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.