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Cervical epidural injection


Chuck_Dickey
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Anyone have any experience with this procedure? Bulging disc between C6 & C7 is causing numbness in my left arm and left hand.

 

This is the basic info I found on the net;

 

Cervical epidural injection

 

A cervical epidural injection places anti-inflammatory medicine into the epidural space to decrease inflammation of the nerve roots, hopefully reducing the pain in the neck, shoulders and arms. The epidural injection may help the injury to heal by reducing inflammation. It may provide permanent relief or provide a period of pain relief for several months while the injury/cause of pain is healing.

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  • Baller
I'd give it a try. Sometimes the anti-inflammatory effect can totally alleviate current symptoms and allow the area to "settle down" so that the inflammation lessens. It is a good first step that can allow you to avoid surgery. After that you go down the road of various surgical options including micro-foramenotomy, micro-discectomy, fusions, etc. I'd try the shot.
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My ski partner had it done a few months back ... Day after he was complaining of dizziness nausea with a severe headache ... Spent the next 5 days in the hospital ... Apparently you can leak important fluids if the procedure isn't done perfectly
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I had a pretty bad C5 C6. The injections did alleviate much of the stabbing pain in my left shoulder. I'd say the procedure got me through a summer in which we had already planned a European vacation. In my case, I knew that I was probably going to have the fusion, and at end of summer I did. However, based on the relief I felt, I can definitely understand the theory behind reducing inflammation and giving the area a chance to settle down particularly if the disc is not too bad.
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The Doc here knows more than me as I'm just the X-ray tech who helps with these.

 

But IMO and from what many docs have said injections usually aren't a fix. It is like taping plastic over your broken car window until you get it replaced. It works and it allows you to return to normal use but it doesn't fix the problem.

 

That said we see a handful of people who get one injection and it lasts 2 years. Others get 2 months.

 

Definitely worth a shot though and if you get good relief it can help postpone the knife.

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I have had a few in the lumbar region, no issues and they provided relief for varying amounts of time (one was over 6 months). Make sure you find an experienced DOCTOR to do this, not some tech who learned to give injections.

Good luck.

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What @bojans said. If it not common for it to be done under flouroscopy, ask you doctor if it can be. I am not sure about an injection vs. a tap, but if a Spinal Headache can occur, demand Flouroscopy.

 

Google Spinal Headache. Symptoms are from awful to unfathomable (rather die). This occurs when the Doc "misses/overshoots" the needle. The fix was to go back in under Flouroscopy. My question, why not do it the first time..... Answer, we usually don't have this problem, only about 5% of the time.

 

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Due to osteoarthritis in my neck I had numbness in left arm and hands. I had an epidural under fluoroscopy five years ago. The epidural had no effect, and my neurosurgeon's recommendation was to do neck fusion, I resisted and tried a second epidural. It eliminated the problem and it has never came back.
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I had the injections as it was deemed worth a try. I had two opinions that surgery was probably necessary, with both doctors saying try the shots as maybe they'd help. They had zero effect on me. Zero. So I had the cervical fusion.
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@bojans you gotta be a doc to do it, xray techs just run the fluro.

 

@TustinTom about the only type of injection I'm aware of being done not under fluro is either a knee, a trigger point or sometimes some are done with ultrasound. I would run far and fast from anyone who says they can place a needle and steroid in the right spot of a spine without it.

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