• Mark J. Downey, MD - Board-certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
    10 Old Montgomery Hwy #200. Homewood, AL 35209

    Appointments & Referrals: (205) 271-6511

     

Post-Procedure & Follow-up Instructions

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Day of the Procedure:

  • It is recommended that you lie down and rest at home for at least 2 hours immediately after the procedure.
  • Plan to rest and relax for the first 24 hours after the injection in a reclined position.
  • Limit walking or sitting to 10-20 minutes at a time.
  • You may resume all medications as previously prescribed.
  • You may remove the dressing/band-aid later that night.
  • You may apply an ice-pack to the injection site for up to 20 minute intervals as needed to reduce discomfort.
  • Avoid Heat to the injection site for 3 days.
  • Typically, most patients get satisfactory relief of post-procedure discomfort with Tylenol, Advil or Aleve.
  • Prescription medications are not typically required for this procedure, but can be called in (during business hours) to your pharmacy if necessary for severe pain.
  • Do not drive on the day of the injection.

 

Resuming Work Activities:

  • The majority of patients can resume work 1-3 days following the injection. Majority of patients return to work the day after the procedure. A work excuse can be provided upon request.
  • Limit lifting to 5-10 pounds for the first week and then increase as tolerated.
  • Limit excessive bending, twisting, reaching, climbing or crawling for 1 week.

 

Resuming Physical Therapy:

  • Formal Physical Therapy may resume or begin 1 week following the procedure.
  • Therapy should focus on gentle stretch exercises and massage initially.
  • No chiropractic manipulations, decompression therapy or inversion traction for 2 weeks following the procedure.

 

Resuming Exercise:

  • No exercise for 5 days after the procedure.
  • If still having pain at 5 days, do not begin exercise until pain free for 2 straight days.
  • When beginning exercise, low impact activities are recommended, including stationary bike, elliptical, swimming, and walking.
  • Avoid any running for 2 weeks after the procedure and progress slowly from a walk to light jog to run as tolerated. NOTE: Running is a high impact activity and places 3-4 times your body weight on each leg at impact causing significant stress on the discs. Up to 80-90% of the running population reports back pain at some time during their training. So, proceed with caution.
  • You may return to light stretching and light weights at 1 week following the procedure, with great care to avoid lumbar stressing exercises (i.e. squats, lunges, clean and jerks, military press).

 

Following your procedure, Dr. Downey’s plan for you is:

If not improved after one week, then call the office at (205) 271-6511 to schedule a repeat injection or office visit.

 

Common Side Effects:

  • Increase in normal pain for up to 1 week
  • Restlessness/nervousness for up to 3 days
  • Low grade fever (<100 degrees)
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased blood glucose (sugar) levels in diabetics (please monitor closely)
  • Flushing / redness for up to 3 days which improves with Benadryl
  • Increased water retention (mild swelling in the hands or feet)
  • Steroid headache which can last up to 1 week

If you experience any of these common side effects from steroid injections there should be no cause for concern.

 

Rare Side Effects:

  • Redness, swelling or drainage at the injection site
  • Fever above 100.4 degrees with chills
  • Severe positional headache that improves by lying down
  • An increase in numbness or weakness in the arms or legs
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function

If you experience any of the rare side effects after your injection, please call the office at (205) 271-6511 where Dr.Downey will be notified.

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