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Had the epidural

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:20 pm
by krd
Hi to everyone

Well here I am the day after the epidural injection. The doc told me that it would take a few days until the medicine took effect. I can tell you that I am feeling better already today. The pain is not as constant, and I can go longer between taking my Advil. I am hoping that it continues to get better each passing day.

Randolf, the reason the doc thought that I was a good candidate for the injection was that I only have one herniated disk and it is very apparent that it is pushing on the nerve. He said that even though I am a good candidate for the injection it could still fail. He said that if I get no relief from one injection that there is no need to get another one. However, if I get good relief from the injection say 50 to 70% than a second would most likely take away all of the pain. If not than the microdisectomy would be needed.

I can tell you this. The epidural injection was completly painless, and if I had to do it again, I would in a heartbeat. Be posting.


Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:33 pm
by randolph
Wow, the pain relief from the epidural must be sweet, Ken :D And really glad to read it's a painless injection. I had visions of a pencil-thick, foot long needle sloooowly, painfully going into your spine. (You can imagine how much I enjoy dental visits)

So if I'm understanding the purpose of the epidural correctly, it's primarily for long term pain relief? Does it help with the healing of the nerve and disc ... or simply allow you to at least move around minimally, with a minimum of pain, while you heal? What exactly was injected into you? I think I may be confusing this injection with the epidurials given to women to relieve pain during childbirth.

Did the surgeon tell you anything about the healing capabilities of the sciatic nerve and herniated disc? There's a lot of anecdotal evidence floating around here that those tissues can spontaneously heal, with lots of patience and being very careful, so that rebuilding can happen without surgery.

What do you think of the surgeon's assessment that failure of the epidural indicated need for a microdiscectomy?


Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:57 pm
by randolph
Hello again, Ken

Another question popped up while I was reading your back posts.

You mentioned taking hydrocodone for pain relief before getting the epidural. Are you still doing that med? MJ mentioned in a recent post that she suffered greatly from depression, she thinks, as a side-effect of taking the med.

How are you doing?



Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:54 am
by krd
Hey Randolf

The Hydrocodone is not good for me either. I would recommend that everyone stay away from that stuff. Makes you depressed and for me gave me headaches. I now take a 5mg Valium at bedtime when needed for sleep. Valium is great in that there are no side effects for me. It makes you very relaxed and calm.

Today is my 3rd day since my epidural. I am pain free at last!!!!! I am still tight in my left hamstring, and sometimes my left calf will spasm slightly, but overall, that little tightness (pain) is nothing. I don't know what the long term outlook will be, but breaking the pain cycle for me is hugh. I couldn't take it anymore. My back doc said that if I get significant relief from the shot, a second one should eliminate all pain. We will wait and see.

The answer to your question is obvious. The shot does not heal the disk or the problem. It eliminates the inflammation and lets you heal quicker. I am scheduled for 4 weeks of rehab, 3 times a week starting next week to work on stretches that the PT recommends for my condition. I know, like you, that exercise and RYB is the best solution. The doc also said that. If the pain is too great for anyone out there, ask your doc to try you on a steroid pack, normally last 6 days. If you notice any reduction in pain, you are most likely a good candidate for an epidural injection. That is what I was told and it appears to be working.

We all know what being in pain can do to our mental state. I am glad that the cycle for me is broken. Any questions, you can email me or call me on my cell phone (Randolf). Good luck and I will be posting.


Follow up on epidural

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:08 am
by krd
Well, got a call from my anest. this morning checking in on my progress. I told him that the results are about a 70 to 75% pain reduction. Told him that I am able to drive and walk better. He wants me to schedule another injection on the 21st of this month. He says that if the symptons continue to improve, cancell the appointment. If they stay the same or decrease slightly, keep the appointment.

According to him and a friend that had it done, the second injection will pretty much take away all of the inflammation and the pain will be completely gone. Be posting to let you all know the outcome, however, I am thrilled with the overall feeling I am having already.