Caudal Epidural

Today I had an appointment at the hospital to discuss the next plan for pain relief. For once we were in and out quickly, the consultant asked a couple of questions and then said he thinks a caudal epidural is the next thing to try as the pain is being transmitted down my legs in the sciatic nerves.

Raising questions

It didn’t occur to me until we left but one of the questions he asked was about the MRI that they did in March and what the Drs said when I was hospitalised.

“Did they offer you any surgical treatment?”

I said they didn’t, but, after it made me wonder, why did he ask that?

Did he see something in the MRI that made him think it should have been an option?

Should I ask for a referral to see a spinal specialist in the same trust as him? The ones I have seen belong to a neighbouring trust (because their A&E is closest and it’s always been an emergency admission) so the actual images can’t be viewed, only the report.

Now I remember seeing something like “nerve compression consistent with symptoms” after I got home, on the discharge paperwork, and thinking that at least they could see why it had happened. Now I wonder, should they have offered me some alternative treatment options?

We have agreed to try the epidural procedure, now we just need to wait for the appointment.  At least I will only have one needle and not 10 like last time.

While searching for information about the procedure I found this image on the Central Coast Orthopedic Medical Groups website. Click the image to go to their website for more information about how and why this is done (unless you’re squeemish) LOL.

8 Replies to “Caudal Epidural”

  1. I had three cordial nerve blocks (epidural) before they decided surgery was the best option. Typically they try to put people down that path first to see how bad your pain really is. That and it’s cheaper. They know that it will not be a permanent solution, just that it’ll get you go go away for six months. The first one I had did work reasonably well for around three months. The later ones were barely effective. Please don’t let me put you off, they’re still worth doing, but you do need to speak to the surgical team shortly afterwards telling them it’s not working.
    I’ve had the spinal decompression surgery in two places and I can’t express just how much of a difference it has made to my daily life. I’ve gone from a daily pain of 8/10 to closer to 2/10. It’s not all gone but it’s now barely noticeable. My advice, play up the pain (if you even need to). Ask about surgery, because they won’t suggest it. The surgery itself does come with some risk. Very small risk -but it’s there nonetheless. In my case, I was looking at a 1% chance of paralysis, against a near 80% chance of it in twenty years. It’s a no-brainer. If you want to discuss it, you know where to find me 🙂

  2. No worries. Just don’t take any bullshit. They’ll want you to see if the injections worked first but it’s worth trying to get the consultation anyway. My injections were done under the same consultant. Took nearly two years to get the operation though. And the recovery typically takes 18 months.

    1. It’s a pain specialist that’s doing the injections, I don’t think he does spinal decompression surgery… but I will definitely start the process 😊

  3. Oof. That sounds pretty awful, but relief from such all-encompassing pain is worth it. My dad had spinal stenosis and they couldn’t find where, so he didn’t have surgical options (or even shots). I’ve seen how severely pain disrupts life. I’m glad you have some options for more than just management. I hope this works and you don’t need surgery.

    1. I’m sorry they couldn’t identify where your dads stenosis was in order to resolve it. I’ve been told I will never be pain free, the problem is being caused by too many things, arthritis in the joints, and the nerve compression, but any relief would be welcome.

  4. Good luck with it. Though I don’t have any experience of stenosis, I have had other instances of musculoskeletal problems, and typically the surgical option is used as a last resort once other avenues have been tried and probably exhausted. Doesn’t hurt to ask about it. You have every right to be fully involved with and informed about your own healthcare. I hope that the epidural brings you some relief.

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