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Lumbar ESI- 3wks- no improvement--WORSE!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm pretty new to this post & have been on the neck pain posts recently. Here's a short history of me... I am 3 mo. post (ACDF and recovering SLOWLY and PAINFULLY, but that's another issue.) I also have lumbar spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, bulging L4&L5 discs. Three weeks ago I had a Lumbar ESI. I am very familiar with these injections, as I had 4 of them before my cervical spine surgery. This was my 1st lumbar one. I just want to say that since then I have been miserable. My back is worse, the numbness in my legs is worse, weakness-worse! I think the injection was a waste of time. Does anyone have any input? Should I have more patience? Did anyone have better success? Any difference with lumbar ESI? (By the way, with my neck ESIs, I got relief after about 2wks and it lasted about 2 months.)


  • Hi Amy,

    My pain specialist told me I may get relief from the first lumbar ESI, but not to expect anything until the third. So, be patient - it may take your body longer to react to the steroids.

    I got minor relief from the first injection, but within a week or two of the second one, I felt as if I never had an ESI - my pain was back to where it was before the first injection. There was no improvement after the third one either.

    When I met with my surgeon, he said that due to my condition (disc bulge with partial collapse), no amount of ESIs was going to help. The purpose of ESIs is to decrease inflammation in a specific area so that things can heal on their own. In my case, the disc was so bad that it was never going to heal on its own.

    I know it's hard to be patient, but hang in there. I would not worry about it unless there is no change 1-2 weeks after your third ESI.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks for the feedback..Paulgla, It's funny you mention pain in the abdominal,pelvic area. I have recently felt this also. Radiates to the front. this is one reason why I think my back is getting worse. My last MRI was in Sep. I see my PM Dr. on Tuesday, and my NS on the 17th. Hopefully I can get my second ESI soon. Hope your recovery is going well Mark!
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