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Epidural steroid injections for sciatica, how much to go private??


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Old 25-08-2012, 13:28
CBeeN
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My hubby has still got sciatica, and it's worsening all the time.

He's finally got an appointment for a MRI scan next thursday (hallelujah)

But IF he needs a Epidural steroid injection I'm worried that they might make him wait weeks or months for one
(a friend of mine knows a work colleague who needed one and they had to wait 3 months for the injection)

So I'm wondering how much it would cost to go private, hundreds, a grand?? I haven't a clue.

He may not even need the injection they may suggest summit else but i like to be prepared.
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Old 25-08-2012, 13:59
queenshaks
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Ask the hospital.
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Old 25-08-2012, 14:02
CBeeN
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Yes thanks for that, i can ask them but I thought I would ask DS members on here too.
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Old 25-08-2012, 14:52
CBeeN
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Bump anyone??
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Old 25-08-2012, 16:26
Taglet
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Its difficult to determine waiting period between MRI Scan and the injection because each health authority has different waiting periods but you will have to wait until the scan results have been reviewed by an expert and for them to recommend the right type of treatment which may not be an injection.

Please bear in mind that the injection is a short term solution and doesnt work for everyone. I had two lumbar spine injections at the same time and was pain free for two weeks then it all came back again. Your husband may need more radical treatment.

I am assuming that he is in a lot of pain at the moment because your opening post sounds desperate and it must be horrible right now. I bought a tens machine from a local chemist (Lloyds do them cheap) and it has really helped....I still use it if I go on a long car journey or if my back pain has a dip.
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Old 25-08-2012, 17:12
CBeeN
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Its difficult to determine waiting period between MRI Scan and the injection because each health authority has different waiting periods but you will have to wait until the scan results have been reviewed by an expert and for them to recommend the right type of treatment which may not be an injection.

Please bear in mind that the injection is a short term solution and doesnt work for everyone. I had two lumbar spine injections at the same time and was pain free for two weeks then it all came back again. Your husband may need more radical treatment.

I am assuming that he is in a lot of pain at the moment because your opening post sounds desperate and it must be horrible right now. I bought a tens machine from a local chemist (Lloyds do them cheap) and it has really helped....I still use it if I go on a long car journey or if my back pain has a dip.

Thanks for relying.

I made some other posts about his condition but as time has gone on I've been asking different questions.

Yes bought a Tens machine a while ago, got heated pads, got 3 types of medication from docs, got walking stick got everything. It's cost us a small fortune.

I know I'll have to wait for MRI scan results, it's just the waiting, he's in excruciating pain, it takes him about half an hour to get out of bed because of the pain (but has recently found out sleeping on the sofa is better), and he couldn't urinate for about 2 hrs on monday, he wanted to go but the muscles weren't working, he's taking a laxative at night now which is helping.

And he went back to work a couple of weeks ago but has been sent home because he is drowsy from the meds and fell asleep by accident (he works with CNC and Laser machinery)
He's so worried about work as he is entitled to 25 days sick on full pay then it goes down to half pay and he's used about 20 days already, and we've got a mortgage to pay etc.

But I'm sure everything will be sorted soonish (I hope)
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Old 25-08-2012, 18:59
jemimabond
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Has he tried a chiropractor?
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Old 25-08-2012, 22:43
CBeeN
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Has he tried a chiropractor?
Yes and he's seen a physio. The physio recommended that he finally have a scan done.

He's had this for 7 weeks now.
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Old 25-08-2012, 23:01
Taglet
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Thanks for relying.

I made some other posts about his condition but as time has gone on I've been asking different questions.

Yes bought a Tens machine a while ago, got heated pads, got 3 types of medication from docs, got walking stick got everything. It's cost us a small fortune.

I know I'll have to wait for MRI scan results, it's just the waiting, he's in excruciating pain, it takes him about half an hour to get out of bed because of the pain (but has recently found out sleeping on the sofa is better), and he couldn't urinate for about 2 hrs on monday, he wanted to go but the muscles weren't working, he's taking a laxative at night now which is helping.

And he went back to work a couple of weeks ago but has been sent home because he is drowsy from the meds and fell asleep by accident (he works with CNC and Laser machinery)
He's so worried about work as he is entitled to 25 days sick on full pay then it goes down to half pay and he's used about 20 days already, and we've got a mortgage to pay etc.

But I'm sure everything will be sorted soonish (I hope)
He sound much worse than me if it is affecting his bowels and bladder. Although my discs are bulging into my spinal canal they are not putting too much pressure on my nerves so it only caused pain. I'm afraid his treatment may be a little more radical than an injection by the sounds of it.

My partners father had surgery as his discs were interfering with his legs, bowels and bladder earlier this year. He is 82 but usually very active (plays tennis etc) and his recovery was remarkable after surgery.

His works sick scheme sounds terrible and as financially worrying as it is there doesnt look like there is much choice except to batten down the hatches and ride it out. I'd advise getting in touch with the mortgage company to see what help they can offer in view of your current situation.
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Old 26-08-2012, 01:55
brillopad
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Thanks for relying.

I made some other posts about his condition but as time has gone on I've been asking different questions.

Yes bought a Tens machine a while ago, got heated pads, got 3 types of medication from docs, got walking stick got everything. It's cost us a small fortune.

I know I'll have to wait for MRI scan results, it's just the waiting, he's in excruciating pain, it takes him about half an hour to get out of bed because of the pain (but has recently found out sleeping on the sofa is better), and he couldn't urinate for about 2 hrs on monday, he wanted to go but the muscles weren't working, he's taking a laxative at night now which is helping.

And he went back to work a couple of weeks ago but has been sent home because he is drowsy from the meds and fell asleep by accident (he works with CNC and Laser machinery)
He's so worried about work as he is entitled to 25 days sick on full pay then it goes down to half pay and he's used about 20 days already, and we've got a mortgage to pay etc.

But I'm sure everything will be sorted soonish (I hope)
I've had two epidurals, first one was effective for a week the second for a long time until I damaged my back again.
My GP was excellent - he rang a pal who was an anesthetist and I attended A+E early in the morning to have the injections (next day).

I've had back problems for over 40 years and have got used to putting up with pain but at really bad times I've had great success with Osteopaths and Diazepam.

However the Urinary problem should prompt the GP to do something immediately - a disk problem that is just producing pain is something that can be managed but interference in bodily function should be urgently investigated.

I've been left with a dropped foot which with perseverence is not too much of a problem but recently I hurt my back again and lost the reflexes in my other foot which made walking 'interesting' - luckily like a lot of back problems it cleared up in a couple of months.

Worst thing with back pain is that your own body is your worst enemy - it tries to avoid pain by use of muscles but often gets it wrong and makes the pain worse which just prompts more muscles to get involved - GP will diagnose muscle spasms which doesn't sound like much but they can hurt like hell.

Not being a Doctor I can only guess at what is going on - possibly the pain is causing spasms which are affecting urination or it is a herniated disc pressing on a nerve - needs investigating.

Some other thoughts - heat is always good - I've also had relief by kneeling on a chair and draping myself over the back (anything that works).
I once went to an Osteopath crying with pain - he taped my back with large sheets of elastoplast to immobilise me until the pain subsided enough for him to work on me.

The pay plan sounds very good compared to mine - I don't have one.
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Old 27-08-2012, 10:00
Taglet
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Meant to ask, how did your partner injure his back....is there any link to his work/job that he did?
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Old 27-08-2012, 11:32
gillypanda
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I had sciatica for over 8 months in 2010/11, it was excruciating so I can fully empathise with your hubby.

I started off with masses of painkillers that made me feel as poorly as the sciatica, then after 5 months or so had an MRI. It showed 2 slipped discs, I have no idea how I did it, and I was referred to a surgeon to discuss my options. I wasn't even offered an epidural, although one of my friends has and swears by them.

By this point, about 7 months on, I had started to feel better anyway. I did gentle exercises, avoided long car journeys and anything else that made it worse. The surgeon said I could have an operation which he classed as risky, or I could start swimming regularly and see how it went.

As a fully paid up wuss I declined the operation ( I couldn't afford to take 3 -6 months off work anyway as I get no sick pay) and started the swimming. A year on, I feel great! I swim a mile before work every day, back stroke only as any front strokes twist my back the wrong way, and touch wood have only had a couple of twinges in the past 3 months.

I hope they can sort him out quickly. Maybe a bit of gentle swimming may help him too? I'd check that with his doctor first though.
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Old 27-08-2012, 13:59
CBeeN
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Meant to ask, how did your partner injure his back....is there any link to his work/job that he did?
He was on the rowing machine at work and got a twinge so he got off and sat down to do some bicep curls or something like that but it got worse from then on.

We ended up in A&E yesterday morning (just before the rush! thank god) he got so desperate he didn't know what to do he said the pain was beond a joke so we saw a doc and the doc said if he can't use his bowels again or urinate to come straight back as that is very bad news. He gave him pain relife but he said there wasn't any point doing the MRI then and there as we would still have to wait for 5 days for the results to come back So we are waiting till thursday.

He's taking laxatives now and that has helped loads.

The doc at A&E give him liquid morphine, then gave him some 50mg Tramadol to take home (I think the Tramadol are helping, they are just taking the edge off)
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Old 27-08-2012, 14:46
Taglet
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He was on the rowing machine at work and got a twinge so he got off and sat down to do some bicep curls or something like that but it got worse from then on.

We ended up in A&E yesterday morning (just before the rush! thank god) he got so desperate he didn't know what to do he said the pain was beond a joke so we saw a doc and the doc said if he can't use his bowels again or urinate to come straight back as that is very bad news. He gave him pain relife but he said there wasn't any point doing the MRI then and there as we would still have to wait for 5 days for the results to come back So we are waiting till thursday.

He's taking laxatives now and that has helped loads.

The doc at A&E give him liquid morphine, then gave him some 50mg Tramadol to take home (I think the Tramadol are helping, they are just taking the edge off)
Ahh I was thinking about his sick pay because if it can be classed as an industrial injury the sickness pay etc is different but from what you say it sounds more like they provided equipment to use rather than its use being required as part of the job.

Depending on what is going on in his back the his bowels/bladder ceasing to function (he becomes incontinent) means that a nerve is trapped and if it is not released it can lead to permanent damage so he does need to go straight back if he gets any more problems with those With any back strain the bowels can be affected though because his muscles will be in spasm and it will make his digestive system sluggish...if the laxitives are working thats fine.

I'm not an expert on any of this by the way....I have just had a long standing back problem and have been through the system...scans, injections and possible surgery which was ruled out at this stage.

I have no doubt its agony for him....someone recommended swimming earlier and when I first hurt mine I did get some relief from being in a pool, I swam very gently but mainly used the filters which put water into the pool against my back as a sort of massage. The weightlessness really helped though.
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Old 27-08-2012, 14:56
miafi
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Yes and he's seen a physio. The physio recommended that he finally have a scan done.

He's had this for 7 weeks now.
My PCT have guidelines regarding back pain - they say sciatica will generally resolve itself in 6 weeks and if it doesn't then you go forward for investigations. You have to see a regular physio who will decide if after 6 weeks there is no improvement you see a spinal specialist physio you refers you for an MRI scan and then you wait weeks for one of those and then it's reviewed at a case conference on the best possible treatment be it steroid or surgical.

I had my sciatica for 5 months before i was given the first injection, which worked for 3 months then I was fast tracked for an MRI and surgery 4 months later. Second time around I waited approximately 6 months for an MRI scan and a further 3 months for the steroid injection.

Has your husband been prescribed amitriptyline? It's amazing stuff that is used for nerve pain - doesn't take it away completely - nothing I ever took pain killer wise helped with the pain, didn't even take the edge off it but a consultant in the pain clinic prescribed me amitriptyline and it helped me sleep because that was my biggest problem - i couldn't get comfortable to sleep and it made everything 10 times worse.

There is no quick fix when the disc has herniated onto the nerve which is causing ALL the pain. No matter what your position I was always in pain, it got to the point where I just walked around all day and wiggling my leg to help with the pain - it was probably all psychological!
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Old 27-08-2012, 15:14
Eternia
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Hiya,

If you want to find out the approx costs to go private, google your local private hospitals.

They generally have a guide price or give the option to contact them for further info on a procedure.

Best of luck to you both. Hope things get sorted.

ETA. There is medication called 'Gabapentin' which is used for nerve type pain. It is usually prescribed for epilepsy but has been shown to provide pain relief.
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Old 28-08-2012, 11:23
CBeeN
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My PCT have guidelines regarding back pain - they say sciatica will generally resolve itself in 6 weeks and if it doesn't then you go forward for investigations. You have to see a regular physio who will decide if after 6 weeks there is no improvement you see a spinal specialist physio you refers you for an MRI scan and then you wait weeks for one of those and then it's reviewed at a case conference on the best possible treatment be it steroid or surgical.

I had my sciatica for 5 months before i was given the first injection, which worked for 3 months then I was fast tracked for an MRI and surgery 4 months later. Second time around I waited approximately 6 months for an MRI scan and a further 3 months for the steroid injection.

Has your husband been prescribed amitriptyline? It's amazing stuff that is used for nerve pain - doesn't take it away completely - nothing I ever took pain killer wise helped with the pain, didn't even take the edge off it but a consultant in the pain clinic prescribed me amitriptyline and it helped me sleep because that was my biggest problem - i couldn't get comfortable to sleep and it made everything 10 times worse.

There is no quick fix when the disc has herniated onto the nerve which is causing ALL the pain. No matter what your position I was always in pain, it got to the point where I just walked around all day and wiggling my leg to help with the pain - it was probably all psychological!
We could ask about amitrptline he's on gabapentin at the moment but it's turned him into a zombie and the pain his still really bad.


Hiya,

If you want to find out the approx costs to go private, google your local private hospitals.

They generally have a guide price or give the option to contact them for further info on a procedure.

Best of luck to you both. Hope things get sorted.

ETA. There is medication called 'Gabapentin' which is used for nerve type pain. It is usually prescribed for epilepsy but has been shown to provide pain relief.

2 days to go till MRI so will just wait now, I think we were getting so desperate we were clutching at straws.
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Old 28-08-2012, 14:53
Eternia
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Totally understandable. I'm sorry to mention the Gabapentin when he was already on it.

It is soooo frustrating when you are waiting for appts at the hospital . Especially when all you want is to get it over and done with and, at least, progress.

Good luck for the MRI. xx
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Old 05-10-2012, 23:10
Jane_Gray
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Hi Cbeen, hope things are better for your hubby now I to am suffering with sciatica,terrible isn't it? How did the. MRI scan go and is he feeling any better now?
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:47
CBeeN
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Hi he is better but not fully.
The pain retreated up the left leg then went across his buttocks and slightly into his right leg but it's not as excruciating as it was.

His MRI didn't show anything bad just a bit of arthritis and wear and tear to the spine but the GP said that was normal with age. So it's just the trapped nerve.

He waited 6 weeks for a hospital appointment to come through and his appointment is on the 12th Nov to see a surgeon (don't think he'll need surgery tho) hoping he'll get some injections for the pain.

He's back at work on his machine and is even doing overtime now.

So in short he's better than he was but not fully, and he can't go to the gym still which he misses

but his freind is taking him to the NIA in brum to see Slash in concert so he's all excited
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