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Cervical Epidural Done Today ... Hurts Like Hell Now!!!

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I had my very first cervical epidural this morning which seemed to go quiet well. Apart from being extremely groggy the entire day, i'm in more pain than I started out with and unable to tilt my head in a downward motion without screaming. I'm also suffering from a non stop headache.

I understand that everyone's outcome may vary but what i'm not aware of is how long the severe pain will last. Does anyone have a similar situation or for lack of better words ... Can anyone tell who's had this done share with me what to expect next?

Thank you
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First Helper 1Hope
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replied February 19th, 2007
I Had Lumbar Injection Same Thing
I had my injection on Valentines Day like you did. I was fine for the first couple of days...then tried to get out of bed Sat morning and was totally unable to move my left leg..I could not put any pressure on my left leg and I was to the point of tears...and I'm a big guy...Today is Monday and this morning I am still having the "ordeal from hell" trying to get up in the morning. It takes a while of making myself stand until I can move...this is the most pain I have ever experienced. I trust my doctor is a good one and he used the flouroscopy to place the needle...I thought this would be a cakewalk deal. I never was concerned..Now I'm hoping like heck I did not make a mistake doing this. How are you doing now?
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replied August 26th, 2008
Mine scheduled for 9/2/08
After reading the above two experiences,I am definitly concerned. I am having issues with c-4 and c-5 causing bone spurs and pain in back and neck. I also though it would be a cake walk. Similar to spouse having it done during child delivery.

Maybe I should research this more!
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replied August 26th, 2008
Supporter
Just make sure you have a fantastic anesthesiologist performing the procedure.
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replied August 26th, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
Hello 1Hope,

NO, you should not be having the pain you describe AFTER the epidural injection. I had one this past Thursday by my pain management doc. Some slight discomfort during the injection that was all. I should add that the injection was not like yours in that my doc made an injection up my tailbone to my S1/L5. That afternoon I was doing some light gardening and without any pain.

I'm with Marianne. One needs a FANTASTIC doctor who specializes in such injections. Pardon Marianne, but a "fantastic anesthesiologist" would not necessarily know how to give an epidural for back pain. Oh yes, MAKE SURE the doctor also uses a fluoroscope to help him/her guide the needle to the exact precise location it needs to go to deliver the corticosteroid. And you had better have had MRI images so the doctor could better determine WHERE the medication needed to go.

1Hope, are you in the care of a spinal surgeon? If not, in my opinion you really need to be.

Take care.

RichT
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replied August 26th, 2008
No that is something that need's to be checked out!
Mine caused me pain and the anesthia made me sick.
After that my blood sugar went crazy and I had rashes,Im diabetic and use an insulin pump and was pumping all the time and eating once a day a day!!!
The med's made my sugar very high!
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replied August 27th, 2008
Mine scheduled for next Tuesday
I have problems with c3-4, and c4-5. I have too many questions on this! Will they inject the steroid right into this location? What should I expect, nausea, headache, local injection soreness? Will this have an effect on my upper back and neck pain immediately or will it take a couple of days. Can most people return to work the next day?

I know everyone's experience can be different. I was just looking for answers for the norm.

Thanks in advance!
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replied August 27th, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
Hello Rusty,

Yes, we humans are a varied lot, and respond to things in different ways. With that said, permit me to continue -

I would highly recommend that you ask your doctor the questions that you have raised here. And do so tomorrow.

In my opinion, it is very important to have a POSITIVE attitude. Truly amazing the positive effect that alone can have, no matter what the issue.

On to your doctor - Rusty, make SURE the doctor to give you the injection is an EXPERT at giving epidural spinal injections. I cannot stress that strong enough. Also, a MUST is that the doctor thoroughly review your MRI images before the injection and that he/she MUST use a fluoroscope to help in visualizing where the precise location the corticosteroid needs to be delivered while at the same time can "see" the location of the needle and where it needs to go. If your doc can't meet any of the "MUSTS", then in my opinion find another doctor specializing in giving spinal epidural injections.

Rusty, if you had my doc, I kneo you could be at work the next day. As I said above, I was doing light gardening in the afternoon of my epidural. The next day I accomplished more than I would have in three days before my injection.

Now doi your research well in the days to come. You want the BEST spinal specialist (with MD or OD after his/her name".

RichT
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replied September 2nd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
ESI are usually given in a series of 3 injections over a period of 6-8 weeks.

It is not uncommon to have a headache following an ESI in any area of the spine and the usual instructions following the ESI is to lay down for several hours to prevent the "spinal headache" that can result.
On the other hand, if the headache is very severe, it could indicate a "dura leak" where the dura was nicked by the needle and some spinal fluid is leaking out and should be reported to the doctor ASAP.
this is not very common, especially if the ESI is done under floroscopy which is should be done. If the doctor is not using floroscopy to do the ESI, I would not allow the ESI to be done.

It also isn't uncommon to have some injection site pain after the ESI is done and the instructions should tell you to apply ice to the area to relieve any injection site pain.

All of my information provided to me both before and after ESI also state that it is possible that the ESI can make the pain worse, not work at all or only relieve pain for a few days.

The initial pain relief, if it happens is the lidocaine injection which will last about 24 hours, and it takes anywhere from 24-72 hours for the steroid to start to kick in and relieve pain.

If the first injection doesn't relieve pain, then a second one can be given in a slightly different location to see if that works, but if the second one does not work, then usually a third one is not given.

All ESI regardless of the location of the spine, need to be given by a well experienced Pain management doctor who uses floroscopy to give the ESI so that the injection is given in the correct location and is not a game of "hit or miss or pure luck that it is placed in the right location".

Also, a lidocaine injection is given to numb the area and into the area of the injection and then the steroid.
Also quick acting sedation can be used so that you are not awake when the injection is actually done, but awake within 5-10 minutes that it is given.

My own PM doctor always uses sedation as he does not want to have patients moving when he gives injections, it is too risky and can cause the needle to go into the wrong area.

Rich, I am flabbergasted that you where outside gardening after having an ESI done in the morning. I have never heard of any doctor not telling a patient to rest for the remainder of the day, with or without sedation being used, and to lay down for several hours afterwards to help prevent the spinal headache that can occur.

Fran
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replied September 29th, 2008
Re: REPLY TO: Cervical Epidural Done Today ... Hurts Like Hell
I Agree, unfornatually, but these are the choices giving to us in this age.
I happend to suffer sever angina, and called 911, at the hospital 1 hour later I was told I had some ekg problems. Question

The pain will go away in 2 weeks, although I still have the feeling of hornet bites at my top of cervical (neck).

12 hours later I had found a 99% blockage in my L.A.D. and with great surgeons, nurses and the whole team inserted a stint in my heart.
I have been under dr's care previous to this event. and they are pro's
I just had so much stress that a normal proceedure was the straw that broke my heart.
thank all of you , of whom my have assisted me during my challenging days, from our local fire dept to the pilots, firemen, E.M.T., nurses, and last but not least my great surgeon and cardiologists. All Smiles and humurous folks.
God bless all of you and to you , to whom I am replying to.
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replied December 21st, 2008
I have had a few done cervically on my hernaited C5, Nothing but pressure on the back of my neck after and elevated pain for a good 2-3 weeks after, None of them have helped my pain.

I recently had the R/F lesions done on c4-c5-c6-c7 and I did get some relief from those for a couple days but the pains back and more severe now, I also have a hernaited T3 and I'm suspecting that may be the cause of the pain now. My knees and ankles have been aching more and more, I'm only 27 and I feel like I can hardly walk somedays. It seems the symptoms from c5 and t3 can be the same, my drs all say c5 is my problem. They want to do a fusion on c5 but I'm afraid they do that and then it ends up being my t3.

NOT FUN STUFF !!!!
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replied August 17th, 2011
cervial epidural...still hurting
my 1st epidural went really really good. I just had my second one and it hurts like crazy. My blood pressure is sky high and everytime I cough it hurts like hell! Call my nerologist and he said to just monitor my blood pressure & call him back in a couple of days! WTH? My ears are ringing and my headaches are out of this world. Take my blood pressure pills & vicoden was all he said
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replied April 23rd, 2012
neck pain
hello, i just had a thoraic epidural done 7 days ago and i am still in a great deal of pain.I have headaches everyday,my neck still hurts and back. i cant look up without pain, and my whole body has tingling everywhere and it hurts. does anyone know why? this did not help my pain and it seems worse.
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