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Archive for February, 2012

Epidural Steroid Injections

It is interesting how common the use of Epidural injections is and also how expensive they are as well. Let’s go back to what was said earlier about the chances of having a long term beneficial effect from these injections. Also remember that as in many cases, by getting these injections, you are merely treating the symptoms of the problems, not truly the cause.How effectively does an ESI relieve pain? Again, this must be thought of prior to putting yourself through this course of care. The following statement says it all.

Results vary, with many people receiving significant relief that lasts from a few weeks to a few months. In some cases the injection is ineffective.
I do not know about you, but to go into a surgery suite, lay face down on a surgical table, and while under video fluoroscopy X-ray, have a needle put next to my spine and have a medication injected into me that will give me little if any benefit, and still not address the cause. It is amazing with all of the talk of health care reform that we are still providing patients routinely with very little thought of best selection of the patient a very expensive procedure that does so little long term. Even with the low incidence of complications, they are still there and not pleasant when they happen. Read this next paragraph carefully and learn more.

It often takes several days for pain relief to occur as the steroids in the injection gradually reduce inflammation. The pain may be temporarily increased for a day or two due to the irritation caused by the needle and the medication. Some people experience relief from one injection, others may need up to three.

The truth of the matter is that almost everyone will go through at least 3 of the injections before it is determined not to be of any success. So as I mentioned above, not only do you have to go through the pain and discomfort of a procedure that has little if no benefit in many cases, but you will be told to do it not, once, not twice, but three times. Read on and remember the following when asked to have these injections.
Although many studies document the short-term benefits of epidural steroid injections, the data on long-term effectiveness are less convincing. Indeed, the effectiveness of lumbar epidural steroid injections continues to be a topic of debate. This is accentuated by the lack of properly performed studies.

Is it not amazing to you that we as a profession give out millions of these injections a year producing billions of dollars of revenue for the health care facilities and the Doctors providing this service, yet there is still concern about the documentation and studies demonstrating long term beneficial effectiveness? This is why you as the patient must read and learn as I hope you have in this report about each procedure you are going through and if it truly is in your best interest.

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