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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,037
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now

My husband had this done about 5 weeks ago and it did absolutely nothing. (I was not surprised because nothing seems to work for him with any problem.)  He is in a lot of pain.  He can sit or lie down okay but walking is on a walker to the bathroom or living room moaning and groaning.  He does not want to get another shot and be told it takes 6 weeks to work and have to wait until then to see the doctors and this drag on forever.   If they will refer him to a Spinal surgeon for surgery then he will have to wait for weeks or months to get an appt. and then weeks or months to get surgery.  It is wearing me out too since I am not young and have my problems which have to be put on hold for his problems.  He has arthritis from shoulders to toes and very overweight.  He needs a knee replacement.  Anyone had this lower back problem.  The pain radiates down his leg.  Was there anything short of surgery that helped.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 31,240
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Re: Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now

I had many several and they did give me some relief from my back and leg pain. It made the pain tolerable enough that I could live my life. I was told up front that the injections only work for about 50% of patients.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 22,713
Registered: ‎10-03-2011

Re: Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now

[ Edited ]

@chiclet  My problem was in my neck, not lower back.  I had three injections, the maximum amount per year, in about half that time and they didn't do anything for me either. I was also overweight at the time with painful knees.  I ended up getting a cervical disc removed and two vertebrae fused.   It helped a lot, eliminating my neck, arm, and head pain, and stopped the spasms.  I was left with some residual nerve damage in my pinkies, which I blame myself for, for not getting to the doctor sooner when everything first started.  The knees got better via significant weight loss and I continue with certain joint health supplements.

 

Good luck to both of you.  

Super Contributor
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎01-07-2012

Re: Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now

Look up Vertiflex.  This is a device inserted between vertebrae that separates the two, providing relief.  I had this done between the L2/L3, L3/L4 and the L4/L5.  It really has helped me.  Outpatient surgery and just take it easy until the incision is healed.  

Now I'm trying to recover from knee replacement surgery and this is much harder!

 

Good Luck to you both!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,232
Registered: ‎03-28-2010

Re: Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now

My MIL went thru a terrible back pain that radiated down her leg most of last year.  She couldn't sleep, sit or walk.  She started with a chiropractor which didn't help.  Then she went to another doctor that was doing the injections, that didn't help.  Nothing helped until she got "spacers" put in.  I think she had 2 or 3.  She also had to do physical therapy after the spacers.  She can walk now, with and without a walker (she uses the walker more for just in case and safety) and can sleep and sit. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,955
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now

DH was in a great deal of continuous back pain and under the care of a pain management Doctor. He also is on the maxium legal dose of several controlled substances ( Oxycontin and Morphine) so recently he had an electronic device implanted in out patient procedure.  Took about a week to start working but it is helping A lot.  Also I think your husband needs to work on his weight, as I'm sure tat would also help his general health ( easier said than done).

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,393
Registered: ‎06-14-2011

Re: Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now

@chiclet  I've had those multiple times.  In the beginning they seemed to work well, last few not so much.  I was told to give it time and that I needed to be really certain where the pain was when he was injecting it.  If it's not done in the right spot you will have limited to little success. Sometimes it's hard to pin point the exact location which I attributed to my last few limited success.  I haven't gone back in a while.  I now just use pain patches and Tylenol (I'm allergic to Ibuprofen).  I can't walk very far on my own without having to sit down for a few.  With a shopping cart to lean on I'm good.  My doctor said surgery would not help me much.  My leg does start to hurt after walking for a bit. No shame in trying another orthopaedic doctor.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,295
Registered: ‎03-27-2010

Re: Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now

@chiclet   Wishing you and your husband recovery in the future...it is hard having consistent pain as well as being the care taker.  The one facet of his pain that you can control and will help is the weight issue.  Whatever eating plan you chose it will give some relief to release the extra pounds.  Sending healing thought your way.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,078
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now

I think I had one of these or something similar in my neck and it did nothing for me either. Have you considered going to a chiropractor? That's what I did and after a few appts I was feeling much better.I have a bad hip and lower back.  I have one now that does not bend and snap you in to position. He uses a punch type instrument that moves the specific bones. Had a bad foot that he worked on recently and now it feels normal. I am on Medicare and be aware that they do not pay for new patient visits or x-rays--at least mine didn't. I broke my ankle in Oct so I really need to back to my chiro-  just a thought--good luck.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,291
Registered: ‎06-15-2015

Re: Epidural spinal steroid injection did not work...what now


@chiclet wrote:

My husband had this done about 5 weeks ago and it did absolutely nothing. (I was not surprised because nothing seems to work for him with any problem.)  He is in a lot of pain.  He can sit or lie down okay but walking is on a walker to the bathroom or living room moaning and groaning.  He does not want to get another shot and be told it takes 6 weeks to work and have to wait until then to see the doctors and this drag on forever.   If they will refer him to a Spinal surgeon for surgery then he will have to wait for weeks or months to get an appt. and then weeks or months to get surgery.  It is wearing me out too since I am not young and have my problems which have to be put on hold for his problems.  He has arthritis from shoulders to toes and very overweight.  He needs a knee replacement.  Anyone had this lower back problem.  The pain radiates down his leg.  Was there anything short of surgery that helped.

 

 

@chiclet 

 

I had the injections for a few months in the early 2000's. They did help a bit, however with each one, the amount of time decreased, so I decided to have another back surgery to remove my ruptured L-3 Spinal Disc.

 

Generally speaking, many times when pain radiates down one's leg, it can be  caused by pressure on the Sciatic Nerve, the biggest nerve in the human body. 

 

I had this issue for a couple years back in the early 1970's. In 1975 it got so bad I was hospitalized/put in traction/given Valium/Physical Therapy/Demerol shots every 4 hours for over 2 weeks.

 

I finally got my Orthopedic Doctor to do my back surgery. The surgery removed tge ruptured L-5 and S-1 Spinal Discs, I  went home 5 days later. Close to 1 month in the hospital.

 

Sciatic pain ranks towards the top of the myriad of injury pains I have suffered. It is also among the most debilitating of them all. Very few positions are comfortable, and putting on socks and shoes is almost impossible. I spent many mornings crawling on my hands and knees to get into a warm shower. This was just to make standing up bearable.

 

I can only say this. Without my 2 spinal surgeries I would have been unable to do my interests in running/playing and being a Ref in ice hockey/and still ice skating at 82 years old.

 

You say he is "very overweight", that in itself makes spinal and weight bearing problems(standing up/walking etc)much worse. A patient has to want to help themselves, or it is unlikely any intervention by a doctor or medicines can be fully successful.

 

Your husband might start with trying his best to lose some of the extra weight you say he is carrying. Until a patient realizes that it takes them working with their doctor(s) and/or Therapist to be successful, they likely will continue to suffer.

 

Your final question: "Was there anything short of surgery that helped"? 

 

Not for me. Surgery was the only solution to remove the source of my pain. Everything else I went through was only treating the symptoms, not alleviating the problem.

 

hckynut(john)🥅🏒 🇺🇸

 

 

 


 

hckynut(john)