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Epidure Blocks for Degenerative Disc Disease
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Epidure Blocks for Degenerative Disc Disease

I am 35 years old and was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease in both c-spine and lower lumbar approximately 3 years ago.   I have an advanced case in my c-spine and the pain is unbearable.  I had an epidural block with cortisone done on the c-spine 2 years ago with great success with pain even after but not life altering like now.  How often is it safe to have this done.  What are my other options?  The pain management doctor that I see said that he would recommend burning of the nerves (he had another word for it but I don't remember what he called it now)?  What is that will it last longer then the epidural block?  If the block worked am I good candidate for the other procedure?  I know the permanent fix is surgery but fell that I can't do that right now because I have a 2 small kids but I know I CAN NOT live like this.  Are there any other Medications to take?  I have taken Aleve, Ibuprofen, Ultram, Skelaxen and many other narcotics that DONT WORK.
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347645_tn?1283224342
I have had the epidural blocks every 6 months on my back and my neck for about 10 yrs.  I have slacked off not because of my pain doctor but because I was getting leary of the blocks so often.  I was trying to get relief from sciatic pain.  It would dull the burning but never took it away completely.  Hopefully one of the doctors on this forum will give you some help.  Good Luck!
Dee52
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
Was it Rhyzolisis?  that's where they use radio frequency waves to 'fry' the nerve endings, this should give 'semi perminant' relief - though sometimes doesn't.
H
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Avatar_m_tn
Hope you come back to read these since its been a while...

You can have outpatient surgery at these great places... Laser Spine Institute, MicroSpine *******, Dayton Laser Spine Center  

Plus please read my profile for more info that can help...
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Avatar_f_tn
I went and had my block done on 26Jul08.  Man I HATE THAT the doctor that I see uses NO sedation for the epidural therefore, you feel like you got hit by a truck the first 3 days until it kicks in.  I am doing much better now.  I think i might need the right side done now also (man this *****) I wanted to try this again since it worked for almost 18 months.  The whole Eustachian Tube Dysfunction thing is happening again would like to know how to make that stop.   My doc put me on steroids the last time but it did not work.  He told me that it could be associated to the nerves being pinched in my neck.  Just another thing to add to the list.  Thank you all for your support and help.  NO ONE gets the pain they cant see what makes the pain so in there minds it is not bad I am just being a baby.  I have never been one to handle pain very well at all and my family knows that.  However, for me to say I think that I have done quite well and they dont get it not even for a minute.  So I will take any help/support  i can get.  Because while my fmaily is understanding they DONT UNDERSTAND.
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561921_tn?1216609221
Hi, I also have degenerative disc disease.  I have been on all types of medications: muscle relaxants, percosets, ultram, etc.  My pain management Dr. now wants to start epidural blocks.  Is this painful, and can they sedate you?  My back is so tender, I can't stand the thought of injecting a needle into my back.  I would really like to get out of pain, but am afraid of the epidurals.
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Avatar_f_tn
This was the sec block that I had done while i really hate to have it done IT REALLY works for me.  My pain doc did not sedate me though he does give a small local to the area he is injecting into.  And while my brain processes the injections as pain because I am a big sissy its more of a pressure and then slight burn from the medications.  You will be very stiff for a few days but I started getting the benefit a few hours after while i was stiff and sore the pain was different at this point i did use some drugs to help the muscles. The pain from the injections far out wight the pain that you are going through everyday.  For me medications do nothing but have side effects from the drugs I still hurt.  Therefore, don't take them.  My advise for you is to try the injections they don't work for everyone but my thought is what to do have to risk other then I might feel a little better for a even a little bit.    I feel for you I really do and in the long run it is a personal decision that you and your doctor have to make.  Keep me updated and if you need support I am here.  

Feeling your pain,
Roadshowitchbay  
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Avatar_n_tn
I would HIGHLY recommend you see ANOTHER PAIN MANGEMENT PHYSICIAN!

With prior success of epidural injections, I do not know any pain mgt specialists that would suggest such an extreme procedure -  if anything, that is the last option that would be chosen - and even then, it is still avoided if possible.

It sounds like you were one of the very few 'lucky' ones to have such a prolonged/ positive effect from a spinal injection.  Many people go through a series of 4/year - some very few, even more with limited benefit/ relief.

I would highly suggest you find another doctor immediately!  There are many people whom have series of injections over the course of a year, for a lifetime - if it provides them relief.  Sounds like you can get away w/ the procedure once every couple of years!

Regardless of what people tell you, it is a very safe procedure that is done on an outpatient basis  (do not let anyone give you such injections in a office setting = a red flag to also find another doctor!)  They will give you a 'twilight' anaesthesia, so you are still conscious but don't feel any pain.  The only pain you will feel is possibly before it kicks in when they just give you a local injection to numb the area BEFORE the actual procedure/ spinal injection that is guided with the use of a flouroscopy (x-ray).  And just remember to have someone drive you!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had cervical deg. disc disease for just over a year now, also I have 4 kids and I know I can relate to your issues.  I have had 3 epidural steroid injections, have had one facet injection (directly in between the two vertabrae), and I'm getting two more (one in Sept and one in Oct) these have helped alot, my pain management dr. does his injectioins in sets of three.  Also, in between I have had a few trigger point injections which are a great relief for a week to two weeks, these are for where your muscles are spasing and tightened from the pain in your neck. I am trying to not have the surgery either mostly because I don't have help with my kids and don't know what I could do with them, but I have also read from alot of people that have had the surgery and still have the pain, so I am thinking now that I am not going to have the surgery & keep taking the injections~they do help~but I think you need them more often~just my opinion, hope it helps!
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3112530_tn?1342559764
I understand your issues. I have degenerative joint/disk disease and have had 5 surgeries, implanted metal and had to have the metal removed 5 years later due to impingement on the nerves. I have an orthopedic surgeon and a pain management team that have treated me over the 5 years and they did a nerve block which is what the call burning the nerve. Yes they sedate you for this procedure and you just go to sleep. This procedure was helpful for me BUT the side effect is that the nerve does grow back in time but it takes a while for the nerve to grow back. I may be due for another nerve block but they did help me.
I also had spinal stenosis in my neck (I don't remember which area, it has been so long) but my orthopedic surgeon replaced the diseased bone with a cadaver bone and the surgery was successful. It was a simple procedure with no side effects so don't be afraid BUT do research about your condition and educate yourself on how this affects your body. Do research on finding a specialist that treats this condition. It took me many doctors and most said they were afraid to do the surgery due to paralysis. It took a long time to find the orthopedic surgeon who did my surgeries but he is very good and I trust him. When a doctor tells you about the side effects of paralysis, that only creates doubt in me that they are not familiar with treatment options. My surgeon NEVER mentioned paralysis and his treatments along with the pain management team have helped. BUT the pain management team had to be reorganized for educational purposes and I have to wait a month to see the head of the clinic now but this is what my surgeon recommended and so far his judgment has been correct. I have received the cortisone treatments which usually don't work on me but this last one did work and I am walking again. Sometimes it may take several treatments for the body to respond is my only guess because this last treatment I had in NOV 2011, helped me to walk again for the first time in over 5 years. Physical therapy helps but I have not found a physical therapist that can treat my condition and I have been to physical therapy over 12 times. I am still doing research to find a physical therapist that knows what they are doing. I am doing my own physical therapy. I have done Pilates in the past and that was beneficial for me. Look forward to going back to the Pilates again but again only at the beginner mode.
Hope this helps.
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