View Full Version : Need Advice about cortizon injections to hold off surgery.

07-17-2004, 02:10 AM

I am a 29 year old female who had spinal fusion surgery 1/01 T11-L3. Everything was fine until the spring of '02 when I started to experience pain in the right thigh. I was sent for a CT Mylegram and was diagnosed that the screw at L3 at worked through the vertrabre and was pressing on the spinal cord. Had the screw at L3 removed and the rod was shortened summer of '02. I had been okay except for oain associated with weather changes and when I over did it. I have excellent mobility and tend to forget that I have a rod in my spine. Then this spring I was at work when I while walking across the break room floor I had a severe jolt of pain shoot down mt right leg. It was so bad it stopped me in my tracks. It finally subsided and I was fine for a few days until I had a similiar expereince walking down the stairs at home. I happened again a few days later in the kitchen. I made an appt. to see my PCP who sent me for x-rays. According to the x-rays I had a slipped disk. He referred me back to my surgeon. After 3 weeks on a higher dose pain medication, he sent me for another mylegram. HE told me last monday that I have a bone slippage at L3-L4 and a buldging disk at L4-L5. Since I am in the process of starting a new job, and cannot have surgery right now he suggested cortizon ijections to assist with the pain. I have never had spinal cortzon injections an I am worried. I have several after a work injury to my right wrist and they caused my wrist to hurt worse before it got better.

Have any of you tried cortizon injections to postpone having surgery and what were the results?

Also, if I have to have the surgery, how bad is it being fused further down the spine?


Mary Jane

07-17-2004, 04:42 PM
Dear MAry Jane,

I'm so sorry to hear you are having setbacks and complication...I was offered injections..but decided not to have them....this is a common way to hold off surgery as in your case or shrink inflamed areas....if U believe in your surgeon, trust him...I have also heard many people suffer from migrains after these procedures..good luck and keep reading

07-30-2004, 07:45 AM
hi, mary jane!

i've had two epidural cortisone injections in the past 30 days to ease the pain in my leg from a pinched nerve. the pain relief i've had is nothing short of miraculous; it's how i'm able to walk this summer. also, i had excellent results from only one injection 9 years ago given for sciatica. i did not get a migraine or have any other ill effects from the injections (i did not need sedation, either). now, i know people who have not had good results from these injections, so i guess the results are variable; however, the injections were the silver bullet for me with regard to the nerve pain in my leg. good luck!

09-08-2004, 07:11 PM
Hi, just wanted to share my experience. I had the injections about 2 years ago and basically had no results: no better, no worse.
Don't know how helpful that is!

daddy's girl
09-15-2004, 08:33 AM

I had injections that helped for awhile. I think the results tend to vary. There's no way of knowing exactly how much relief it may bring but I think the potential benefits outweigh the risks. I hope your pain level decreases soon.

09-20-2004, 08:53 AM
Hi Mary Jane,

Injections were recommended for my pain several different times in lieu of surgery, however I never experienced any true relief. I have had facet injections, SI injections, etc, but these never really made the pain go away. So in my opinion, it cost too much money for very minimal relief. I recently had a second surgery to help with the nerve pain. Originally the second surgery was to remove the hardware, but once in they found 6 areas of non-union from my first fusion, so the hardware was replaced and I was fused one more level in addition to placing a cage around L3-L4.

From my research the nerve pain (sciatic) begins somewhere around L3-4. I was hoping that by removing the hardware the pain would subside. If I wasn't experiencing any nerve pain, I would be very satisfied with my surgeries. No regrets! This too shall pass, just need some time. It may be my fault as I did bend more than I should have following the second surgery. But I was feeling so good. When I feel good, I tend to do too much and end up paying for it. The nerve pain is the worst!

Back surgery is a huge, life changing decision. Based on my experience, I am convinced the hardware is the source of my pain and I will probably have a 3rd surgery to hopefully remove the hardware. They may suggest injections prior to surgery again, but I will probably refuse those and wait for the next opportune time.

I go back to work next week part time. I will just have to take it easy.

Best of luck to you and all who read this. Each back is individual and what works for some, doesn't work for others.

01-24-2005, 07:36 PM
I have epidural or SNRB's done every two months. They have all helped but one. A different doc did that one so now I am always careful to ask for a specific doc. I have never had any problems. They are wonderful for pain relief. Actually, I am going tomorrow for another and this time they are doing both sides.

01-27-2005, 09:53 PM
Injections work for many people, but they have to be repeated. I did in fact have to go in for a third surgery to relieve the nerve pain.

I had returned to work late Sept 04, and found that I could not sit without generating tremendous pain down my left leg. It was determined that something was compressing on a nerve, so I wanted it taken care of as quickly as possible.

That third surgery was 11/30/04, barely in the hospital 24 hours and off work for a week. Today I feel like a new woman. For all I have been through (3 surgeries in as many years), I am finally convinced I have done the right thing. I was convinced I did the right thing the first surgery. It was that falling down part that screwed it up.

Anyway, if injections work for you and you want to continue injections throughout your life, then that is your choice. Surgical techniques are getting better and better as days go by.

Best of luck to all.