She's back!! (with a question)

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 10/12/2010 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm back. I wasn't even around that long, was I? Life got a little crazy for a while.

I had an ESI( L4-5 and L5-S1) two weeks ago. Pretty good relief, except I'm still experiencing pain above the area treated by the ESI, and I'm also experiencing hip pain, which is kind of new. Went back for my follow-up, and they want to do facet joint injections on all 4 levels where I have DDD (L2-3- L5-S1). If I get relief, they want to do another neurotomy.

I'm ok with that, but I was wondering if anyone else has had repeat neurotomies? Did the second work as well as the first?

I'm glad I'm back!
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)

spinal soldier
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 10/12/2010 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
hey beth, everyone responses differently but as far as the ESI it seems relief is short lived for most, myself included. they are doing the facet injections as a diagnostic tool to see if neurotomies/RFs will help on those levels. thats 8 facet shots that is no day at the beach; and if they are injecting your facets due to DDD on those levels that does not seem to be good evidence that blocking that medial branch near the facet area will get to the pain unless they see on MRI or CT or X-ray that your facets are arthitically enlarged or arthrotic. that is a whole lot of invasive shots and procedures for short lived if any pain releif. thats just my opinion and experience so dont take it as gospel. good luck to you
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: OxyContin 60mg 2x, Dilaudid 8mgs [brand] 4x p.r.n. brk., Phenergan 25mg 3x prn nausea, Lyrica 75mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M., Soma 350 mg 3X, Relafen 1000mg 1x, Klonopin 1mg H.S. or prn anxiety Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 2000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, GABA 750mg

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 10/12/2010 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the reply! If the facet injections don't help, she's ordering x-rays and new MRI. During the exam, she had me do some movements to gauge pain levels, and she said that the pain was consistent with facet problems.

I remember having the facet injections before my neurotomy, but... I've slept since then. I've been stabbed in the back (with needles) so many times that I can't remember which shot was which.

Thanks again.
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16773
   Posted 10/13/2010 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Beth, I have had facet joint injections done and helped some, the RF on my back did nothing for me. ESI's are done in a series of three injections spaced out over weeks. Surely they don't plan on doing all the facets at one time. I have a lot of problems with the facet joint on the left at L5/S1 that produces a great deal of pain. I recently read bad facet joints will also cause a person to walk stooped over, which I do.

Hope you can get some relief.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 10/13/2010 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had 2 neurotomies at the same level, 6-7 years apart. They both were pretty much equally helpful. If the shots are still helping, personally I'd give the second neurotomy a try. Average relief is 18mos, though some people get relief longer or shorter. If your first neurotomy helped for at least 6mos, it's considered successful. If it helped for less than that, I myself wouldn't repeat it. Longer than that, I'd do it again for sure. If better options don't come along before this round wears off, I'd gladly go for a third round... anything to avoid more meds. :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 10/14/2010 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the responses! I got over a year's relief from the first neurotomy, so I guess that was a success. Yes, they are doing all 4 levels of facet injections at the same time. It's been several years since I had the facet injections that I don't remember how I reacted to them. My ESIs have been a couple of months apart each time, and I am usually up and about the next day.

Thanks again!
DDD (4 levels- L2-3 thru L5-S1), Hashimoto's Disease
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