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Thread: Facet joint injections

  1. #1
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    Oct 2014
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    Montana
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    6

    Wink Facet joint injections

    Despite the mixed reviews, I got three giant needles in my spine this morning and I only cried when they asked me to lay on my stomach. I feel maybe some of you can relate to that.

    Trying it, hoping it works and I can burn them. Not a lot of other options for me.

    Thanks for the support!

    Masha

    38 degree idiopathic lumbar curve
    Two bulging disc on the curve.
    Spondylosis, spinal stenosis, arthritis in the hip joints and knee
    Sciatica
    33 year old librarian living life like an old lady! Thinking about dying my hair blue and calling it good.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    14
    How do you feel? You should get immediate relief if your issue was disc related. Just don't overdo. Just because you feel better doesn't mean you should carry heavy things, bend at the waist, or reach too far. (I learned this the hard way when I reached for my purse on the floor after my last set of injections.). Give the discs time to heal!

    I'm anxious to know if anyone else experiences major hair loss. It started 3 months after the shots. Come back in a few months and let me know!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by spitfire View Post
    How do you feel? You should get immediate relief if your issue was disc related. Just don't overdo. Just because you feel better doesn't mean you should carry heavy things, bend at the waist, or reach too far. (I learned this the hard way when I reached for my purse on the floor after my last set of injections.). Give the discs time to heal!

    I'm anxious to know if anyone else experiences major hair loss. It started 3 months after the shots. Come back in a few months and let me know!
    Hi spitfire..

    The injections can affect your cortisol level, which is why I think you may have hair loss, though the fact that it was 3 months after the injection after the shots seems a bit strange. You should report it to your doctor.

    Also, facet injections actually shouldn't have any affect on the discs. The facet joints do have a disc like soft tissue, but I think you're probably thinking of epidural injections.

    http://www.spineuniverse.com/sites/d...tjoint9-BB.jpg

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
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  4. #4
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    Feb 2016
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    Yes, I'm thinking of an epidural injection (nerve block). Do both shots use the same corticosteroids? It was definitely nice to be able to sit, stand, walk, and sleep again, but I had the same side effects each time. Apparently my system doesn't like one or more ingredients in a nerve block!

    A dermatologist told me that the horrible face-peeling acne was a somewhat common side effect.

    My doctor doesn't think the hair loss is related, but I took no other medications and had no lifestyle or diet changes. It wasn't a little hair loss; it was a significant amount (squirrels in the shower drain for months). It occurred 3 months after each nerve block. My hairdresser would have to stop several times during haircuts to untangle her fingers. She told me later she was terrified that all my hair might fall out in her hands. I've googled "epidural injection hair loss" and I'm definitely not the only person to report this problem even if doctors don't acknowledge it. (I was relieved that it was probably connected to the shot and that I wasn't going bald!)

    It would also be super nice if doctors warned their pre-menopause female patients that these injections can affect menstrual cycles. Surprise!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    237
    Quote Originally Posted by spitfire View Post
    How do you feel? You should get immediate relief if your issue was disc related. Just don't overdo. Just because you feel better doesn't mean you should carry heavy things, bend at the waist, or reach too far. (I learned this the hard way when I reached for my purse on the floor after my last set of injections.). Give the discs time to heal!

    I'm anxious to know if anyone else experiences major hair loss. It started 3 months after the shots. Come back in a few months and let me know!
    As of last Monday my hair started falling out in massive amounts.

    I had steroid injections in my neck last November. I have very thick hair normally and so far no bald patches but it is very sudden.

    I am going to the doctor today- Could it be menopausal?

  6. #6
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    Sep 2003
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    Hi Burdle...

    You'd have to ask your doctor, but I seriously doubt that the injections had anything to do with your hair loss (since there's at least 5 months in between).

    I started having my hair fall out the same month that I started menopause. I started what normally would be considered very thick and dense hair. While my hair is still thick (that is, each strand is broad), I have very little of it left. I've been having a significant number of hot flashes every day for at least 14 years now, and the hair loss has continued the entire time (though slowed somewhat when I started using Rogaine).

    Spitfire.... I think most doctors use the same concoctions for epidural and facet injections, but you might want to check with your doctor.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Hi Burdle...

    You'd have to ask your doctor, but I seriously doubt that the injections had anything to do with your hair loss (since there's at least 5 months in between).

    I started having my hair fall out the same month that I started menopause. I started what normally would be considered very thick and dense hair. While my hair is still thick (that is, each strand is broad), I have very little of it left. I've been having a significant number of hot flashes every day for at least 14 years now, and the hair loss has continued the entire time (though slowed somewhat when I started using Rogaine).

    Spitfire.... I think most doctors use the same concoctions for epidural and facet injections, but you might want to check with your doctor.

    --Linda

    The Doctor said unlikely to be the injections- not enough steroid. He thinks it might be lack of iron. I started the menopause a couple of years ago but the hair loss just last week.

    Sorry to hear yours is still thining.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2010
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    I've had several epidural and SI joint injections and never experienced hair loss. I never had it mess with my menstrual cycle, either. I'm trying facet joint injections next month. The SI injections seem to work wonders for the sciatica but don't help the lower back pain. I have a bad L5/S1 disc, but the doctor wants to try the facet joints around the L5. That's FOUR injections! Of course, he will spread out the same dose of steroid. I get thrush after steroids.

    How bad to the facet joint injections hurt, may I ask? The SI injections are a nightmare.

    YES, I relate to the pain of laying on the table. I can't lay on my stomach. They do use a pillow for support, but it's still hard to get into that position!

    Rohrer01
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  9. #9
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    Sep 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    I've had several epidural and SI joint injections and never experienced hair loss. I never had it mess with my menstrual cycle, either. I'm trying facet joint injections next month. The SI injections seem to work wonders for the sciatica but don't help the lower back pain. I have a bad L5/S1 disc, but the doctor wants to try the facet joints around the L5. That's FOUR injections! Of course, he will spread out the same dose of steroid. I get thrush after steroids.

    How bad to the facet joint injections hurt, may I ask? The SI injections are a nightmare.

    YES, I relate to the pain of laying on the table. I can't lay on my stomach. They do use a pillow for support, but it's still hard to get into that position!

    Rohrer01
    Mine did not hurt at all - mind you they did not help either. If you are having l4-l5 then that's 2 injections because the facets are between the vertebra ? Is he doing l5-s1 also?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by burdle View Post
    Mine did not hurt at all - mind you they did not help either. If you are having l4-l5 then that's 2 injections because the facets are between the vertebra ? Is he doing l5-s1 also?
    Nope, it's one injection (assuming they're only doing one side). If they do both right and left, it would be two separate injections. Here's a drawing of a facet:

    http://apmspineandsports.com/wp-cont...2011-09-01.jpg
    Last edited by LindaRacine; 04-26-2016 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Better facet image found
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  11. #11
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    Sep 2011
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    That's why I thought 2 - they normally do both sides for facet injections- or so I was told in UK

  12. #12
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    Sep 2011
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    My hair is still falling out- blood tests have shown nothing - will it stop and will it come back?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    14
    Your hair loss sounds EXACTLY like my experience - sudden and all over (no bald patches). It may not be the steroid in the shot but something else in the cocktail. I've read about people losing their hair after surgery bc of the anesthesia. Don't these shots usually have a local anesthetic mixed with the steroid?

    My hair started falling out exactly 3 months to the day of my first injection. The second injection took longer. I passed the 3 month mark and breathed a sigh of relief. Somewhere between 3.5-4 months the massive hair loss started again.

    It's maddening, right?


    Mine did grow back, eventually. I can't remember how long the "falling out" phase lasted. It seemed like it would never end. It usually takes a year for my hair to re-grow enough to somewhat match my leftover hair. (I wear my hair past my shoulders but in layers.). Last time time the short hair on top would blow in the wind and make me look like a lion. I swore I would cut the entire mess off if I ever get another injection.

    I'm somewhat glad that I'm not alone but very sorry that you are dealing with this!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    I've never heard of hair loss from steroid injections. I, too, have hair loss. But in my case is a little bit if a blessing because my hair is too thick to do anything with. It seems to go in phases and I thought it was age related because, well it is... even in women. But now that I think of it, it may have started around the time I started getting injections. Right now I'm going through a phase of mild hair loss and I'm a little past three months out. I'm getting injections again on Monday. Mine grew back and I wear my hair LONG. The new growth just blends in with the rest as we do have a naturally occurring hair cycle where hair falls out naturally and grows back. That is why some people can grow their hair really long and others can't. It depends on how long your hair cycle is. One of my sisters can't grow her hair out past her shoulders. It just won't grow longer than that even if she never gets a haircut. It just starts looking scraggly if she doesn't keep it trimmed. I think I could grow my hair to the floor if I wanted (never tried), but have had it just below my bottom a couple of times. But whether it's falling out or not I see little new hairs always growing in. I just have more of them when my hair is falling out. But with long hair a little loss looks like a LOT.

    I was playing "electron" with my grandson the other day. We both had balloons and one of my hairs got on mine and I was showing him how static electricity worked. He wanted one, so I ran my fingers through my hair thinking I'd get one or two and I got a pretty good handful (concerned). It wasn't because it was long. I had them all together at the same length in my hand! I put some aside and we played electrons and molecules (the hair being the electrons and the balloons being the atoms). We made a "molecule" by twirling the balloons around in close proximity without hitting and watching my hair (electrons) pass back and forth between the balloons. I thought it was a cool way to explain basic chemistry to a seven year old. I made use of my hair loss.

    But now I'm concerned after hearing you all say that it's the steroids that cause the hair loss. I'm getting injections more frequently now and am afraid I'll lose too much. I tend to lose it on the top of my head. At its worst you could actually see my scalp! Fortunately it's very thick again but I don't want to have to cut it off again. (sad worried face).

    Anyone NOT have hair loss after steroids? I honestly don't know what caused my worst bout of hair loss because I can't be 100% sure it was around the first steroid injection. It may have been before...(sad worried face again). I've had several episodes. It has always mostly grown back. It's not as thick as it was when I was younger.

    I KNOW hormones can play a role in hair loss. I experienced extremely rapid hair growth when I was pregnant. After my kids were born I lost a LOT of hair, too. I guess I'm just lucky that I have very thick hair.

    I'm going to ask my doctor on Monday.

    Rohrer01
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    237
    Hi,

    I had a lot cut off yesterday to help with the condition. I wear my hair long also. I t doesn't cover my hump any more which I am upset about.

    I had facet injection in l3-4 October 14 and had no hair loss ( that I was aware of) I had cervical ones last November and only noticed the hair loss on the DAY of my next last injections which were lower back nerve block ( April 18) - before I had them. This was steroid nerve block. I can't put it down to the last lot BUT obviously I am concerned that these might cause something again in 3 months time.

    What advice did you get from the doctors?

    I have cancelled my next lot (cervical). partly because they did not really do any good and partly because my consultant said that resources did not allow me to have more than 1 cervical injection and they were really for diagnostic purposes- but he would bend the rules and get me one more. I think I am supposed to be sooooo grateful!!!


    Well they can stuff it- Having to manage this bloody scoliosis mostly completely on my own ( sorry bit of a rant). I am going to at least try to keep my hair.
    Last edited by burdle; 05-06-2016 at 07:21 AM.

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