Today was my first (and possibly only) cervical spine epidural steroid injection.
I was surprised to go through the hospital’s full pre-op procedures, from fasting beforehand to scrubs and an IV line. The nurse was very cool, though, and we wound up chatting quite a bit which definitely helped my nerves.
The procedure itself was very short in comparison, probably about 20 minutes total. The “worst” part pain-wise was the local numbing injection, and I think that was less painful than one of those huge ass novacaine shots at the dentist. 😉
I did experience some pain later while they were positioning the needle, so they paused and gave me another dose of local.
The creepiest part was hearing the needle crunch through cartilege but not feeling it. Eeew! And then the warm weird feeling of the medication spreading through my bloodstream down my arms. Kinda like drinking a hot chocolate on a really cold day, but with the warmth in my arms and back instead of going to my stomach. Weird!
I didn’t get any sedation, but was very woozy after the injection, so they kept me at the hospital for a little while. That seems to have all cleared up since though.
I’ve been sleeping pretty much all day with a short break for lunch.
I’m optimistic about the injection helping my shoulder pain, because the doctors told me that the injection would worsen the swelling for a day or two and cause soreness — and the pain today is EXACTLY where my worst shoulder pain has been all along. I’m hoping that means that when the swelling is reduced by the steroids, it’ll take that pain away with it.
I’m not to do any “excessive activity” for a week…I asked whether that included ice hockey and the surgeon laughed at me. I guess that includes ice hockey. And probably dirtbiking. Well, there goes my weekend. 😉