11 April 2009

Back and Forth

Friday I had the third (and, for now, last) round of steroid injections in my back. I am happy to say they seem to have done their job of reducing the swelling of the nerves that branch out from the L4 / L5 area of my spine. Nearly all the ancillary symptoms (numbing and tingling in my feet) have ceased. Overall, another victory for modern medicine.

I thought you might find this x-ray photograph of interest. This was taken yesterday after the doctor had placed both needles in my back. (They position both needles first, then inject the dye, then the steroids.) This x-ray was taken from my right side so it looks like both needles are sticking straight back, but they are sticking out either side of me. (The front of my body is to the right, the back to the left.)

To the left of the yellow arrows is my spinal canal; to the right you will see vertebrae and disks (the space between the vertebrae). The dark line directly aligned with the two arrows is the dye in the area where they inject the steroids. The dye helps them know they have the needles in the right place.

(Interesting to note that the first round of injections, back in February, did not hurt very much. The second batch, in March, hurt more. This set really hurt -- much more than before. I wonder if this is normal.)

I am done for now, as you cannot have too many steroid injections in a short space of time as steroids can be very harmful when used too much. So, I am on my own now with back exercises and continually being very aware of how I lift and exert with regard to my back.

If you want to read the previous entries about my back saga, you will find the MRI adventure here and the tale of the first round of injections here.

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