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springchicken
10-28-2014, 08:52 AM
Hey all,

Just got two facet joint injections: L4-L5, L5-S1. Doctor was confident he hit the spots. Was told soreness was normal at injection sites but also that I should feel immediate relief from the lidocaine. But I did not. In your experience is there still hope I could get pain relief later? Still have the butt/hip pain...

Thanks in advance!

springchicken
11-04-2014, 08:11 PM
Hi Linda,
I was wondering if you get a chance would you be able to tell me possible reasons why injections might not give relief? Actually the steroid has helped a bit but the lidocaine test didnt numb the area even though the doc seemed to hit my pain spot.

I am ten months post op and still not driving. It hurts so much to sit that way. I'm pretty mobile but in a lot of pain sitting and standing. I don't mean to keep complaining when people have gone through much worse, but maybe someone else has had a similar experience.

Thanks!

LindaRacine
11-04-2014, 10:58 PM
Hi...

I don't know, and I'm not sure anyone else does. It seems to me that it's possible that the facets are not what is causing your pain. Were the injections above, below, or within the fusion? Also, can you describe your pain and what makes it better and worse?

--Linda

springchicken
11-05-2014, 06:44 AM
Hi...

I don't know, and I'm not sure anyone else does. It seems to me that it's possible that the facets are not what is causing your pain. Were the injections above, below, or within the fusion? Also, can you describe your pain and what makes it better and worse?

--Linda

Hi Linda,

Thanks for your reply!

The injections were at L4-L5 and L5-S1 (I'm fused to L4). He even pressed on the spots before the injections and they felt dead on.

It's a localized nerve pain on my right side, about an inch or so from my scar. It feels like when my back tries to go to it's pre-surgery position, that's when the pain flares up. If I hold it very tight in the new alignment it helps. I do PT everyday to strengthen my core, but this has been going on for months (sitting has been terrible since the beginning).

I'm able to walk well, except up hills. Lying down and ice relieve the pain. It's most flared up when I sit in a comfy chair or am forced upright in a car or train.

I won't see my pain doctor until December unfortunately as Im anxious to hear what he says...

LindaRacine
11-05-2014, 10:09 PM
Hi Linda,

Thanks for your reply!

The injections were at L4-L5 and L5-S1 (I'm fused to L4). He even pressed on the spots before the injections and they felt dead on.

It's a localized nerve pain on my right side, about an inch or so from my scar. It feels like when my back tries to go to it's pre-surgery position, that's when the pain flares up. If I hold it very tight in the new alignment it helps. I do PT everyday to strengthen my core, but this has been going on for months (sitting has been terrible since the beginning).

I'm able to walk well, except up hills. Lying down and ice relieve the pain. It's most flared up when I sit in a comfy chair or am forced upright in a car or train.

I won't see my pain doctor until December unfortunately as Im anxious to hear what he says...

As you know, I am not a doctor, and I'm certain your doctor is way better at diagnosis that I could ever be. It's possible that the problem is actually adjacent to the facet, and that you got some improvement after the injection because the medication is not usually contained within the facet joint.

Here's a drawing of 2 vertebrae with the facet joints clearly marked. I thought it might help you figure out what the problem might be.

http://http://www.patientedlibrary.com/imagescooked/14022W.jpg

--Linda

springchicken
11-06-2014, 07:07 AM
Thanks much, Linda. The picture is helpful. (The dermatomes link you posted a while back was great, too). I have a mild bulging disk at L5-S1 which might be a problem also, though he didn't think it should be. It looks like I will get in to see him in a few weeks now, so that's good.

I forgot to also mention the pain radiated into my hip and butt which is one of the reasons he decided on facet joint injections i think.

Anyways, I figured it's best to keep myself as informed as possible through this process and to prepare before visits. Sometimes doctors visits can be such whirlwinds I forget to ask all the questions that were on my mind...