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epidural injections for herniated disc? - nurse83 - 02-06-2008

the w/c doctor told me when he referred me to the orthpedist that I would "be getting epidural injections" I have herniated discs, nerve compression and some tears at L3-4, L4-5 and I don't have much faith in the w/c doctor anyway and I intend to research this before my appointment but I don't know that this is the treatment of choice for my problems?!?!

so, come on, back people, let me hear from you. Thanks!

RE: epidural injections for herniated disc? - e3mrk - 02-06-2008

If it's what they wanted to do to Me then it is a long acting Pain Medication that is injected into the area in question.

RE: epidural injections for herniated disc? - ksgirl - 02-07-2008

Nurse, epidurals seem to be what most drs suggest first. My dr and I talked about epidurals but they don't fix you. Epidurals may help the pain, but they won't fix a herniated disc. I seem to have the same problems that you have. If I can help in any way, let me know.

RE: epidural injections for herniated disc? - frustratediw - 02-07-2008

I have had them with some pretty fair success. They are a more conservative treatment than surgery used to relieve pain. My opinion was that if they gave me any relief even for awhile it was worth it. It is true that they will not cure the underlying problem however surgery does not always provide much relief. I am holding out and will continue with this course of treatment until I am no longer getting any pain relief. In my opinion surgery should only be considered as a very last resort. Funny part is that I have had to fight to get the injections. Probably would have been easier to get approval for surgery.

So my opinion is try the injections. If they help great if not then you can consider other options.

RE: epidural injections for herniated disc? - Deb - 02-07-2008

I was forced by workman's comp insurance to try all conventional methods before surgery even though the neurosurgeon said that the herniated disk was almost cutting the nerve in half. I have had 3 injections so far. The first one did me absolutely no good at all. Pain Management Specialist sent me back to the Neurosurgeon and I had the surgery (Microdisectomy) at L4-L5. Surgery stopped the pulsating, shooting pain that ran from the back down my leg to my toes but it did not take away the pain around my tailbone, left hip, left ankle or my left foot or the burning sensation that I have across the lower back. 2nd injection didn't do much to talk about either. I had another injection this time in my left hip. It helped somewhat for a couple of days but didn't last. Now the doc wants me to go through physical therapy and build up the muscles in that hip and then go back for another shot. If that doesn't work then he says we still have a few more options left. One of the options is fusion other option is a stimulator. According to my neurosurgeon leaving the disk pushed up against the nerve for so long has probably caused me nerve damage. Hopefully, if you decide to do the injection it will work for you and you will not have to go through the surgery. Good Luck and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know.


RE: epidural injections for herniated disc? - monster - 02-07-2008

Nurse - I think the epidurals are basically an injection of steroids/anti inflammatories (I may be wrong and I am to tired to look it up right now, sorry). Some people it helps and some it doesn't. I had 2 in my neck. First one didn't help, second one eased the headaches somewhat but they came back pretty quickly and the neck pain was never alleviated.

...they are a band aid of sorts and don't fix the problem only mask it for awhile. Maybe epidurals will help some problems but i don't think it will help a herniated disc that is leaking.

Hopefully this next doctor will make up his own mind as to what course of treatment you need. I have found most doctors like to make their own decisions, especially neurosurgeons who are generally near the top of the food chain when it comes to doctors. Research, research, research...but also ask your attorney what happens in your state if you refuse a course of treatment.

RE: epidural injections for herniated disc? - DH's better half - 02-07-2008

DH tried this 2x, didn't work for him at all. It does, however, work for some, even if it only brings relief for awhile.

Epidural injections or "blocks" may be recommended. These are injections of corticosteroid into the epidural space (the area around the spinal nerves), performed by a doctor with special training in this technique. The initial injection may be followed by one or two more injections at a later date, and should be done as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation and treatment program.

Trigger point injections are injections of local anesthetics (sometimes combined with corticosteroids) directly into painful soft tissue or muscles along the spine or over the back of the pelvis. While occasionally useful for pain control, trigger point injections do not help heal a herniated lumbar disc.

RE: epidural injections for herniated disc? - sparkey - 02-07-2008

My husband many years ago could barely walk due to back pain. He was given 3 shots and he swears by them even today. It lasted him a long time with relief, but like others say, can come back. He had problems just a few months ago, and begged for the injections again. The doctor refused and wanted him to go to therapy for awhile first. He is now trying to find a doctor that would send him for the injections to skip over the therapy as he found the MOST relief from the injections. Works for some. Not for others. Everyone is different of course.

RE: epidural injections for herniated disc? - capricorn - 02-07-2008

nurse.....hi hon, how are you today??? Smilehere's my scoop on epidural injections. I have 4 bulged disks in my lumbar. No herniations. They helped me to get through work hardening PT and return to work after 18 and my first back injury in '99. My husband on the other hand had more than one herniation. Ended up having surgery. The epidurals did him no good at all. I think the key here is the degree of damage to the spine. Most of mine is cervical and shoulder, that's why I believe the epidurals helped my back. It just isn't as bad as some. I only believe it's putting a bandaid on IF your lumbar is that bad that they are stalling and grabbing at straws otherwise they can help to heal. All 4 of my disks wne t back into place until the next injury which was several years later. Keep in mind , we are all different and different treatments work for one and not another.

Best of luck,

RE: epidural injections for herniated disc? - CJknee - 02-07-2008

Hi Nurse, If they`re the same as I had in 2000 it was a set of 3 steroid injections. It gave me no improvement (L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1) Some folks swear by it, goes to show we`re all different. I had 2 problems, 1st , I had drive myself so they couldn`t put me out while they positioned the needle (too much fun LOL) and the 2nd shot inflamed the nerves worse than they were, couldn`t get out of bed for 3 days. Good luck. CJ