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Stenosis and 2nd epidural

I was diagnosed in February with absolute stenosis ( Foraminal Stenosis I believe ) in the L4-L5 with disk bulge. The issue is complicated as I have a deterioration in the right hip as well with the femoral head being ovoid shaped.
I had my first epidural late May and was effective for about a week to a week and a half before intense pain began to set in again.
On the 17th, I had a 2nd injection. Like the first, there was immediate relief. On Sunday evening I went for a 20 minute walk. As I tell my physiatrist , I won't know how effective it is until I push a bit. By the end of the walk ( I use a cane ), my back ached horribly and there were pins/needles all along my leg. I actually had to grab my pant leg and lift the leg into my car to drive home.
The following day, the sensations increased with tingling going up the thigh across the buttocks and an increase in back pain. Tuesday morning, I called my psysiatrist and his triage nurse ordered me to the ER. All they did was prescribe oxycodone and ibuprofren and send me home.
I used to be able to get relief from the stenosis by sitting. Now, pain sets in within 30 minutes and I have to move. The leg is somewhat rubbery and unreliable and tingles/ burns/aches.
Has anyone else had this happen after an epidural? I'm concerned that the bulging disk may have herniated as my symptoms have worsened and altered or something else has gone awry. My last MRI was 6 months ago.
My primary care physician wanted me to go to the ER in Columbus which is a 60 mile drive which would mean having a friend drive me.
Any input is apprciated.


  • caroline2caroline2 Posts: 92
    edited 08/12/2015 - 1:17 PM
    in 2010. This hip surgery has really done jobs on my body. It took a few months for the stenosis to rear it's ugly head but it did. I went thru many sessions of acupuncture, I have a rheumy who does this work, ended up buying a donut pillow and carried it everywhere I went for a while....I still sit on it at the computer.

    My rheumy sent me to a special PT who does spinal sten work and she even went in internally to move things around...I could hardly sit for 5 minutes and not be in crying pain. I learned SS exercises and do them 3 times a day and now I can sit for an hour in fair comfort.

    I would not do epidurals, they can help sometimes, I've heard but overall can cause more damage than good. That's why they are called the best and worst drugs. More people end up with early replacements from overuse of steroids. I've read so many cases... I had 2 scripts for edpidurals but never did them.

    Sorry for your misery and I can relate to that spinal sten pain/burn. Look online for special spinal S exercises...

    Please do not use short hand text - Look at: Abbreviated Text Talk - Is Wrong
    Bodywide OA, Fibro and complications from Hip Replacement.
  • Thanks so much for you input and taking the time to be encouraging.

    My physiatrist has referred my case to a neurosurgeon with initial consultation on Sept. 3. I was in error, I have absolute foraminal stenosis in L5S1, mild stenosis in L4L5 and a bulging disc in L5S1 which he thinks has worsened. A new MRI has been ordered to check that.
    I've looked at some sten exercise vids. Some issues exist with the mobility of the right hip joint since there is a considerable reduction in it's mobility. It makes some of the exercises difficult at best and sometimes painful if I move wrong.
    Since the stenosis is caused by osteoarthritis of the spine, I feel as if I'm on somewhat of a slippery slope that will result in multiple operations with limited benefit.
  • My journey started April 15 when I st arted hitting the Ibuprofen at 2000 a day (3000 limit) and It helped my deep left buttock pain. I thought I could just work through it (I'm 68 male, active gardener, church worker, etc.). Approx May 28 to have some minor arthroscopic surgery left shoulder, so killed off Ibuprofen 10 days ahead...THEN the bigtime pain set and was growing. I did the shoulder surgery ( agony getting off the table to come home, got over shoulder OK) & earliest to my GP June 7 & got tramadol June 14....pain still ramping up from deep buttock, down sciatica, muscle spasms, to top of foot, can hardly raise left big toe. Got to surgeon approx June 27, MRI ID'd spinal stenosis...the herniated L4-L5 disk had spilled out and completely surround the nerve with junk.Relief OK sitting, but lying flat a problem. Did 50 size tramadol 6 times a day...saw the curtains moving in a windowless room. Did epidural 10 days later and felt great ( I cut the tramadol off with no ill effects) for 48 hrs, then the effect went dead & I was in max pain, took 9 hours to get level 12 pain back down to a grateful level 5. Did another surgeon visit after a standing X-ray from front and side. He said that clinched it & I needed a debridement of the junk, remove some bone spurs (and some bone), then do the rods and screws things with 97% success and to watch diligently for infection (I'm Type 2 diabetes) and I'd be about 6 weeks recovery. This guy only does spines as his career period and has a great track record (I vetted him and the hospital). Then, as time went on, I started feeling a bit better and gradually backed off tramadol and also to understand how I really felt in reality. As of about July 31 Im off tramadol and walking with a bit of a limp and level 2 pain. I had done 1 therapy session & it about killed me 2 hrs later when home. Surgeon said forget therapy until after fusion procedure. Now comes the discussion: Since I still have the deep buttock pain, leg tingles some, can't raise big left toe, I could possible live with it....I called surgeon, he said objective was to fix my pain & it up to me to do procedure or not. We scheduled surgery a month out and I can cancel 2 weeks ahead BUT my perception is that if I do not do the surgery I'm setting myself up for another big time pain session later for another 6 months out of commission or be like my mom who years ago declined knee surgery and now regrets it. I'm healthy enough for the surgery...at age 78 it could be a different story, plus my Medicare & my insurance pick up most of the tab. Although it not killing me right now I'm inclined to proceed. It's a life with family that counts, this had me confined long enough. Tomorrow is preadmin testing, surgery Aug 27. I'm been walking around trying to get my back and ab muscles toned up abit to be in good shape going in and will do whatever I need to do. Decision-making on this stuff is difficult as there's much to consider, but considering my condition going in I think my prognosis good. My GP doctor know me pretty well.....he told me to go ahead, to go for it, that I'd be fine. So consider your future, your surgeon is a source, but also your regular doctor. Use a lot of sources to evaluate. Like one guy said, you see a lot of horror stories on the forums but I think there's a lot of good out comes too. Although I'm feeling better the "real problem" is still there. My prayer group at church has been great.Your faith can carry you, I'm fortunaate to age 68 to do this, retired, and not have to fight employers, workman comp, etc. so I'm lucky in that regard. I feel real bad for those working people that have this, but have confidence this can all be worked out!
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