Hello All- I know this discussion is a little old, but I've read through each post from the beginning, so I figured I would go ahead and reply here. I just had RFA bilaterally at L3/L4, L4/L5, L5/S1. The procedure was on Wednesday & today is Monday. The first night, I had A LOT of pain. I used a lot of ice, regular pain med (7.5mg Percocet), & muscle relaxer (5mg Flexeril), but nothing seemed to ease the pain, which went from the top of my lower back all the way to my ankles. The next couple of days were uncomfortable, but bearable. I did have a burning from the inside out sensation. Today, I had a significant increase in pain. My back & hips hurt pretty bad. Right now it feels as though there are knives in those areas. I'm hoping it's just a bad day & things will be better tomorrow. I am really just hoping that it will all be worth it & I'll have some long term relief.
I would appreciate any updates from those who have had this done in the same areas. I hope you are all well & enjoying some pain free days (or, at least, a significant reduction in pain).
Hi Bj1208- You are absolutely correct. I have read and heard very good and very bad outcomes for surgery and the SCS implant (as well as the ESI). I think we all get to the point of grasping at straws for any relief, but we need to try to think more long-term. As you may have read in my recent reply to Shastwell, I will choose not to have any additional ESI's. I've had 3 since mid-February and they do not seem to be working. It was only after this last one, that I really starting reading about the long-term effects of continued ESI's. I know I should have done my research beforehand, but like I said, grasping at straws. When it was first suggested, I was in so much pain that my legs would start shaking and I would break down in tears in the doctor's office. I couldn't stand to be driving or riding in a car for more than 15 minutes without significant pain. I am trying to avoid surgery at all costs. I have heard some people say that it was a "miracle" for them and other's say that it was the worst thing they ever did and it can't be undone. That's it for now. I wish you the best. Keep us posted on how you are doing.View Thread
Hi! I'm so sorry to hear all that you have been through and that you are still in pain. I had my 3rd ESI about a week and a half ago.....still in pain! I have decided not to get any additional ESI's, as they do not seem to be helping. I will see the Dr. on Wednesday for a follow-up and see what he has to say. My plan, at this time, is to get another opinion and to see a neurosurgeon for an eval. It has been suggested that I look into teaching hospitals, as there are some things that they will do that private physicians will not. I'm not really sure about anything else. I elected to stop all chiro, as the traction (both motorized and manual) seemed to be making me worse. I can use ice/heat and do electrical stim at home (without paying $55 co-pays multiple times per week). I hope you find relief soon. Best wishes!View Thread
Hi Tim. Thanks again for your reply and advise. I had my follow-up this afternoon with treating physician (this was 2 wk follow-up to last ESI). There has been some mild improvement since last week. I say mild, as in pain is manageable for the first part of the day, but by mid-day I am in significant pain if I am doing anything at all. This could be as minimal as sitting, minimal walking, and driving (driving or riding in a car very quickly increases my pain). I work full-time, but am fortunate that I can sometimes do my work from home. Today was not one of those fortunate days, so by the time of my appointment (2:30pm), I was again at a solid 7 and increasing, on a 1-10 scale. Treating physician is an anethesiologist and intervential spine specialist. He has recommended a 3rd ESI (scheduled for 4/3), as he feels that I was getting some benefit from the ESI until last week's traction, which is true. He agrees that the motorized traction should be stopped and that I need to decide how I am feeling in regard to manual traction. He indicated that he doesn't think that the traction would have caused the buldge to herniate or the herniation or tear to get worse. He said that it is possible that during the traction, the spinal nerve may have gotten hit in the area where there is already stenosis.
My chiro appointment is tomorrow (chiro is within same practice as treating physician) afternoon. At this time, my thought is that I will allow the more "passive" therapies like electrical stim and ultrasound, but that is about it. I don't want them to do anything that has any potential of causing any additional inflamation. Right now, I have pain across lower back (lt & rt), rt leg pain is front and back down into knee cap, lt leg pain is all the way down into foot (with almost constant charlie horse feeling in calf), both buttocks, hips, and groin--still predominant pain is on left.
Have you (or anyone else reading this) had any positive response to acupuncture or massage therapy? I had a little non-professional massage on trigger points in buttocks and legs, but the muscles seem to spasm again very quickly. I know the saying, "getting old sucks," but this is ridiculous and I don't think I am THAT OLD.
Hello All, I am new to this community. While I have had lower back pain and sciatica for a long time, I have been dealing with this most recent episode for 3 months now, after I "overdid" it with a home improvement project. It took over a month to finally get a doctor to order an MRI. Results showed L4-L5 buldge, L5-S1 herniation with annular tear and spinal stenosis. Additionally, there was facet deterioration and scoliosis. Pain was lower back, buttocks, and radiating leg pain. Initially, right side was worse than the left, but left quickly caught up. First ESI was done about 1 month ago and directed toward the right due to pain. I was immediately started on chiropractic care (motorized lumbar traction, electrical stim with heat or ice, and ultrasound). I am prescribed Vicodin 7.5 and Flexeril. Had some relief following first ESI (although first couple of days after there was increased pain). A couple of weeks after pain increased again, so a second ESI was done about 1.5 weeks ago (this time directed to the left, as left side pain had become predominant). I was feeling some improvement until chiropractic appointment yesterday. Before appointment, right side pain was barely there. Left side hurt, but was manageable. When traction started, I was in immediate severe pain all across lower back and down both legs (front and back). I let chiropractor know about the pain. He suggested that we change to manual traction next time. Last night I was in so much pain that even max dosage of Vicodin (1.5 pills) instructed by treating MD didn't help in the slightest. Today I have again had significant pain in lower back, buttocks, both legs down into knees and calf (on one side). At times, the slightest movement or no movement at all sends a jolt of pain that nearly brings tears to my eyes. At this point, I am hesistant to even allow manual traction, as I am afraid that something happened on that machine yesterday (i.e. buldging disc herniated or herniated disc got worse???). Has anyone else expericenced this kind of severe pain during and after motorized traction? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. I am 42 years old and in fairly good physical shape.View Thread