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  1. #1
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    cortisone injections

    I have been having SI joint low back pain since I was hit by a car on my road bike. I've tried everything and now I am finally considering a cortizone injection. Just wondering if anyone out there has had this treatment. Any side effects? Did it work? Any get it done by Dr. Yurth in Boulder?

  2. #2
    EDR
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    My wife has battled lower back pain off and on for years and she is only 33 years old. She suffers from degenerative disc disease and her back pain became so great 2 years ago that I took her to the emergency room.

    She finally opted for cortisone injections. The first one she got made a remarkable difference almost immediately. Within hours, if not minutes, she felt 90% better and went from being unable to walk without assistance to looking perfectly normal and was very well for a few months. Then her back acted up again. She got another shot. This time it seemed to not work nearly as well but after a few days she was very mobile again. But that may have happened anyway, that's the way her back issues go.

    About 8 months ago she had another one, with very good results this time.

    The doctors told her that how well the cortisone shot works vary greatly from person to person. It depends on many factors, but for her the shots were, for the most part, extremely beneficial. She has had no need to request any further shots since those times so hopefully it stays that way for a long time.

    Your mileage may vary, you'll never know unless you try it. At least that's what I have gathered from my wifes experience.

    BTW she suffered no side effects what-so-ever.

  3. #3
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    how about side affects? I can ride but about hour to two hours into a ride my back starts to seize up and I need to stretch. How long did she wait before riding again after she got the shot?

  4. #4
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    About those cortizone injections

    I've had them in my knee and yes, the relief was immediate. Not that it cured the underlying problem but I'll take what I can get. I've been told by my doc that certain areas of the body can handle these injections better than others, as in more frequently. Like my knee. It goes directly into the knee capsule with no ligaments or tendons involved. Cortizone injections into a shoulder spread out and affect ligaments and tendons, which can't handle cortizone as frequently. As far as a lower back, I wish I could offer an educated opinion. But my completely unprofessional opinion would be that there's an upper limit to how many a doc would authorize in that area.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  5. #5
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    yea IF i get one I'm only getting one. I have heard that it kills tissue and acts more like a bandaid. but my PT says it will reduce inflammation allowing the area to heal up.

  6. #6
    EDR
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    yes, my wifes doctor says her limit would be 3 per year, but she never required that many in that time frame.

    The cortisone fills the space between her discs thus relieving the pressure of the compressed discs and in her case the relief was immediate. This does nothing to cure the root cause like xcguy said, but once the pressure is relieved the body begins to heal (inflamation decreases) so hopefully once the injection runs its course, you have healed sufficiently to keep on truck'n.

    Now, her pain was acute. She would get so bad she literally couldn't move without SEVERE pain and crumpling to the floor. So whether or not an injection is warranted for a 'sore' knee is obviously something for you to discuss with your doctor, if you haven't already.

    BTW I am no doctor, just relaying my wifes personal experience.

  7. #7
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    Tried everything

    Quote Originally Posted by flying marmot
    I have been having SI joint low back pain since I was hit by a car on my road bike. I've tried everything and now I am finally considering a cortizone injection. Just wondering if anyone out there has had this treatment. Any side effects? Did it work? Any get it done by Dr. Yurth in Boulder?
    Give a run down of what your Dx is and what your Sx's are!
    What have you tried thus far? PT, Chiro, Orals, Accupuncture...?
    Have you had any imaging?

    Give us an idea of what is going on and maybe we can direct in some direction
    BoiseBoy

  8. #8
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    I've had two in my rt knee over the last two years in an attempt to alleviate pain and get things healing. Both shots have also produced a "cortisone flare" that lasted for a day and produced unbelievable pain.

    First one worked great with near immediate results (inflammation and pain went away) but eventually wore off leaving me back at square one, eventually i went under the knife to fix the problem. Second one was early last week and hasn't done a damn thing to relieve the current inflammation, swelling and associated pain from my most recent assault on my knee.

    If it works, just remember to treat the underlying problem as it may rear its ugly head when the shot wears off as it did for me.
    Alea Jacta Est

  9. #9
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by flying marmot
    I have been having SI joint low back pain since I was hit by a car on my road bike. I've tried everything and now I am finally considering a cortizone injection. Just wondering if anyone out there has had this treatment. Any side effects? Did it work? Any get it done by Dr. Yurth in Boulder?
    IF the pain is coming from the SIJ and IF you are talking specifically injected the SIJ and IF it is performed under radiographic guidance (CT or Fluoroscopy) then there is a very good chance that you will have pain relief. Chances of side effects are minimal.

    The waters get far murkier if you are talking about epidurals, facet blocks, etc.

    I don't know Dr.Yurth in Boulder, but if done with radiographic guidance the procedure is not technically difficult for anyone with a bit of experience.
    Life....the original terminal illness

  10. #10
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    I've tried it all...

    PT, massage, yoga, PT, acupuncture, pilates, rolfing, cranial sacral, more massage more yoga, more PT. Now focusing on yoga (1 -2 x week)and massage (1x week). I admit I am bad about stretching after, but last 2 weeks really focusing on it. I have had imaging x-ray, MRI and a bone scan which indicate inflammation in the SI joint as well as L5, L4

    Yes it would be done fluroscopically (sp?).

    Most of my pain occurs road riding or longer mtb rides with climbing. Sets in about hour into road ride or 2 hours into mtb ride. Just a pain in the a$$, my lungs and heart want to keep going but my hip/back aches in pain.

  11. #11
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    I forgot chiro, orthodics, SI belt, and lots of vitamin I

  12. #12
    Bodhisattva
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    Just curious...humour me if you will...

    - how old are you?
    - is the first time you ever experienced back pain only when you had your accident or did you ever have any pain before ?
    - any family history of SI pain or low back pain?
    - ever have psoriasis or inflammation in your eye (uveitis, iritis)

    What I'm doing is an attempt to eliminate that there may be another source of your pain beyond trauma
    Life....the original terminal illness

  13. #13
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    I am getting old well leaving my 30's here in a few months I am 39. no eye problems, yes i do remember having issues with one side of my back same left side on the SI joint before the accident. no psoriasis that sounds like a weird connection to the SI? Where are you going with these questions?

  14. #14
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by flying marmot
    I am getting old well leaving my 30's here in a few months I am 39. no eye problems, yes i do remember having issues with one side of my back same left side on the SI joint before the accident. no psoriasis that sounds like a weird connection to the SI? Where are you going with these questions?
    What I am going to suggest may be a bit of a wild goose chase, but you may want to consider asking your physician whether a disease called ankylosing spondylitis has been considered as a contributing source of your pain
    Life....the original terminal illness

  15. #15
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    hmmm seems far off, my pain has gotten much better since the accident, but definitley hit a plateau. plus i'm female, and men tend to get that more than females. Only other issue is bone spur on heel.

  16. #16
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by flying marmot
    hmmm seems far off, my pain has gotten much better since the accident, but definitley hit a plateau. plus i'm female, and men tend to get that more than females. Only other issue is bone spur on heel.
    all valid points. Like I said...longshot.

    On the other hand, I have quite a bit of experience with these type of things. I know quite a few people with A.S. (not as rare as you think, underdiagnosed & underappreciated in women) and I've seen lots of misdiagnoses.

    Free medical advice is worth what you pay for it. Use it as you wish & good luck.

    PS. If you live in Boulder and think this may be worth a bit more consideration then I recommend Jeff Perkins,MD
    Life....the original terminal illness

  17. #17
    jgk
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    Quote Originally Posted by flying marmot
    yea IF i get one I'm only getting one. I have heard that it kills tissue and acts more like a bandaid. but my PT says it will reduce inflammation allowing the area to heal up.
    I've had 2 SI joint injections. The first one was with lidocaine, an anesthetic, then 2 months later, with cortisone. The lidocaine lasted a few days, the cortisone didn't seem to do anything. Skip below for the boring details of the injection.
    But, in my case, the doctors aren't sure what's causing my pain. I've even had injections in L5, S1 facet and at L5, S1 joints. This has been a process over the last 5 years.

    I'm 4 years older than you, so I know how you feel. Also my brother is 2 years older than me and he has the same pain issues as me, so mine might be hereditary.

    My advice to you is this. Don't think of this as a recovery that will take 3, 6 or 12 months. I would target at least a 5 year recovery program. Continue to stretch and strengthen. Yoga combines the two. I've been doing Bikram yoga for the last 2 months. I have 58 more to go.

    Good luck.



    Boring Injection process: They'll ask you if you want a mild sedative for the procedure. If you do you'll get a catheter in your arm for them to administer the drug. The first time I did the drugs and it didn't seem like a problem, so the 2nd time I did it commando. The second time I got extremely nauseated because the needle was up against a bone and it was a very uncomfortable feeling. As they insert the needle they inject a local as they go. Then once in position, they inject the lidocaine, or cortisone. It's a very weird feeling. I felt it travel to my knee, then my ankle. Procedure is 10-15 minutes. Recovery is around 30 minutes. Waiting is hours.

  18. #18
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    cervical epidural

    that whats on my dinner plate for next week C5 C6 C7

  19. #19
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    Cortizone shots will seemingly help but it is not unusual to find after many shots in one joint (like knee) that the joint and the bone itself show signs of deterioration. I have 2 knee replacements and the ortho told me point blank it can weaken and destroy my
    replacements. Standard rule of thumb is no more than 2 injections at any one site. I'm no doctor but these are my experiences. Hope this helps.

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