happen. I have had ESI, that I felt relief within 48 hours and those that I did not even notice a thing.

    7 - You are released to go home with someone who will drive you.

    The entire procedure should take about 10 minutes in the pre-Op area, about 20 minutes for the procedure, than about 15 minutes in the recovery room.

    That is the textbook way ESI's are given. I have heard members talking about doctors doing this without any sedation or fluoroscope guidance. That is something, I think you should check into before the procedure.

    All my ESIs were done with sedation and guidance. I also had about 8 or so steriod injections into my shoulders and about 3 into my hip. None done with sedation all but 1 done without guidance. I had a lot of pain from 1 shoulder and 1 hip injections. Turned out they nick a nerve. All the reason, fluoroscope or other guidance is so very important.

    If you search on ESI or spinal injections on this site, you will find hundreds of posts. Its almost broken down to 50-50.
    Those that had pain relief, those that had nothing. Then there is a percentage of those that did not get any relief had additional pain.

    Sometimes reading can get you worried too much. If you have trust in your doctor, then put it in his/her hands and let them perform the procedure to help you.

    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
  • Dont be nervous. I had many shots in my back ,but like you i was nervous ,so the PM dr perscribed 2 adavans before the injection and it did the trick.You are so relaxed you dont feel anything. Hope this helps good luck Kathy
    Kathy B
  • In fact, he gave some really great details there! I've had many in my back... basically this same procedure with the exception I didn't have to wear a gown (which I greatly appreciated as I hate those things) but only because I wore shirt/pants and they were able to just have me "shimmy down" my pants as my injections were in the lumbar region. I'm not sure exactly about "sedation". I know I laid down, but was allowed to kind of prop my head up so I could see the monitor (which I find fascinating). The procedure started by sterilizing the area and then my doctor placed the needle on my back (not in it) and took lots of pictures with the fluroscope as he moved the needle around until he got in the place he wanted (this took forever, but my spine was curved and twisted (if that makes any sense). Then the needle went in and he injected some type of "dye" which lit up the fluroscope (again fascinating), this ensures that he doesn't hit a nerve, and then he unscrewed the dye (while the needles was still in) and screwed in the steroid/lidocain mixture.... lots of pressure, that's about it. The wait/anxiety is always the worse, so when you get there you can take a deep breath and say the worst is over with so now I can deal with what's coming. The bad news is you'll probably have to have a "series" of these to get max relief, the good news is after the first one you won't dread the next as bad... and my place had very comfy recliners for afterwords and tons of snacks/beverages to choose from!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Hi, my ESI shots....I also was so worked up over it all...and so natural...the "fear of the known"....but, I worried for weeks for, honestly, no reason! It felt different....but I had never had a back shot before, so it should have felt different. I think....my root canal was way worse!!
    My second and third shots....not a big deal.
    So, as Ron said...take a deep breath. Tues will be fine, and I pray you are one that gets some relief! (I did a bit, it was glorious!!) . Will be thinking of you tues!
  • I am really nervous about having this. I've had 2 back surgeries, so the needle going in isn't the problem. I have severe Osteoporosis, and have current compression fractures of T12, T10. I'm having the shot for S1. Because of the Osteoporosis my mid-section has compressed greatly, making it almost impossible to lay on my stomach. I'm in allot of pain from the S1, so much so that I can hardly sit. How am I to handle this?
  • Mindymork62MMindymork62 Posts: 207
    edited 03/29/2013 - 10:17 PM
    After talking to the Dr. he thought it would be better if I had sedation when he did the injections, so I'm scheduled to have it done on April 8th. A very wise doctor.
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