Injections for Back Pain
Spinal injections are sometimes suggested by doctors to reduce inflammation and help relieve your back pain so you can function better. These injections are a fairly simple procedure without much risk. For many people with a back injury these work great and for others injections are of no help for their injuries.
I was sitting in the waiting room ready for my injection, as I sat there I saw several people go in and out in a matter of about 10 minutes each so I thought hey this can't be too bad of a procedure. Then the nurse brought me a release form to sign. After reading it I was confused, I had just seen several people go in and out without any visible signs of trouble and they want me to sign this form? The form outlined some of the risks which I was told were "very rare", some of the risks were spinal headache, internal bleeding, infection, and Yes they always feel the need to add this one....even DEATH.
I refused to sign the release until after I spoke with the doctor who would perform the injection. I asked him flat out "have you ever killed anybody due to this type of injection or do you know of anybody who has died as a result of an injection of this sort?" After a brief period of disbelief that I would even ask such a question he assured me he knew of no deaths and only a couple cases of infection, I signed the release form and went to the room for the procedure.
Basically the procedure goes like this: they put you on the table and hook you up to monitors to keep a check on your breathing and heart rate. Then they thoroughly clean the injection area then they will give you a shot of lidocaine to numb the area near the injection site. Fluoroscopy is used so the doctor can see the needle placement on a screen this way he knows when he's in the right spot for the injection. The injection of lidocaine and or steroids is then made. They get you up and you're on your way home.
My first injection didn't work out, it was miserable. Part way through the procedure the alarms were going off on the monitors. "His blood pressure is dropping fast" one of the nurses informed the doctor. I had flashbacks to the form I had signed just minutes ago, by this time I was getting cold and clammy, I wanted out. I did very well for about the first 10-12 pokes of the needles, but after that it was hard to want to continue especially when the buzzers started going off around me.
When I finally left the clinic after being in recovery for a while I left with a total of 22 needle pokes in my back and not one drop of the injection made it into my body, the doctor couldn't get the needle where it needed to be due to scar tissue from my surgery blocking the path. It would be over one year later before I was talked into trying it again and that was the final injection for me, there will be no more.
a Healthy Back!
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