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Nerve damage after lumbar epidural steriod injection
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Nerve damage after lumbar epidural steriod injection

I am a 45yr old female who had an Epidural Steriod Injection 4/27/12. I started having severe pain (way past the 10 scale) after the numbing medicine wore off. Five days later after pleading with the receptionist at the office that something was wong. I finally got back in to see the Dr. I had an emerency MRI to determine if I was bleeding into the spinal column. It was determined that there was no bleeding but the Dr. stated that he had "pissed" off the nerve. Three weeks in I have been on total bed rest with medication. The Dr. believes that I will recover if I continue to stay on bed rest, however, there has been no change in almost three weeks.
Question: Is there a chance of permanant nerve damage? Can I completely recover? Do I need to consult a Neurologist to see what damage has been done?
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

If a nerve is compressed on as it exits through these holes, particularly in an area called the nerve root, a radiculopathy results. The compression could be due to arthritis of the spine or due to a herniated disc or other lesions (or perhaps the injection). The symptoms include pain at the level of the problem and pain that may radiate down the arm or leg (depending on where the problem is). In more advanced cases, muscle weakness or sensory symptoms such as tingling or numbness may occur. A radiculopathy is often diagnosed based on history, physical examination, and MRI of the spine.

It would be worthwhile to follow up with a neurologist for diagnosis and management of the neuropathic pain. You may need a test called EMG/NCS to identify any nerve injury. Why are you bed bound? What are your symptoms? It is too early to say if there is permanent damage especially without further information/testing.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.

3 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for commenting on my question. To answer your questions. I am on bed rest per the doctors orders. He said that this was the only way I was going to get better. However, I believe that he truly does not know what he did or does not want me to know what he did. Since the posting of this question I have returned for a follow up and have yet been placed on another two weeks of bed rest. But you will be comforted to know that he has been googleing this problem to see what he could find on the condition. My left leg feels like it has been ripped off at the hip. I am in terrible pain my foot feels like it is on fire at times. Lately I have been have involontary spasms that involve my entire leg and sometimes just twitching. I do not know how much more I can take. I am in search of a neurologist in my area since the ortho doctor who sent me for the injection said there was nothing more he could do.This doctor bent me over a table and gave the injection when the refering told me it would be under xray and told me he would have never sent me had he known. Sorry for the rant but I am at at my whitts end.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I've lived with chronic back pain of a different sort as you have, but, I sympathize with your frustration with doctors who can't help get rid of your pain. Finding an experienced neurologist is important at this point, because you have neurological problem. If you have had excruciating pain and aren't afraid of needles, or can overlook needle pricks and a little discomfort, find the best acupuncturist in your area and get treated.  I spent 12 weeks with knee pain after surgery in the physical therapy with NO relief from pain, but with the FIRST treatment by the experienced acupuncture doctor, I had NO PAIN.  for what it's worth, and love, dmgtyer
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