Hello, it’s me! (that was also the title of a great Todd Rungren song in the 70s)
Yes, I am back again and this time, it is to talk about having epidurals, not once, not twice, but three or more times.
Back in 2011, during the early summer, I had an epidural injection (which didn’t work) quickly followed by another epidural injection (that did work). The second epidural injection was one or two discs lower that the first one, but it really did the trick! I lived almost totally pain-free for about 7 months. Yes, I might get a minor twinge here and there, if I slept wrong, but the relief from the epidural injection was palpable and wonderful! I had forgotten what it was like to have pain free nights, able to sleep restfully and days at work that were not marred with searing pain in my neck, trapezoids and shoulder region. It was sheer bliss, and for someone who hates needles and passes out very easily, I have become the world’s biggest advocate of epidurals,because they work!
So, now that I am starting to feel pain again, I ran, not walked, to schedule my next epidural, because I want the pain relief that it afforded me. I began to wonder, just how many epidurals can you have safely over a year or over a lifetime? To answer my question, I consulted Dr. Jenny Andrus, a Pain Management Specialist here at OSC. Dr. Andrus told me that you can safely have multiple epidurals in a year, but usually not more than 3 or 4. Too much steroid can be a bad thing, so a good physician makes sure to monitor how much steroid is administered to an individual over a certain period of time. A person who has a herniated disc or other spinal issue can safely have epidurals through-out their lifetime for pain management. This is wonderful news for persons who cannot have surgery for medical reasons or for those who just choose not to have spinal surgery. Sometimes, as in my case, better pain relief is afforded by having two injections, at different vertebral levels, done closely, within a few weeks. This gets a good amount of steroid near the inflamed nerve root, allowing it to heal, the inflammation to lessen and providing pain relief. It is amazing how much misinformation there is about epidurals, but if I can help to set the record straight, I am happy to do so!
Contact Dr Jenny Andrus for a consultation through Orthopaedic & Spine Center
Tel: (757) 596-1900