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Lumbar spinal injection horror story. Don't read if you are scheduled for it.

Hunt0991HHunt0991 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:02 AM in Spinal Injections
I read other's posts and was so looking forward to my first lumbar STERIOD INJECTION for stenosis.
I don't know what went wrong, as was told I'd feel a couple of bee stings, then maybe some pressure.
I have a new scale for pain now, and on a scale of 1-10. It was a 15. The most excruciating pain I've ever experienced. I passed out from it, and my blood pressure dropped to 78 /52. They had to give me oxygen, smelling salts, wet towels, etc.
They will NEVER do that to me again. Intensely painful and a nightmare!

I will say my back, hip and buttock pain has dropped by 50% this morning, but I'm still tramatized and weepy from my horrible experience yesterday.
I won't do it again without some kind of sedation. If you do. Just make sure the "assembly line" (ortho pain clinic does 30-40 of them each day) can stop if you are not numb.

Has anyone else had such a negative experience??


  • I got the injections but it was in my neck, with all the stories I have read I am glad that I have no feeling back there anymore. My nerves were severed when I was hit so my nerves don't function like they should anymore. Again I am sorry for u having to go thru all that pain just for a 50% reduction in the pain u went in for. Best wishes with u
  • I'm having one this coming Friday and I keep having this thought that I should cancel. My ortho although went on and on and on and on about how I should at least 'try' because it 'might' help some and give me more time before I need surgery. Even though I've made a point of saying that because my back is messed up due to a bad auto accident, I just want it over with as much as it can be, don't want it stretched out. My husband has had back probs for years and the epidurals didn't help more than a few days or a week and he had a lot more pain after. They are supposed to anesthesize me BUT I'm worried about the pain being worse for the first week and I can't afford to miss more time from work. I have herniated disk L4-5, and bulging L2 down to L4 and stenosis and bone spurs. The ortho surgeon says he would trim the discs and probably use some rods and screws. Is it really worth going through the expense and pain of this epidural - that I feel is just a way for the ortho to make more money and to keep me on as a patient that much longer? Who's had them and for what condition and what were the results?

    (I told my doc no way was anybody sticking a needle where it hurts while I'm awake, he agreed pretty easily on that - but they make even more money using anesthesia so why wouldn't they agree?)
    I am who I am!
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  • I forgot to say that I have nerve damage in my right leg and foot which they tell me may be permanent and is due to there not being any room in the nerve root space. I asked if the epidural would help that if it's not permanent and would the epidural prevent more nerve damage. I was told NO and NO. That this was just for possible pain relief. I'm scared that even if I do have relief (and I have a funny feeling I'm going to have worse pain than I can imagine) that I'll end up with more nerve damage as time goes on.

    Oh - my ortho is a very good doc and surgeon but has NO bedside manner - even his staff agrees with that. So no, there is no, sit down and go have a talk with him about how I feel about things. He'll just tell me how important he is and how lucky I am for him to see me (excuse me, he's getting PAID for the priviledge of seeing me - I picked him). I'm nervous, dismayed and sick to my stomach thinking about all this!

    I am who I am!
  • It is funny that some of the best doc don't have good bedside manners I am sorry you are in this predicament why don't you speak to some other doc and hear what he says
  • It's so hard here to find one that will do something. And like a lot of practices, when you're in with one, you can't switch to another one. I'll put up with his rudeness, I know he is a very, very, very good surgeon. But I really don't want the epidural first. I want to 'close the book' on this and even he says it's just a slim chance that it will help - but thinks I should give it a try. Of course, he's not middle class and doesn't have to worry about co-pays on a $4000 procedure that probably won't work and won't help the nerve damage I already have. I'm really torn this evening about whether or not to cancel the epidural and just go ahead and schedule the surgery. Tried to clean house a little and I'm miserable - that doesn't help!
    I am who I am!
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  • I've had lumbar and cervical injections. For cervical I've had them with being slightly knocked out, with local and with no anastesia. The one with out was painful but not to the excrutiating level.
    For lumbar I have always had a mild anastetic (happy juice) and local. I would never let a lumbar injection without something.
    I get real good pain relief from lumbar and only mild relief from cervical.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Davrunner well I'm glad to know now of 2 people that have had pain relief, but I know of several who haven't and one made my husband much worse. The problem I have with doing it is that it will not help the nerve damage I already have and it won't prevent more of it, per my doc. Some of the nerve damage may already be permanent. So I want to prevent it if it isn't permanent and prevent further nerve damage.
    I am who I am!
  • My OS said that due to the success of the lumbar injections that if they stop working he is certain fusion surgery will relieve the pain.
    In my neck I have permanent nerve damage that cause my left upper back muscles to be in constant contraction/spasm and at times horrible pain. The cervicle blocks havn't helped and I'm currently going through a series to determine what relief I might get from fusion c4-7. I have accepted that if I proceed with surgery it will be to stop further damage and not to stop pain.
    I wish you the best and hope you can get some relief.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Well I'm barefoot and my bathroom has ceramic tile floors. The AC is on so the floor is cold. I can feel the cold with my left foot but not my right foot. It's not exactly numb, feels like part of it are. Anybody have this happen?

    Davrunner, my husband has had 2 separate cervical fusions and rarely has any neck pain. They told him it would help him regain strength in his arm but not necessarily relieve the pain, but it did. He also had bone spurs removed from his neck at the same time.
    I am who I am!
  • So if you've read my posts under other topics you know I had bilateral lumbar epidural steroid injections Thursday. Woke up Friday feeling soooooooo much better. Yesterday still better but the 'better' started waning. Burning pain started in my legs and while I was standing straight, able to walk straight and faster, now today, I can't straighten up again and can't walk any faster than I could pre-epidural. The doc told me not to expect improvement until today and max improvement would be at the one week mark.
    I thought I read somewhere that sometimes if you feel relief really fast it doesn't last? Does anyone know anything about that? Has anyone had this experience and if so did anybody go back to feeling better after a couple days? (I'm praying this doesn't mean my relief is over and that it didn't work - I've done a complete 180 - rather do this than surgery if only it will work).
    I haven't done anything I was told not to and have done everything I was told to do. Hubby took me grocery shopping Friday afternoon and I just walked and put stuff in the cart and then - not carried groceries upstairs (except for bread - very light) but helped to put them away. Yesterday did some very very light housework for maybe 1/2 hour. Later we went out and walked around for about 10-15 min each in 2 stores - so I'm walking but nothing strenuous.
    I want this to work so bad, but afraid I'm going back to square one and will need the surgery!
    Looking for answers, suggestions and anybody who has had these injections, tell me how it went day by day for the first week or so!
    I am who I am!
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