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shellsk24
@shellsk24

Posts: 19
Joined: May 25, 2016

Facet Joint Injections - Anyone had success?

Posted by @shellsk24, Jun 20, 2016

I have just began a series of facet joint injections for chronic lower back pain, due to arthritis and degenerative spine disease. The injections start off small then they add more medication as we continue. I had the first injection 3 days ago. I was told it could take upto 5 days to start feeling the benefits of the injection. The injections (total 6 in L2-L6) hurt like heck, and I have not felt any change in my chronic pain as of yet which is quite depressing. I was so hopeful. I am told the first injection is with just a small amount of anti-inflammatory med, so it may or may not be sufficient. Has anyone else had these? If so what was your experience with the entire process? I’m just wondering if I should proceed.

Liked by dandl48

REPLY

Hi @shellsk24. So glad to see how active you are on our community and I’m glad you came to Connect for support and answers to this question. Great thread to start!

I’m tagging @kgosenheimergmailcom, @experiencer and @madonna59 who posted about facet injections awhile back and may jump back into the conversation to help out.

Also @seanbeck, @zjandre and @sasaka do you have any related experiences you can share? Have any of you had facet joint injections?

Liked by shellsk24

I would like to hear more about lumbar facet injections as I am scheduled to have my first on July 6th. I would also like to hear some success stories.

@marib

I would like to hear more about lumbar facet injections as I am scheduled to have my first on July 6th. I would also like to hear some success stories.

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Yes, I had lumbar facet injections about 7 months ago. Be patient, at first I didn’t think it was a success but within 10 days I was fine. I will repeat when and if it fails. I spoke to one lady who had gone 2 years. Sometimes you need to repeat it but that’s OK too. Be positive, good luck with it. I recommend it!

Marion

Had my second round of facet injections last week. It’s been 5 days and still no relief. I guess its safe to say I was not a good candidate for the injections. Continuing with the injections after 2 rounds with no relief seems pointless, not to mention costly. Glad to know it worked for others though. 🙂

Liked by deefl

@shellsk24

Had my second round of facet injections last week. It’s been 5 days and still no relief. I guess its safe to say I was not a good candidate for the injections. Continuing with the injections after 2 rounds with no relief seems pointless, not to mention costly. Glad to know it worked for others though. 🙂

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Hi shells24:
I know that it can be disappointing to say nothing of expensive and time consuming to enter a type of cure and end up with
little to no relief
The same thing happened to me so now I am on narcotic pills and a pain patch.
These drugs are highly controlled and you must go to a pain clinic to get them after getting a series of tests to determine
what your condition is and if the drugs will help.
You may be afraid of becoming addicted, or may have a family to consider which is all something to consider
If you have any questions I can help you with regarding the pills/patch just connect with me.
All the best and feel better soon. defl

@shellsk24

Had my second round of facet injections last week. It’s been 5 days and still no relief. I guess its safe to say I was not a good candidate for the injections. Continuing with the injections after 2 rounds with no relief seems pointless, not to mention costly. Glad to know it worked for others though. 🙂

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Hi @deefl. Thanks for the information. Yes I too am currently under the supervision of a pain center to manage the pain. I am also on meds to help manage, and was hoping these injections would be a way for me to be rid of the pills, but no such luck. I have not considered the patch. Is it a daily patch? does it really help alleviate the pain? pros, cons?

Hello, I have had facet injections and medial branch blocks done on C 4-7 without any success. I did have cervical (spine) epidurals for over a 4 year period that worked well. The pain in my neck was greatly reduced. In my lumbar spine, I had RFA, radio frequency ablation done and that was very successful.

Liked by shellsk24

@shellsk24

Had my second round of facet injections last week. It’s been 5 days and still no relief. I guess its safe to say I was not a good candidate for the injections. Continuing with the injections after 2 rounds with no relief seems pointless, not to mention costly. Glad to know it worked for others though. 🙂

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I was on Fentanyl pain patch for 18 months. While my pain was gone, it was not a fix and I was happy to get off of these highly addicting patches.

Hi @sandytoes14, I notice you have had problems in both lumbar and cervical regions of your spine. I have a little information to add to your notes. On the lumbar issue, I had lower back pain for months; physical therapy only made it worse, because it wasn’t a classical spinal problem; it turned out to be inflammation of the sacroiliac joint on one side of my pelvis. The diagnosis depended on a type facet injection into the inflamed joint; by stopping the pain for good, it proved that the inflammation diagnosis was correct. Within six weeks, carefully designed physical therapy treatments brought the pain to an end. It hasn’t returned in four years.

On the cervical issue, a good friend in her early 50s had deteriorating discs in her C 5-6 vertebrae. Injections and blocks by pain specialists helped but not permanently. She decided to replace three damaged discs — not fuse the vertebrae, but restore her previous flexible cervical spine. No such surgical procedure involving two or more discs was approved for performance in the US 7 years ago (it may not be even today). So she went to Germany for two weeks and had the surgeons there insert artificial discs. She met several other Americans who were there for the same operation. I have communicated with one of them over the years since. She and my friend both returned to full physicality without pain of any significance — one back to playing semi-professional hockey, the other running and playing golf regularly. The fantastic thing was that my friend’s surgery involve incisions to approach the spine from the front of her throat. Miraculously, in my view, there was no damage to nerves or blood vessels, which was crucial since she is an accomplished singer who could have lost her voice for good. She didn’t, and she continues as the leader of her church choir and a primary soprano in a regional professional choir.

I suppose it all depends on the individual. I’ve heard great success stories. On the other hand I’ve heard and personally experienced the opposite. I found that NONE of my 30+ epidural and facet injections (as a male, your only allowed 3 per year, not sure if the same holds true for women) eased the pain at all. The only thing it was delay the inevitable (surgeries 13X), but also drained my wallet. I’m only 40 and have been on SSDI and Medicare for 9 years, so your cost and possibly better insurance may help ease that burden at least. My 2 cents: continue with the injections, and if you find them painful than I hear they can offer you anesthesia, so that would reduce your pain. At least go through a full cycle of injections to see if you get some relief. So at the end of the day you can be rest assured you’ve exhausted all other options besides surgery. Because once you have one (especially if it’s a fusion) you are guaranteed to have more down the road.
Best of luck to you, and I know/feel your frustration and pain.
P.S. Their is a new Spinal Cord Stimulator Manufacturer on the market called NEVGRO or NEVRO. I’d look into that and see if thats an option.

Liked by shellsk24

@predictable

Hi @sandytoes14, I notice you have had problems in both lumbar and cervical regions of your spine. I have a little information to add to your notes. On the lumbar issue, I had lower back pain for months; physical therapy only made it worse, because it wasn’t a classical spinal problem; it turned out to be inflammation of the sacroiliac joint on one side of my pelvis. The diagnosis depended on a type facet injection into the inflamed joint; by stopping the pain for good, it proved that the inflammation diagnosis was correct. Within six weeks, carefully designed physical therapy treatments brought the pain to an end. It hasn’t returned in four years.

On the cervical issue, a good friend in her early 50s had deteriorating discs in her C 5-6 vertebrae. Injections and blocks by pain specialists helped but not permanently. She decided to replace three damaged discs — not fuse the vertebrae, but restore her previous flexible cervical spine. No such surgical procedure involving two or more discs was approved for performance in the US 7 years ago (it may not be even today). So she went to Germany for two weeks and had the surgeons there insert artificial discs. She met several other Americans who were there for the same operation. I have communicated with one of them over the years since. She and my friend both returned to full physicality without pain of any significance — one back to playing semi-professional hockey, the other running and playing golf regularly. The fantastic thing was that my friend’s surgery involve incisions to approach the spine from the front of her throat. Miraculously, in my view, there was no damage to nerves or blood vessels, which was crucial since she is an accomplished singer who could have lost her voice for good. She didn’t, and she continues as the leader of her church choir and a primary soprano in a regional professional choir.

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Thanks for that info @predictable . I’m going to Ortho Spine at the Naval hospital on Monday to see what his views are for me.

oh wow I’m going to be starting the facet injections I was just told that’s what I have after more than 2 years of being in pain all the time and it seemed the doctors didn’t believe me until I told them I can’t or won’t live like this anymore, crying cause I have so much pain can’t sleep and hard to work cause in pain just not a quality of life now they believe me

I’ve had a little relief in my neck after facet injections. It takes about two weeks for the steroids to really start working.

@shellsk24

Had my second round of facet injections last week. It’s been 5 days and still no relief. I guess its safe to say I was not a good candidate for the injections. Continuing with the injections after 2 rounds with no relief seems pointless, not to mention costly. Glad to know it worked for others though. 🙂

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Hi shells24 I do not feel there is any down side to the patch. I use a special tape to hold it down on the edges as I have had it lift up.
I am also on opioid medication too because the pain is pretty intense without it as well.
I do not feel I am an addict but do require more sleep with this much medication. Each person is different and their
reaction will be different as you know. If you are on, or will be on pills one day, you can cut them so you are not getting
so much medication. You can not cut the patch. What I like about the patch is you have a steady stream of medication
as opposed to a pill that seems to end abruptly and then you need to take more to get relief. I am covered both ways.

@kajensen

oh wow I’m going to be starting the facet injections I was just told that’s what I have after more than 2 years of being in pain all the time and it seemed the doctors didn’t believe me until I told them I can’t or won’t live like this anymore, crying cause I have so much pain can’t sleep and hard to work cause in pain just not a quality of life now they believe me

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Hi:
I Hope the injections work for you. It is due to insurance that the doctors often start with that. If you do not get relief, then consider
ovoid medication. Many are afraid they will become drug addicts, but that is not the case. Pills can be cut on the score line. Or, cut
again if the pill is large enough. I am also on a pain patch which I like because it delivers medication in a continuous stream
That could be years away. Doctors are slow to respond from my experiences and that can be many years of pain.

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