Hey Killa. I'm Linda and brand new here. I'm really sorry to read that with your chosen trade you are having bad back issues already at 27. I had workers comp once (my 2nd auto accident) I'm happy for you that it was settled. I know that they have to be certain that you were really hurt but it doesn't make it any easier that you had to wait for it. That said, welcome back to the forum.
I'm personally against getting these injections. I know steroids are one of those drugs that some people (asthmatics, renal patients, ect) HAVE to have in order to survive.
BUT that said, there is this "standard" of practice to help the spine patient feel better and let's face it we all want a quick fix and get on with our lives as we know it. Who has time when you have a mortgage, kids, a job and well LIFE TO LIVE!
I had 2 injections in my neck (I have both neck and low back injuries and fusions in both) It helped me for maybe 4 or 5 days? Then it was back to the regular thing with how I felt.
Pain is one of those things that give you indicators and tells you something is wrong. Unless you correct, it you'll continue having pain (yes even if it includes changing what you may do for a living) if you still have workers comp they can pay for employment education so that you can still make the same amount but learn a different trade at their expense I think it's called vocational education or vocational rehab. Check with the lawyer that handled your case.
All this being said even doctors spine doctors know that injections of steroids into the spine can break down the surrounding tissues. I did find a reliable source for you to read if you desire http://www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/pain-management/truth-about-cortisone-shots.
It weakens the tendons and will break down the segments even quicker. Why do they do it? Because as fast as we need to go to keep up with our lives we need a quick fix so we submit ourselves to this.
If your physical therapist didn't do much for you try and find another. Ones that have OMPT or orthopedic manual physical therapy techniques I've found are the best.
I have a fusion in my low back called XLIF it's my second surgery @ L4/L5 level (the first surgery I had was just a laminectomy) But the level they worked on has scar tissue built around the nerve and it's tethering my nerve. It can't glide easily. The "stenosis" that re-occured means that I had stenosis before the surgery and while I started doing OK after surgery during the first 12 months post op a osteophyte or in laymens terms a piece of bone grew back into the same place.
Besides having the back pain I have leg pain and possibly complex regional pain syndrome now. It's basically kinda like my body has freak out at all the nerve damage and the leg is swelling, the muscles are contracting and I can't do much walking or anything right now. It's not a nice way to have to introduce myself but it is what it is
I'm in the medical field but not a doctor. I only wish to share why I have strong opinions against having steroid injections in the spine.
Whatever you decide make an informed decision looking at all the options.
It's my opinion if being an electrician causes you a degenrating back you're definately young enough to maybe find a new passion. I wish you didn't have to think looking at that, but if workers comp will pay for vocational rehab, why not take advantage of that??
I wish you well in whatever your decision
BTW the billing for MD's or pain management doctors to do these injections range from state to state but in my state my doctor was paid a bit over 3,000 per injection x's 2 injections. He had 15 people on the schedule that day. I just thought I'd add that in too.
Neck pain for many years called arthritis in my neck & bone spurs in my 30's. Minor accident caused disk at C5/C6 to hern Fusion surg was a success. 2005 I was rearended. C5/C6 fusion damaged I had to undergo rhizotomy Now low back had issues cropped up from 2005 accident had a L4/L5 discectomy 2007. 2008 back to work.Was hit as a pedestrian 2009. Fusion @ L4/L5 DX is FBS and CRPS (maybe)
Post Edited (Friedspine) : 2/6/2012 2:37:06 PM (GMT-7)