Hi Brad, the "old hand" here, at least I am feeling like one since surgery. Went through the pain you mention, enough to make me want to end it all. SUrgery has been successful, so I am in a way advocating it, but only with a surgeon who has terrific reviews and recommendations. That said, may I add that mine, and all my GPs, have said they do not recommend the steroid shot more than 3 X per annum, because it is detrimental in the ways you've mentioned. Additionally, the first may or may not work, but the subsequent injections are less likely to work than the first.
To me, an amateur sleuth, it looks like you are ready for nerve decompression. But only a neurosurgeon, armed with MRI, perhaps whole body bone scan, can tell you that. PLease go see one. IT may change your life as it has changed mine. I am a human again, instead of that lump of pain I was.
Damn that predictive text! Yes, decompression. And yes you have to insist, anywhere, research and insist. IM in Australia, on Kangaroo Island. I have an excellent surgeon in Adelaide, just over the water. Glad you have temp. relief. 3 weeks Post surgery my pain is getting better every day. I'm walking the dog no pain. Last night no pain killers at all, just 2 panadol on waking. The hip still gets stiff in the night lying still. Being able to lie still is an improvement on its own. I'm not bragging but sending out the hope thing. And yes, take a list of questions. Mine answered them as I ticked them off. I asked about all kinds of "cures" like stem cell, radio frequency ablation, etc. He was patient. But you have to be firm and not let them hurry you out. If s/he does that it's a loss because you have to find another. I went to a surgeon who fixed a sisters spine and an acquaintances spine. My medical benefits paid about $30000, I paid the gap of about $4800. That's in Australia. I could have had the surgery in a public hospital for free if I waited a year and didn't insist on the surgeon of my choice.
'Radio Frequency Ablation' eh? Never heard of it but I've got it marked down and I will research! You've got some good ideas here, Thank you.
I think I'll take my 3 dogs, a few pints and go for a walk out in the bush too, haven't gone for a walk in about a month.
About the Steroidal Epidural Injections I've been getting. I'm very pleased with the results/pain relief so far. I just had my 5th round of injections. The back pain is still there but at a very dull roar, this back pain I talk of is different, it's in the actual vertebral joints and will always be there to some degree, you can't stop the bone from decomposing or degenerating. Bone deterioration is due to a genetical or molecular level. You can slow it down based on a one's cellular make-up but it's impossible to stop. Anyway it's the nerve pain I have a difficult time dealing with and these injections take most of it away and like you said when the pain rears it ugly head in a month or so (hoping), I commence dropping my oxycontins.
Everytime I go for injections they take my blood pressure,yesterday they took it 3 times, 182 /113, that's bloody insane, it must be all the meds I'm on. Anyway I'm seein' my MD soon so I'll get some Bld. Prsr. Meds.