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Anybody had a cortisone injection in their spine?

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by Cary Grant, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    L5
    Pros/cons/sides?

    Chronic back issue and that may be my next step.
     
  2. Bonggoy

    Bonggoy Senior member

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    I did it a few months ago. I can't remember for sure but mine is L3 and L5 and possibly more.

    Pros:
    Quick and relatively painless. Immediate result.

    Cons:
    Weight gain. I've gained 15 lbs since I had the injection.
     
  3. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    I've had more cortisone pumped into me than a professional football team, so I'm rather familiar with the procedure. What is the specific problem you have and why do they feel the shot is the next step?

    As to the shot itself, it is relatively painless. They numb the area first and all you feel is a little pressure from the liquid invading the spaces. Depending on the type of injection they want to do (disc space, nerve root block, etc.) you could also feel some tingling, electric sparks, or slight pain. But its really nothing and its over in an instant. You go home the same day and ice yourself a few different times. Then in a week you start exercising again.

    I don't know what the guy above is talking about with the weight gain. I think he's just a closet oreo eater and had nothing else to do while resting. There's no weight gain associated with cortisone.
     
  4. Bonggoy

    Bonggoy Senior member

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    That happened to me.

    Of course, if it didn't happen to you, it shouldn't happen to anyone else.

    http://netwellness.org/question.cfm/34275.htm
     
  5. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    I had an L4/L5 herniated disc and discussed the cortisone shot with my neurosurgeon. They didn't recommend it for my situation, as it would simply temporarily ease the problem but wouldn't fix anything. It can also cause degenerative damage. I ended up having a partial discectomy, but I had had a traumatic injury and it was pretty obvious what the problem was.




    Corticosteroids commonly cause weight gain. They decrease your insulin sensitivity and also increase your sensitivity to carbs. Net result is you pump out a shit ton of insulin, which tends to make you eat more which makes you gain weight and the excess insulin makes you store it as fat more readily. I'm diabetic so I know my insulin levels pretty well. I was on steroids for a couple weeks and had to do triple my usual insulin even without eating carbs. My insulin:carb ratio more than doubled as well. It was nuts. I actually lost weight while on it, but mostly because I was brutally restrictive of my carb intake.

    Don't know how long the shot stays in your system though.
     
  6. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Thanks Rambo.

    Looked at the MRI's this morning.
    My L5 disc is dedgrading and inflamed, mostly on the right side. Left side is pretty normal. Pretty typical for a right-hand dominant desk jockey.
    Been in PT for some time, slowly strengthening the inner left thigh and right glute, trying to open up my hip better

    It's starting to impinge on the L5 nerve some- occasionally it's just about impossible to get out of a seated position without very sharp pain.

    The PT is going well but it's slow and the pain has been off/on for a long while.

    .
     
  7. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    As far as weight gain- I've seen that in others but only in significant and prolonged doses. We're talking about one shot for now to gain some relief while I continue PT.
     
  8. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    just so you understand that that's all this is - temporary. many people think its a panacea. its really just a short term fix.

    do you have any associated spinal stenosis? have they talked to you about a discectomy?
     
  9. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    weight gain is a rarity. yes, in some people there is a definite insulin spike. but is usually only temporary. to gain 15lbs from it is a rarity.
     
  10. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    No to both- not bad enough at this point to warrant surgery.

    We talked about the temp. nature of it. Relieving the inflammation could help with PT but the pain is also helpful feedback during PT. Know what I mean?
     
  11. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    exactly what you mean. if its not too much of a hit from your insurance its worth a try. i'm curious whether they'd do a facet block or a disc injection.
     
  12. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    ^Dunno? I think it's a direct injection.
     
  13. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    well with your situation it could go either way. the injection into the disc space would theoretically reduce the swelling and pressure on the joint. the facet joint injection would reduce the pain associated from movement in the joint space. trouble is, which is causing your specific pain, since you seem to be suffering from both problems.
     
  14. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    I think it's the nerve impingement that's the biggest source of pain... that sharp spasm that tightens up all of my QL on the right
     
  15. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    yeah, but what causes the impingement, and which nerves? is it the protruding disc that's pushing into the nerve? now it might sound like reducing the disc inflammation would reduce that, but its not always the case. sometimes its the facet joint nerves that become a problem and the introduction of cortisone in the space causes relief. Have you talked to a pain management doc yet?
     
  16. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Nah- not that far in yet. Good info though, thanks... from what I understand it's not so much protruding or herniated but disintegrating...
     
  17. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    Definitely exhaust your other options before you get a discectomy, especially with a degenerative rather than traumatic problem. It's a serious surgery, with significantly less than 100% chance of improvement. I'm three years out from mine and I still have stiffness in my back occasionally.
     
  18. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    Disintegrating = the walls are starting to break down and the insides (try to think of it as a jelly donut) are beginning to leak. Here's a visual example:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now the top image shows the stages of degeneration. But degeneration and prolapse can both be "bulges" because they are allowing the disc material to expand, thus shrinking the disc space. The bottom shows the difference between a bulge and a herniation.
     
  19. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Got two shots today, one in the nerve channel, one in the disc. No hu-hu... though when she first touched the nerve to pull it aside... :eek:

    On the couch for the day.
     
  20. CalTex

    CalTex Senior member

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    How developed are your abdominal muscles? I have been told that really helps.
     

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