I know that my lumbar injections were a short fix, 2-3 months usually.
I stopping getting them a year ago when a a different Dr. than the regular one went through the disk then pulled out allowing lose of spinal fluid which created out of this world headaches for two weeks.
I've now went back to pain management for my back with pain killers and won't have another epidurle again.
Yes, in 2011 I had two cervical cortisone injections via guided fluoroscopy (epidural).
The first one resolved 70% of my complaint and the second one a month later was ineffective at helping me to gain much further ground.
With the fluoroscopy they can target the injection very safely because they are watching a moving x-ray during injection.
I've also in the last six months had two cortisone injections (with fluoroscopy) at my lower lumbar facet joints, which didn't do anything for my symptoms. Following an MRI, I'm subsequently 10 days out from an injection for strained/torn ligaments in my lower lumbar and it is only vaguely working, so it's hard to generalize about cortisone. It's never worked for chronic inflammation and tendinitis in my arms and knees. I've even had arm surgeons fail to achieve nerve blocks in my arms using cortisone.
The rules about limitation on cortisone use pertain as much to hormonal changes as they do to the often cited risk of tissue damage.
Although I'm not 100% with the neck, (still feels vulnerable and kind of tweaky in the area) I have not had a remission. I'd call that pretty successful use of cortisone.
I didn't initially present with neck pain, but with some numb and tingly fingers on one side. No acute injury. Then, severe, super gnarly pain at shoulder, scapula, sub scapula, bicep, tricep and forearm. Pounding on the floor pain. ER level pain. Post-surgery pain meds level pain.
Herniated disc C6/7 confirmed via MRI.
Only mild stenosis.
I forget what the EMG showed.
One week of Prednisone ineffective.
Gabapentin helped me regain the use of the arm but it was very painful to use it for anything from tying shoes on up.
Then the first injection basically fixed the problem. The theory goes now: the body can reabsorb herniated discs. Cortisone buys time for the body to do its thing by reducing inflammation.
One device recommended by my spine Doc, in addition to PT, was a Saunders Neck Traction Device. About $200 to $400 on eBay. The key in its design is that it does not place any force on the jaw, but (in theory) stretching the cervical area helps create suction for the disc to be reabsorbed.
I still use this neck traction device every morning for 20 min, followed by some stretches and exercises for deep neck muscles.
So if you're profile is like mine (stenosis isn't so bad and this is primarily a herniated disc) you may find relatively happy results with this upcoming injection. Good luck!
Not treating a condition and perhaps allowing it to become chronic seems incomprehensible to me. I've taken all the proper steps to mediating this issue....three doctors in agreement that this treatment will serve me well.
Bruce....I can assure you, the Doc is VERY American.....and a very highly regarded pro. I like him a ton.
A bulging L5/S1 (low back) with serious sciatica caused me to eventually get one. the first did nothing, the second a little. some people respond really well to this treatment, others not so much. It seems to be a case by case basis from what I've gathered. There really isn't any reason to not get it, it's a procedure done thousands (millions??) of times and some people get relief, others don't. I opted to not get any anesthesia the second one, which is more like conscious sedation, and I think they just used a local anesthetic and it wasn't a big deal. Your neck might be a little bit different, might want that versed or whatever they use.
Good luck, I hope it works for you.