Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

What do you think about epidural steriod injections?

Just got my first one, and I know all our back problems are different. But I just wanted to see what you thought about the injection. I know it hurt. But did it help you? Opinions would be greatly appreciated


  • I had a round of 3 injections as a 'last resort' before they sent me for a surgical consult. The first one didn't hurt that bad, it was just uncomfortable and didn't do ANYTHING for my pain. The second one was horrible in my eyes, it hit right at the nerve (that's what the doctor said) which sent a strong pain billowing down my left leg-- that did a little for the pain, like 2 days of relief. Then, the third one just made my legs completely numb and I had to stay at the clinic for an extended time until I regained feeling in my legs. The pain, once again, was not relieved. The pain management doctor sent me to my doctor for a surgical consult at that time.

    With all of that said, the injections were a great step in potential relief for me- being 25 they didn't want to put me right in the OR even though they knew I would probably end up there Injections can provide relief for extended periods of time depending on the issues that you have. I just recommend following through the treatment plan that your doctor recommends and getting all of the injections.

    Keep us updated! :)
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • I have had several injections in my spine and in my SI joints. All of them worked for a few weeks and then I was back to hurting. My personal opinion the injections are a waste. I would rather go straight to surgery if I was getting injections for a compressed nerve.
    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.
  • BotzBotz Central FloridaPosts: 223
    Work well for some of us. I have had over 20 the past few years. There were some that helped for only a week or so and others that relieved my pain 100% for up to 6 months.I finally said enough and had decompression surgery in March. I was pain free for about 2 months. My pain has returned. Not sure what is next for me. I will be making an appointment with a new pm tomorrow. My surgeon would only prescribe pain meds for 3 months. My primary is currently covering my meds until I can get in to see a pm.
  • I'm up to 9 in the past 1.5 years. The best one gave me 5 days of relief, others did nothing or maybe 1 day at best. I have to take a break from them since I've had 4 or 5 this year already. My next scheduled one is a thoracic facet block. I would love to get 6 months out of one. I saw one lady at the surgery center when I was waiting, she gets one for her neck that lasts a long time.

    I had an exam by a local spine surgeon, he said I'm not a surgical candidate, but he may have been paid off by my car insurance. If the next injection fails, I'll go through my private insurance to get another opinion from someone else.

    Diagnosis: Thoracic facet syndrome & cervical and thoracic radiculopathy from car accident trauma.
  • Hi
    I have a slipped disc L4/5 with nerve damage and pain down my left leg (siatica). This has been going on for two years now. I am finally getting an Epidural Injection on Friday. Can anyone tell me what its like? Does it hurt? Will it work? Im fed up of only been able to walk 25 yards. The specialist said if this doesn't work she would operate.

    Thanks in advance.

    S. Thompson
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    You just dont want to keep having ESIs
    I've already had to have one cataract surgery because of all the steroid injections over the year. Now this year, because of flare ups, they are trying different steroid injections to isolate the problem. During my last visit with my eye specialist, she saw signs of cataracts in my other eye. 6 months ago, there was no sign.

    So, while ESI's can be beneficial, there is a down side to them also. Everything needs to be thought and weighed out.

    When one thing provides in relief, what don't always know the side effects in doing that.
    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
  • BigRBBigR Posts: 48
    edited 09/06/2013 - 12:01 PM
    I know of several people who have had them and have done really well with them. I myself, not so much. I had 9 within 12 months and only had relief for about 2 weeks. But for those two weeks - I felt great......
    The last one I had..... I was awake and WOW did that thing hurt, especially when he went through the spurs.
    5 MRIs since 2010 | Severe DDD throughout entire Lumbar Region | Facet Arthrosis throughout | Spinal Canal Stenosis | Herniation L4/L5 | Broad - Based Bulging L1/L2, L2/3, L3/L4 - but still kicking - just not very high. :)
  • I had a cervical epidural steroid injection that didn't hurt, surprisingly. All other injections have hurt. I had it on Nov 11, 2011.

    BUT, 2 days later, my nervous system started to go crazy. 3 days later, I couldn't walk. I had tremendous pain in my legs and back. I had the continued pain in my arms and hands. My sciatica started then, now that I think about it. They told me that it was an unusual reaction. They sent me for a special scan (CT?) and couldn't find anything wrong.

    Luckily, my problems resolved when I had an ACDF 6 weeks later. But for those 6 weeks, I couldn't function normally. I had to work remotely. I had so much pain and couldn't walk. It was awful. I will never get another epidural. My body had a very bad reaction to it.
    Chronic pain since 2007. Have scoliosis. Had ACDF surgery for C5 Dec 2011. Sick of dealing with pain. I just turned 32 and struggle through but work full-time in IT.
  • I recently had my left hip replaced! this was supposed to be easier than the right one I had replaced several years ago. not so! this one brought pain to my left quad and knee! I had my knee replaced also in 2008. My original complaint was the quad pain! the orthopedic doctor thought the hip replacement would relieve the pain? nope! so I had a epidural steroid injection in the lumbar region. this was 4 days ago. I Never really had any pain from the hip surgery, but the quad and knee where so bad I could not stand at all without crutches. Now the pain is located in my knee and I still cannot operate with pain medication. The problem now seems worse rather than better. The doctors nurse says to give it time.at least 14 days. I've been off work now for 2 months. need to get back to work to pay the bills, but my work won't let me come back without the doctor cutting me loose. can't walk right now anyway so I will suffer no matter what. My hip doctor sent me to this doctor and actually he was my knee doctor. He sent me to a nerve specialist and they made the choices.My only wish is that the original problem would have been addressed 2 months ago and since my hip was not hurting at the time they could have spent the last 2 months fixing the original problem which is still there.
  • I'm sorry that you are still having the knee pain. Have they done any imaging studies of your knee to see what might be causing the pain you are having.
    A flare up of pain unfortunately is pretty normal with these injections ,and hopefully, yours will settle down soon.
  • ValleyVikingVValleyViking Posts: 1
    edited 09/26/2013 - 7:55 AM
    In 1988 I had a catatrophic industrial accident, crushing 4 lumbar verts (L1-L5) and did fairly well after the initial two surgeries for many years. In 2006 I just couldn't take the increase in pain any longer and followed my doc's advice for the ESI at two levels. This worked for awhile.

    After the second series in 2007, it was recommended by my new doc and repeated in 2008 and 2009.

    I just went through my 5th and 6th injection this past Aug 7 and Sep. 18, 2013. Results this last time were:

    an intense headache
    temp. numbness of the left leg
    increased lethargic feelings

    dilauro said it well..... "You just dont want to keep having ESIs"

    I suggest that anyone research fully before having this procedure...I think you will find, as many of us have, the risks just do not outweigh the benefits. Long term medication is no fun-ride either, but far less invasive and fewer side effects than ESI or compression surgeries.

    The above is strictly my own opinion and in no manner suggests your truth.

    Be Well, Be Honorable, Be

    Blessings of Peace, VV2
  • I have had over a dozen TFE Steroid Injections over the past 8 years. I had excellent results from the first series of injections at L1-L2 & L2-L3. I am a mechanic who works on large trucks and heavy machinery. Before the 1st injection I was barely able to walk, the very next day after the 1st injection I was on top of a truck changing a hydraulic valve that weighs about 70 pounds! The 1st series lasted about 3 years, and it seems that subsequent injections lasted less and less. But they bought me 8 years. My last series was in March of this year and I was in need of another shot or two in September, but my PM doc feels that I had enough injections, and due to some recent changes to my condition which were evident on an MRI done a few weeks ago I decided it is time to seek less conservative treatment. I absolutely have no regrets having the injections, for me the helped tremendously, just make sure you are sedated they are not fun when you are awake. Also for me not every shot worked exactly the same way, but they had a cumulative effect.
    I hope you have success in your treatment.
    Numerous TFE Injections 3/05 - 4/13
    Laminectomy, Discectomy & Fusion at T12 - L1 Pending 11/13
  • I'm having an injection tomorrow. It will be the 7th in the past 18 months. Although I'm skeptical my Dr feels confident that I will have relief after having it and starting aqua therapy. This time they are planning on sedation, I've never done it that way and was told nothing to eat or drink after midnight. The one question I forgot to ask is, would be ok if I take my meds in the morning before hand. I'm on Vicodin, norotin and Valium. Has anyone been advised what they should do?
    Herniation of l5 S1 l4 , DDD , microdisectomy in June 2013 and re herniation in September
    Cervical herniation at C5-7 Jan 2014 with impingement of spinal cord. 2 level cervical fusion Feb. 2014 and 2 level lumbar fusion in April 2014
  • Did you take your usual meds beforehand? Call the doctor on call the night before your injection if you are unsure of anything. :)
    Chronic pain since 2007. Have scoliosis. Had ACDF surgery for C5 Dec 2011. Sick of dealing with pain. I just turned 32 and struggle through but work full-time in IT.
  • I did call my Dr in the morning because I wasn't scheduled until 11:40 and there was no way I could take the pain until then. So, yes, they said to take my meds. I felt pretty good yesterday but today I'm right back to normal ( and we all know Normal isn't really "normal"). I'm having extreme leg and vaginal pain. It's more like a hot poker pain. I've decided to give myself the day to do nothing. I tried just a little walking yesterday just around my yard and inside the house.
    My husband and kids tell me I do too much but seriously, I really don't. You don't realize how many things you drop until you're not supposed to bend over.

    I haven't slept in bed since June and last night I tried. I tossed and turned all night in pain. Usually I sleep in a zero gravity chair but I'm so tired of it. Actually I'm so tired of everything.
    Herniation of l5 S1 l4 , DDD , microdisectomy in June 2013 and re herniation in September
    Cervical herniation at C5-7 Jan 2014 with impingement of spinal cord. 2 level cervical fusion Feb. 2014 and 2 level lumbar fusion in April 2014
  • stenosisRosesstenosisRose Posts: 489
    edited 10/31/2013 - 11:35 AM
    First, please choose only a board certified pain mgmt. Physician or psychiatrist for this procedure.

    I was under twilight sleep (propafol) each time and found ut a very easy procedure to go through

    Sometimes i got relief for a few months, other times, for only a few days.

    But i feel its worth the try.... three injections only, then surgical consult if relief is not achieved

    I was told by all, only THREE should be done

  • they hurt like hell, unfortunately for me they did not help and will not do them again
    Scoliosis in t-3, t-4, and t-5, degenerative cervical/spine disease, and sensory poluneropathy
  • on my nervesoon my nerves Posts: 116
    edited 11/14/2013 - 1:32 PM
    I'm two weeks out and zero relief. I started aqua therapy last week and it seems as if the day after I am in so much pain. I'm so fed up with trying different things and not having any success. I know I need to be patient but when will I know enough is enough and it's time for surgery?
    Herniation of l5 S1 l4 , DDD , microdisectomy in June 2013 and re herniation in September
    Cervical herniation at C5-7 Jan 2014 with impingement of spinal cord. 2 level cervical fusion Feb. 2014 and 2 level lumbar fusion in April 2014
  • There awesome saved me from having fusion so far and they don't hurt just feels like a flu shot, but make sure you only get one from a dr who uses a MRI live machine
  • anelsen15 said:
    wrightmsw, how many have you had just out of curiosity?
    3 during a right medial branch block (no sedation), another steroid injection in the Dr (pain management) office, wanted me to do another one and I said no, they where too painful with zero pain relief. The trigger points offered relief for about 10 minutes
    Scoliosis in t-3, t-4, and t-5, degenerative cervical/spine disease, and sensory poluneropathy
  • I know some people that get relief and some people that don't. I have had 2 injections and got relief from them, both of them for only a day and a half max but I did get relief. Some people say they get relief for 6 months or more and some people say 0 relief. Since I am only getting relief for a day and a half the doc wants to talk about a facet block on my. I am willing to do anything for relief. I don't want to have surgery, that is my absolute last resort. I know there are side effects of the shots but as long as you don't over due them you will be fine. Make sure you find a good pm doc. The doctor makes the difference. My pain doctor used to be an anesthesiologist and went into pain management instead and is on her own, not associated with any other medical facilities which means she has to do good. She really cares about my pain and is trying everything she can to help me. I know the shots aren't cheap either but even the 1 day relief I got was worth the money. I will keep going for shots as long as I feel they are worth it to me.
  • I have had a good response with my ESIs. The last one I had was done by a neuroradiologist, not pain management. so I looked up information about neuroradiologist on line and found some interesting reading. I love medical abstracts. I came across education guidelines for inteventional spinal procedures. There are a lot of procedures for all parts of the spine, indications for the procedures and medicine and foods you should take. No one ever told me not to have ginger, I cook with a lot of ginger and have ginger tea. the guidelines are in adobe so you download. If you can't find them but what to see them i can probably send a copy.
  • AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
    edited 11/27/2013 - 12:04 PM
    MY doctors will try 2, and if you don't get relief won't give any more ESIs, I don't know why they would continue something that is not working ? $?
  • My typing is bad so my previous statement did not make sense. My ESIs work. If they do NOT work after 2 tries, they will not try again.
    I have had 7 and 2 MBB. The MBBs did not work.
    I hope my ESIs result in permanent healing, but they usually only last 6-8 weeks. I hoping they prevent surgery, but after they wear off I get so depressed and feel so hopeless. I just wish the answers were clear, before I consent to surgery.
  • When my surgeon told me he personally had 5 injections in 2 years before ultimately having surgery, I decided I did not want to go through something with such short term results.
    Compressed Discs/DDD - L2/L3, L3/L4
    Major Herniation - L4/L5
    Bulging Disc - L5/S1
    "no healthy 24 year old's back should look like this without a major trauma"
    MicroDisc L4/L5 Nov 7, 2013
  • freezing14ffreezing14 Posts: 1
    edited 01/07/2014 - 4:58 PM
    I've had two and neither did anything for the pain in my lower back which I'd already had surgery on. The second time he completely numbed my right leg. I was put to sleep for these injections. I won't go through it again. I don't see the sense in going through all that for 2 days of partial relief. It was a yr and a half later that the place I had it done at got bad batches of the compounded meds they used for these injections. Luckily, no one there was injured.
Sign In or Register to comment.