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Amazing relief from prednisone

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Spinal Stenosis
I had surgery for severe spinal stenosis 7 months ago and my symptoms (leg weakness, leg pain, neuropathy, difficulty climbing steps or rising from chairs) did not improve. As I had previously posted, 5 months post-surgery the NS told me that I had waited too long to have surgery (10 years) and the nerve damage was permanent.

Two weeks ago the nurse-practioner at my PCP's office thought I should have a trial of prednisone. I haven't felt this great in a decade! I walk so much better, my leg pain has virtually vanished, and my legs feel stronger. Of course prednisone is a nasty drug that I can't take regularly (for one thing, it leaches calcium from bones and can cause spontaneous fractures and osteoporosis).

In the past 2 years I have seen 4 neurologists, an orthopod, and the NS and no one ever recommended any medication except for neurontin.

There are some very knowledgable people on this board and I would love to hear comments about what you think it means for my diagnosis that I have had such a positive response to steroids. Has anyone else tried prednisone?

Thanks in advance.


  • Please tell us what surgical procedure was done for your stenosis and at what level.

    Did she give you a Medrol Dose Pack or are you taking individual prednisone pills, one or two each day? For how long are you taking it?

    There is no doubt that prednisone can be a miracle worker but, as you mentioned, it is a potentially dangerous drug that physicians do not like to prescribe except in the short term.

    The fact that you are responding to prednisone would seem to indicate that inflammation must be one of the causes of your pain. Have you had steroid injections since your surgery?

    Surgeons often order a steroid injection after surgery when a patient is still complaining of pain. It is a direct way to deliver a steroid to the presumed source of pain (which is often inflammation at the surgical site)while bypassing the blood stream, etc.

    If you could provide a bit more information, I think more people might be able to respond with suggestions.

    Glad you are feeling better!

  • on a regular basis because of a glandular condition but i dont think any dr in his right mind would prescribe it long term for the spine. when overused it can even build up fatty deposits around the spinal column which can lead to severe stenosis. my neurosurgeon just told me he has had to operate on many people to remove fatty deposits caused by prednisone.
    gwennie's comment on inflammation sound right on track. enjoy the stuff short term but dont plan on using it forever...pete
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  • My surgery was laminectomies at L2-3, L3-4, and L4-5.
    According to the operative report, "excellent decompression was achieved", but there has been no improvement in my symptoms. Since the surgery I have had more actual back pain than before, when my pain was focused more on my legs. As I posted earlier, the NS said that I had waited too late and my nerve damage was permanent.

    When I improved so dramatically with prednisone, my PCP said that this indicated that I have a great deal of muscle inflammation and therefore must have a form of myositis. She referred me to a rheumatologist for a complete work-up.

    A neurologist diagnosed me with Inclusion Body Myositis 2 years ago but a second opinion from a specialist in the muscular dystrophies disagreed. So....here I go again.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,521
    in helping disc problems. Prednisone is really good in dealing with inflammation problems.
    It can be used for many different situations.
    - Bad Cases of Poison Ivy
    - Bad allergic reactions
    - Any inflammation situation

    This medication has a specific action plan. Generally you start off with a high dosage and as the days go by you reduce the total amount that you take.

    Several times over the past 30+ years I have used predisone for helping with flareups and it did help
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I have RA and cervical and lumbar stenosis. My pain and burning in extremities can be crippling. The shocks in my legs at night keep me from sleeping more than 2 to 3 hours a night. I'm scheduled for cervical disectomy and fusion in Feb. My Nuero prescribed gabapentin but I don't tolerate it well. He gave me a muscle relaxer that helped with cramps and twitching. The pain meds did little to help. The steroids are amazing. It's the difference between barely walking to functioning normally. I'll take my chances and deal with the side effects. Good luck with your stenosis and your meds.
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I took prednisone for 4 days and it was amazing. Seems too nasty to take that often.
    All questions and answers are given from a personal perspective only. I have congenital stenosis from C4-C7, and T7-S1. I am actively being seen my by doctor and following his advice. I strongly suggest that you do the same.
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