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Facet nerve block didn't work

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,082
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Spinal Injections
Well, I had the nerve block yesterday, with no success. She did 8 injections, 4 per side. But after a half an hour, I could tell that I still had as much pain as before the shots.

I am very disappointed. The doctor made a comment that "it must be inflammation that we are dealing with", when she examined me after the injections. But I'm not sure what that means for my treatment. I already had steroid injections, and they didn't help either.

I will wait to see what she has to say when I see her next. I need to make an appointment for sometime in the next few weeks. I am so tired of this pain, even though I know it isn't as bad as many other people here. But 1.5 years of constant pain, is getting old. And I'm tired of needing help with all kinds of things I used to be able to do myself, and not being able to do a lot of things I want to do.

Sorry for ranting, I just needed to get it out.


  • or think that your pain is any less important than the rest of us. Most of us can relate to what you are going through and never mind being here to talk to or just listen to rants. have you had a discogram yet? what about the possibilty of a rhizotomy (nerve burn) since it sounds like they are leaning towards your facet joints being the problem?
  • you really would not feel the results in 1/2 an hour. maybe it will just take a little longer for you. nevertheless they do not last as long as rhizotomy.
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  • The way my doctor explained it, the nerve block was to see if a rhizotomy would work. So, since the nerve block didn't work, she says we won't go further down that route, as in we won't do a rhizotomy.

    It's now been two days, with no change in my pain, so I'm pretty sure the nerve block didn't work. This is different than steroid injections, which I know can take up to two weeks to work. The nerve block is done with numbing medication, so the effects should be fairly quick.

    The only things (procedures) I have had done so far are: 2 ESI's (at the discs), 1 facet steroid injection, and the facet nerve block. I have also been having acupuncture once a week for about 2.5 months.

    I have had very little pain reduction (there has been some - but not enough in my estimation). I have pain in my lower back, that sometimes radiates into my right hip and down the front of my right leg toward the inside of my knee (indicative of L4/L5 disc), and sometimes down the back of my left leg (though that is rare).

    I just don't know what the next step might be. And unfortunately I can't get an appointment with my doctor until Sep. 12th. I will look into more information here, to see if I can figure out what else might be going on, and see if a discogram seems appropriate. Thanks.
  • =(( ...that the nerve block didn't work. Perhaps this is an issue not caught by MRI. I sure wish I knew what to say. The frustration is difficult to take, I get that.
    My DH ruptured nearly every disc 12 years ago, and has been in varying levels of excruciating pain ever since. It didn't occur to anyone until a brilliant NP assessed him last month that some of his problems might be related to an area that has no discs - his SI joints. Altho' they were only able to successfully inject one side (bad arthritis), his pain relief was amazing. (Made him much more comfortable while waiting for the nerve-root block.)
    Not suggesting that's your problem. Merely hoping that you have a good provider who's ready to think outside the box. Our bodies were strangely and wonderfully created. Sometimes docs overlook that...and I hope yours doesn't.
    All my best! :)))
  • Thanks you guys, for being understanding and supportive.

    I will just keep taking one day at a time, and trying to make the best of it. I will continue to hope for the best.
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  • what does your pain feel like? burning? im looking for answers 2... and i heard with facets you dont get pain down your leg and i dont.
  • Well, I don't know that my problem is from the nerves at the facet joint now. If it were, then the nerve block should have helped.

    The only real "diagnosis" I have is from the MRI results (which is listed at the bottom of my posts). My PM doc and I are still trying to figure out what is causing my pain, and how to treat it. Because of the disc degeneration we started out by targeting the disc nerves, by having ESI's. These didn't help for more than a few days, and even that wasn't a whole lot. So then the PM thought it might be facets, from my description of the pain, and we tried a facets injection. This also gave only minor relief, but enough that she wanted to follow up with the nerve block.

    My pain is in my lower back and my right hip. Sometimes the pain continues from my hip, down my leg crossing over the front of my thigh to the inside of my knee (more frequently longer ago, less so now). This by the way, is a classic L4/L5 disc symptom. I have more pain sitting, less standing and walking, and even less laying down (within a reasonable amount of time - all these positions can cause pain if I do them for too long). The pain going into my leg usually feels like an ache, just like my back, but there are times when it also feels a little burning. For the most part, I am at least convinced that it is likely nerve pain. Narrowing down where it is coming from is taking a really long time. I started seeing my PM maybe 9 months ago (before that had been seeing a collegue of hers, who only had me go to PT - which I feel was a waste of time and didn't help at all), and had my MRI done in Dec last year (after asking that first doc about having one, which he refused).

    I don't think the fact that the pain went into my leg, was the reason my PM thought it might be the facets. I think it was more the fact that I had more pain bending backwards than forwards, though when I have investigated this further at home, I just have pain whichever direction I bend.

    I hope you figure out what is causing your pain, and can get some relief soon.
  • Hey all

    I hope my info. will be of some help to all. I am a 44 year old that has been suffering with back pain as long as probably more than 10 years. I have been taking between Vicodin or darvocet for a very, very long time. As of today I am so happy to say that I have been off pain medicine now for at least 10 weeks. I was refered to a pain clinic in Portage, Michigan. I received at least 6 injections & the very next day I woke up with no back pain because before any injections I would wake up on horable pain. I just received on Monday the 25th more injections & hopefully they will last as long as the 1st ones. My doctor has recomended doing a Rhizotomy on me on 10-20-08. I am not sure if I want to yet.
  • I had an accident 16 years ago...Hair caught in printing machine and pulled out, that is when my neck pain and other problems began. As if that wasn't bad enough, I was in a car accident 3 months ago. I ended up with a concussion, sprained wrist and a contusion on my knee. Along with that, I aggrevated my neck injury, got numbness in my right hand and pain in my right shoulder blade. I'm only 37! I have suffered for 16 years and now, because of the car accident, I feel HORRIBLE! I started to have other problems which I don't know if they could be related. I was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis. I finally was sent to a pain clinic, who sent me to have 4 facet nerve blocks on each side of my neck. They started with my left side, which I noticed No relief. Two weeks later they did my right side and for the first time in 16 years, I FEEL WONDERFUL! I felt wonderful the first day of the injections. I didn't think I would ever feel normal again. What does this mean for me? I can't get these 3 times a year. The procedure was horrible. I felt everything the first time and when they injected the medicine, it was the worst feeling EVER! How long do the first shots last. Any suggestions?
  • i have had these done 15 times over the years. i have tried different doctors different procedures basically i have beed their test rat. hope you have better luck....todd
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