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Too young to have steroid injections?

I'm 22 years old and have suffered with lower back pain and left leg pain for 4/5 years now. Last year I was given 2 sets of steroid injections (May & November) to l3,4,5 and s1.
This first set worked great and I was pain free for about 4 months. The second set worked just as well but I was told at the appointment that I was too young to keep having these injections so this would be the last time.
I was so gutted about this and felt let down because I thought I'd finally found something that works for me.
Has anyone else been told they're too young? I'm wondering when I can have them done again... 1 year... 5 years... 20 years I don't know.
But now I'm back on daily pain killers. The whole reason of the injections was to get me off pain relief!


  • It depends on which type of injection you're doing as well as what your physician is comfortable with regarding the guidelines. You are young, but that is not the only consideration they use to make a decision. You can try a second opinion with another physician.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • Cindi0906CCindi0906 Posts: 6
    edited 09/13/2015 - 7:38 PM
    Please be very careful about getting these injections. I am older than you but started getting them when I was 51. First 8 went off without a problem and I did get relief from them. However the 9th one left me paralyzed from the chest down. Eventually I learned to stand and walk again. Fast forward almost 5 years and I suffer everyday of my life. Most of my left side is numb. My balance is horrible. I can't run or jump. I can barely sit down on the floor because it's so hard to get up. I have had several bad falls. I have what they call a neurogenic bowel and bladder - which basically mean neither works. I have to and will have to use catheters for the rest of my life. I have been unable to return to work and struggle trying to live on social security disability. I really would not chance it, trust me it's not worth it!

    While it was very unfortunate to have the negative results from the ESI. But please keep in mind, ESI's are done so very frequently, the chances of what happened to you is very slim. You can read all the statistics about ESIs, the risks, etc and your situation is so very rare. But this should never prevent any member from deciding to or not have a ESI based on your experience.

    -- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator 09/14/15
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,807
    I really think "to young" comes from a good place, but is a doctors personal decision. Many people I know have had them at young age, I wasnt much older than you when mine began and they were a life saver for me ( the last two). Often doctors say injections, surgury, or pain meds are not right choice due to age, but pain does not discriminate based on age so why do doctors? As many on here will probably tell you they would sacrifice years off their life for relief, that trade is worth it many times for chronic pain person.
    Know the risks and rewards this treatment could bring and maybe look for second opinion, or just speak to your doctor and ask what are the risks if I have more injections to try and help deal with this? After that you should be able to express you are willing to take that risk and if he is not than maybe second opinion warranted. There is a point where to many is to many or it is at point wont help anymore, but it seems you had good results. There may be multiple reasons the doctor does not want to do more, but saying you are to young seems kind of like a cop out to me, but I am bias because i was in your shoes of being "to young" before.
    But understand the injections alone will not get you completely out of pain , they are just something to assist in healing or treatment. You wouldnt want to have several every year for rest of life.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • will live with damage due to an injection. The doctor got very upset with me saying you don't get those results. I have had several over the years starting when I was pretty young, none of them helped. The thing each time I got one my heart was so hopeful for relief despite the one incident. Also just over this past year I have had several more and begged for the last one. I mean despite the risk wouldn't we do anything just to get some relief I know I would.
    Have you discussed you fears with your Doctor and if I could give any advice do all you can using all the tools that are out there to help relieve your pain. There is a list on here that has several great ideas cause especially at your young age pain medications can be a really effective thing to control pain but then the longer you take them the more you end up needing and there are so many side effects and damage that can result from there use.
    Just my thoughts because I care and so sorry you are dealing with this at an age where you should be out having fun.
    Take care
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