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Facet nerve block didn't work



  • Hi all,

    I am new here. I am trying the Facet Block from my Surgeon as he said as a last resort to make sure my lower back problems are not arthritis related. He has said it is bone deficiency and disc deterioration is involved. Nerve pain runs in both legs and numbness is in feet. I have heard Facet Block is very painful??? Is it?? I am not good at knowing yet what disc number its last disc involved and the one up from that as well. Just wondered amount of pain? Susieq2u
  • I am so sorry for what you are going through. I do apologize for the post I put before as well. I put in wrong place. I hope that in time you will start to get some relief. I will watch and keep good thoughts for you.
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  • Well even though the facet nerve block did not work, it wasn't all for nothing. At least we can rule out my facet joints as being the major problem. ;) I'm trying to stay positive here.

    The facet block injections were not too uncomfortable for me. I hope that they aren't (or weren't) uncomfortable for you either. Have you had facet joint steroid injections, my doctor did that first. They were very similar, in my opinion.
  • I agree with treefrog, the nerve block injections were no big deal. With all of my injections, I did have them give me a very mild sedative, they asked each time if I wanted them or not. (I figure if they're poking around my spine why take the chance of me moving when I shouldn't?? :) )

    Anyway, I had two facet blocks (or medial branch blocks), they use two different numbing medications, one has short effect and the other much longer. They won't tell you which you'll get when either. I'll say that the shorter acting injection wore off before the sedative - I had no relief at all. The longer lasting one gave me 4 days of absolute bliss!! And a rhizotomy a couple weeks ago too as this is what the doc apparently expected to hear.

    Treefrog, sorry the blocks didn't work out, I fully understand and appreciate the "well that test came back negative, let's try this" speech, the frustration is almost worse than the pain itself. The PM doc I'm seeing now has made ongoing (although small) improvements for me so my frustration level has been a bit lower but not gone.

    And we all need a good rant now and then, it's good for the soul! ;)
  • Well, I posted about it in the surgery section, but I thought I would let people reading here know, that the next step for me is to have a discogram. This is where they inject dye directly into suspect discs (and non-suspect discs as a control). The dye increases the pressure inside the disc. If this increase in pressure causes the same pain you've been experiencing, then they can conclude that that disc(s) is the one causing your pain. If it is negative, if injecting the dye does not cause the same pain, then they can conclude that it is not the disc causing the pain, but something else.

    So, I am having one on Dec 3rd. And then I am consulting with a surgeon on the 15th. I've been trying conservative treatment for a year and a half, and it's time for more aggresive treatment.

    It is frustrating that it takes so long, but I understand why. In situations such as mine, when mri results don't give clear indications of the cause of my pain, then it can take time to try different treatments to identify the cause.

    So, don't give up, keep working with your doctor. Give different treatments a fair chance of working.
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  • You got it right: keep your communications up with your doc and make sure everyone is on the same page. And give your treatments the opportunity to work. Frustration will always be there, just like stress you have to find a way to deal with it. Some days will be better than others, if you have a bad day, things will get better.

    Cathy good luck on your discogram, I understand they can be very helpful in diagnosis.
  • Yes the discogram should be diagnostic. My PM (the one who is doing the discogram) said it would help her in treating me, even if I wasn't a candidate for surgery. That's why I am having it done before I see the surgeon. It should help both doctors in determining my treatment options.
  • Good luck with your discogram next week! I bet we've traded attitudes right now, I'm sure you're anxious to move foreward, that's always encouraged me. I'm 6+ weeks after an RF Rhizotomy with no relief yet so I'm pretty discouraged now, I guess I should listen to my own advice and allow the procedure to do its thing but that's becoming more difficult to do every day. My next PM visit is in a couple weeks, should be interesting if I'm still not feeling any benefit from the RF...
  • But now I'm not sure that the discogram is going to happen. I forgot to stop taking the Mobic (was supposed to stop taking it 5 days before the procedure to minimize bleeding complications). I need to call my doctor tomorrow.

    I'm gonna cry if I find out they have to postpone the discogram. Even if it's my own fault.
  • I have been living with cervical, thoracic and lumbar pains from work injury since 2008. I have seen many neurosurgeons of which none recommend surgery because i would need a 5 level cervical fusion. They said i am too young at 43 to risk such a risky procedure and i would be disappointed in results. I have tried 2 rounds of 2 series of cervical epidural corticosteroid injections with little to no improvement. I have tried 1 round of SI joint injections no help. I recently tried cervical facet block with no improvement either. Am i alone feeling like this? Tired of living with serious daily pains that ruins my ability to do any activities with my family or being stuck in bed for days at a time and having NO quality of life left at all? Plz help.
    Nancy sadulski
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