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Failed facet injection, now what? Anyone else experience this?

I had my cervical facet injection at C4/5 done last Tuesday. The pain got unbareably worse for two days and then days 3-5 I got relief. Pain went from a 7-8 down to a 2! Well after three glorious pain free days the pain came back with a vengeance along with some wonderful back muscle spasms all over my back and debilitating headaches.
Would love to know what all this means. I don't follow up with my neurologist until March 17th. Anyone else out there with similar experience?


  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 606
    edited 03/07/2015 - 3:05 AM
    Those injections never worked for me either. I guess it's hit or miss with them? Mine actually caused me more pain? I would suggest you follow up with your doctor. Maybe you can call his office & let him know you are having more symptoms after the injections & maybe they can see you sooner? Good luck.
  • So sorry you are experiencing those results after a few pain free
    days that has to be disappointing. I agree with Motor1 call your Doctor.
    I never got relief in fact one shot at a PC I felt the worst pain when he
    injected and flush up through my back and butt. I have had side effects
    that have not gone away but I read that is an exception, a lot of people
    have great success.
    It would be wonderful if you could get the relief you are looking for.
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  • I had 6 injections done at C2-3 C5-6, C6-7. The pain from the injections themselves were unbelievable. I had a reaction from them and ended up in emerge 24 hours after I had them done. I was given a bunch of drugs to stop the reaction and then put on prednisone for the next 5 days. I had no pain relief whatsoever. I really do not think my body could handle so many injections. I am going for some allergy testing now to determine what actually caused the reaction before I have surgery. My surgeon was using the injections as a test. once he knew they failed that is when he decided to do surgery.

  • I can't believe you had that many injections done. I just had the one level done and I came home in tears! The pain was so bad, and the headache! I didn't know if it was the position they put me in for the injection that flared me up or the injection itself. All I know is, it was 2 days of hell! You poor thing, to have that many done and then have an allergic reaction to it.
    I wonder if the neurosurgeon will recommend surgery since the facet injection offered no relief. He too ordered it for diagnostic purposes. The injection itself really took itnoutnof me. I don't know if it was the stress of the procedure or the flare up, but it made for an exhausting week. I hope you find what you reacted to so you can have a successful surgery.
  • I had three rounds of facet injections (almost exactly the same result as yours). Then I had three rounds of epidural injections. Then two radiofrequency ablations. Those worked for headaches, but only headaches. My next step js a four level ACDF. Even when the injections were not working, my doctors answer was always give it more time. I did, and ended up needing a much more involved surgery than I would have needed when the problem started.
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  • I don't have my follow up for another week. I don't know if he'll recommend ACDF since facet injections brought me no relief or if that means I'm not a candidate for surgery. He said injections were diagnostic. I would love to know so I can mentally start preparing myself. By your replies it sounds like failed facet injection confirms need for ACDF. Thanks for the input, this has been such a long (18 months) painful road for me. I miss my old self so much. I can't wait to some day have all of this behind me!
  • Motor1 said:
    Those injections never worked for me either. I guess it's hit or miss with them? Mine actually caused me more pain? I would suggest you follow up with your doctor. Maybe you can call his office & let him know you are having more symptoms after the injections & maybe they can see you sooner? Good luck.
    Did you end up having surgery? What did your doc recommend after injections failed? I refused the epidural for the disc because 2 of my doctors and my gut told me the risk didn't outeright the benefit, or probability of a benefit. I would say my pain over all definitely got worse after the facet injection, more muscle spasms in my back too as well as some dizziness that hasn't auite gone away completely.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 606
    Yes, unfortunately I ended up having 2 surgeries in 9 months time. I do know that the doctors must try all treatments available before they will recommend any surgery. Hopefully, since you didn't have good results with the injection, he won't be trying them again. Just be honest with the doctor when he asks you how you felt after getting the injection & if you feel it helped you at all. Good luck
  • Not sure what to think. The pain got so much worse for 2 days that when I got the 3 days of relief after the flare up calmed down, I couldn't tell if it helped or if I just felt better in comparison to the flare up pain. I went from a 5 to a 9 to what felt like a 3 for three days then back up to 5,6's and 7's. So overall I feel it was a fail. It's been two weeks since the injections and I've been keeping a detailed pain log for the doctor. Out of 14 days I only had pain relief for three, the rest have been as bad if not worse than before. And now I have this low grade dizziness through out the day. Guess I will find out next week what my prognosis is. Now I can say I have tried everything for the past year and a half.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 606
    i guess your doctor will advise what your next step will be? Has he mentioned surgery yet?
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