I had a fourth lumbar epidural injection at the beginning of this month. The day after, I started having "new" pain that never occurred before - I wound up screaming when I was getting out of a chair after dinner - felt like my whole back went out. In the week that followed I had a repeat episode where slight movement sent me screaming and single episode of sciatica pain shooting down my left leg and complete numbness in my left foot with tingling in the toes - before the epidural I had numbness in my right foot only.
I called my pain doctor who did the epidural after each incident, leaving messages, and the receptionist called back telling me "the switch in location of the pain and having pain is a sign the epidural is working and getting to the spinal cord".
Does this make sense at all? When I had physical therapy at the time of my first three epidurals (done by a different doctor) my physical therapist said I should notice a decrease in back pain afterward (none of those epidurals worked).
I was told to call for a two week follow-up appointment and when I called to schedule it, I was told the doctor was "booked solid for the next month".
Now I am having weakness in my right leg and I can not flex my right foot toes as much as my left toes. My right big toe is now numb all the time, with numbness in my right foot after walking short distances - like from the parking lot into a store. I am still having increased pain at what feels like the "injection site" after three weeks. I left a message for my pain doctor about this and am waiting to hear back.
Has anyone heard that pain and change in location of pain after an epidural is a "sign that it's working"??