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steriod injection

Hi. I had spinal stenosis and lumbar laminectomy 12 years ago, and I'm going through the same thing now at age 62. The first time, after the MRI, I was scheduled for surgery a couple of weeks later and nothing was done before it. (The surgery was extremely helpful, and eliminated my pain the same day.)

This time, they're recommending an EMG test and a steroid injection in my spine before the surgery. The latter is partly to buy time and partly because the results of the injection are useful for the surgeon to know. (That's what they tell me, anyway.)

In 2006 I had a brain tumor removed, and they gave me oral cortisone before and after surgery to keep the brain swelling down. I kept begging the doctor to stop the cortisone because it gave me pretty bad anxiety and insomnia.

The point is, I haven't found any mention of spinal cortisone as having these side effects of oral cortisone, but I wanted to know since it would likely stay in my system for a long time. Any answers? Thanks.


  • I have severe spinal stenoisis, DDD and scoliosis. I have had cortisone injections 3 times and each time, I had 4 injections on each side of my spine. They worked really well, and I had no side effects. The doctors; however, warn of possibe osteoporosis with long term use of steroids. Hope this is helpful to you.
    Linda Kudrick
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    and therefore that is a good thing.
    Most doctors will not continue to provide steroid injection after a while, because of the known negative effects. I think everyone is aware of the negative impacts that steroids can produce.

    But this is one, that many are not aware of ..... I have had countless number of steroid injections, ESI and direct steroid injections into joints. Many of those have helped, so I was happy about that.

    But, one negative effect was cataracts. Cataracts comes from two sources (1) Old age (2) Medically induced. At an eye exam several years ago, I was told I had cataracts as a results of medications. There is a distinct patten from which an eye doctor can tell the difference.

    Because of the number of steroids I had in a short period of time, I developed cataracts., t the point where surgery was required. I had the cataract surgery and could not be happier. I went from 20/100 in the 'diseased' eye to 20/20 in 24 hours! Now I am hoping that the other eye develops the same problem so that I can have the surgery done ther.
    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
  • Very helpful info here, but I still have two specific questions:
    1. Would a spinal steroid be likely to affect me the same way as oral steroid (anxiety, insomnia)?
    2. Does it make sense that a neurosurgeon would learn something valuable from my having the injection first?
  • I also have significant systemic side effects from oral steroids. I have had one steroid injection and did have similar reactions. I've been told by my PCP that I should not be treated with steroids again - oral or injection. That may just be me, though.
  • For chronic hives. I did a topic called prednisone & shared what I've learned about the stuff through the years.

    Ron is right about cataracts, but that only usually happens with long term use. Feel free to read my post, it might help answer some questions
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • Have you all read some of the information out there regarding the steroid injections? I'm thinking this is not the best course of action. The risks my doctor described are NOT the risks being warned about through the FDA.

  • While I know there are always risks in any procedure, I just can't believe these are not FDA approved!!! Not that I consider the FDA to be 100% accurate all the time, but it's all we got.

    I'm surprised insurance would cover something not FDA approved, it's really difficult to get coverage for anything that strays even a bit of the "path" like compounded medication.

    I think this makes us Spiney's that much more _______ when trying to get meds from a PM dr. If you refuse to try any procedures, you are going to look like you are just there for drugs, and there are some PM dr's (mine) who only do procedures, no narcs. Mine thinks Tylenol is the ingredient in narcs that is actually helping, therefore, I should do just fine on Tylenol. Yeah. Sure. That's why I'm medically retiring at 47 & losing more than half my income. Sorry, I'm not trying to "Dr bash", I actually like him & do believe he has my best interest at heart, it's just frustrating that he thinks I could function on only Tylenol.

    Jeneral, thanks for the info. I had 2 ep's & 1 nerve blasting. Got pretty good relive from the ep's, just not very long. I was going to go for one more right before I have to take my daughter to a Dance Nationals in Las Vegas for a week, hoping it will give me the best possible chance of surviving the trip (in case you've never been, lots of walking in Vegas, & don't know how I'm going to do it...). I will really have to think about this.
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • It really does make it difficult, I'm to the point that surgery (in my own life) is just not an option. Even with every story of feel great would recommend to anyone, there is also a bit of horror, oh yea feeling great, better than ever, complete loss of feeling in my abdomen, left leg, paralysis etc... that's not better! I'm interested in getting more info on the Laser Spine Institute. I'm so scared with my luck I'll be one of the few who get that transforaminal epidural and go blind, or suffer paralysis. I mean I went in for a c section in 2004 and they punctured my spine, shot spinal fluid across the operating room and they did nothing about it. I suffered for a long time after that. I just have horrible luck with procedures
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