Radiculopathy occurs when something irritates a spinal nerve—say a “slipped disc” causing a pinched nerve. This is also called sciatica . There are resident stem and other cells in the local tissues everywhere in our body. Many live around blood vessels. These are obviously also present in the disc and nerves in the epidural space and they usually play an important role in suppressing inflammation and repairing damage. We know, based on a copious in vitro (lab) data, that the high-dose steroids used in epidural injections can kill these cells. So the progression of the series of epidural steroid injections looks a little something like this:
An epidural steroid injection places this powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly around the spinal nerves. Traditionally epidural injections were administered without any special equipment, by inserting the needle by feel in the area around the spinal nerves. More recently epidural injections have been administered with the aid of imaging tools to allow your physician to see the needle going to the proper location. Either real-time x-ray, called fluoroscopy, or CT scan can be used to 'watch' the needle deliver the medication to the proper location.
I had three injections all of which worked for a few days to two weeks then stopped. The excruciating pain returned and only Vicoden 5 mg 3-4 times a day controlled the pain. Vicoden at that dose is the lowest dose prescribed. it worked perfectly for several years and doctors refused to prescribed opioids for fear of losing their license. My sister recently died of throat cancer and she complained constantly of pain. She died with unrelieved pain. As a cancer patient she was prescribed Morphine 2 mg. every 6 hours. That is beyond ridiculous but keeps our doctor’s license safe. Our doctors are violating their Hippocratic oath – Do No Harm. They had added a caveat “except when the government is breathing down your neck. Then the patient be damned. I am glad this helped you Randy. I don’t know your clinical status but I am sure it differs from mine. Do you have severe and crippling arthritis?