I was told today by a new pain management Dr. that I needed an epidural shot to help manage the pain from ruptured discs and sciatic nerve pain . I am currently taking Opana 20 and Loritab 10/325 neuroxin and somas and baclofen and wear a back brace. What I wanted to know was, will i be free of the narcotics and brace or will I be given the pain killers along with the shots to help manage . Also I wanted to know the risks involved in this procedure and how effective will it be ?
29 May 2010
Like others have said-sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. Some people get years of relief and some get days-some get no relief at all. I've had epidurals, facet joint injection and radial frequency ablations and had limited relief with all of them. They usually allow you to continue your meds. If you have been on Opana for awhile you will need to taper off to prevent withdrawal symptoms. If the epidurals help, you can then taper with your doctor's help. If your Dr. has been doing epidurals for a long time and has done them frequently the risks are minimal but there are always a certain amount of risk. Some things that can happen are infection, also if the injection is not given in the correct place you may not get relief or you could have damage to the nerve but this is infrequent with a doc that knows what he/she is doing. Do your research, ask your doctor questions and make sure all your questions are answered. If you can talk to someone your Dr.
has treated that's good too. Check with your state's Board of Medical Examiners online to see if your Dr has had any complaints against him. If he does you may want to look elsewhere for a different Dr. All the questions you have should be presented to your Dr and answered before you proceed. Good Luck! I hope that if you do decide to go thru with the injections that you have better luck than me. I kinda feel like it is a crap shoot whether they help or not but for myself, I want to avoid surgery at all costs unless it is just total, last resort so I felt it was worth trying. They gave me sedation during my procedures but I, unfortunately remembered everything. Epidurals weren't that painful though. They usually use Marcaine (or a similar drug) and a steroid drug.
27 May 2010
I have to say very seldom does this ever work. Do not get your hopes up. All it is a direct dosage of steroids.
Get a real Pain Management Physician. They can get you on Methadone or Suboxone. Suboxone has a componet better known as Subutex. Now that is used for pain. The other half of the drug will help you get off all those supossed pain killers, without the withdrawls.
You do know being on all those drugs you can not legally drive !! You can drive with Suboxone or Methadone... They do not impair your driving.
27 May 2010
I have gotten many epidural shots and everyone is different in the way they respond. They can work some but you will probably need some kind of pain med for what they call breakthrough pain. They more than likely will not get you out of the brace though. You will need something to support you. Sometimes they need to do a spinal fusion to ease some of the problem. The surgery can be risky sometimes but if you have the right doctor it usually helps after the bones fuse together. I am suprised you can even function enough to write to us, this is alot for the body and brain to handle. You can also ask about a shot called a block they can be painful but they will put you about 1/2-3/4 out of it anyway so you don't remember it. Between the two some people get alot of relief and barely need the pain meds. Any shot in the back has its risks, like if they hit the wrong spot it could make you alot worse. So make sure your doctor is very qualified to do this.
I hope this little tidbit has helped you decide what's best for you. Good luck and hope you feel better soon. marjorie zych
27 May 2010
I have had epidurals in my neck because I have 2 rupture discs. The shot has helped me but I don't know for how long. It didn't stop the pain but it was about 25% better and to me anything is better than 100% of pain. Also I could hold my head up without pain. I was told by my doctor that epidurals help some and some they don't. Some people have relief for years and others for months or even days. There is no telling who it will help but asked your doctor, how many he has done. My doctor has done hundreds of them with no problems but there are risks. You have to feel comfortable and trust your doctor.You need to ask questions and if you are are the net, there is tons of information out there and groups like this one. I don't know how old you are but if they ever tell you that you need a spinal fusion, PLEASE get all the information you can before you have it. I had 1 spinal fusion in 2002 and another fusion in 2004 plus they tried to fix the 1st one.
Both of them failed. Ask the doctor to tells you the percentage that work and those that fail. Ask him what happen to the ones that fail. Get a second opinion, talk to people who have had one and go into the support groups. Please educate yourself. I did not do any of that and I am very sorry. I hope that this has helped you somewhat. Come talk to me if they tell you that you need a spinal fusion. Cherie
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