Lumbar epidural injections have provided relief for many patients over the course of years. Many patients realize a significant reduction in pain, especially when the injection was received for cases of sciatica. It is important to know that the chances for success and substantial relief are increased when the injections are done in conjunction with a comprehensive physical therapy program. Epidural injections may only be a temporary solution when more conservative options have been exhausted. If the underlying cause of the pain is a significant condition, surgery may be necessary.
The benefits from the first shot only lasted 2 weeks. The second and third set of injections lasted about 90 days. In November, I was ready to have surgery. My EMG and nerve conduction tests proved that the nerves were "sleeping" before I was. After another MRI, the neurosurgeon said I was a candidate for surgery but I was not able to get the endoscopic type surgery that is less invasive. I would have an incision about 6-8" long. Along with removing the herniation, they would have to increase the size of the hole where the nerve roots were going through.