Epidural Steroid Injection
- What is an Epidural Steroid Injection?
- Who Benefits from Epidural Steroid injections?
- Are Epidural Steroid Injections Safe?
- What is the Chance of an Epidural Steroid Injection Helping Me?
- How Many Injections Will I Need?
- Are There Any Risks To Epidural Steroid Injections?
- Patient Instructions: Pre-Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural refers to the tiny space located around your spinal cord. Using a special technique, we can locate the space and inject a number of different medications. In many instances, the pain is associated with inflammation. It is expected that steroidal solution, when injected into the epidural space, may relieve some of the redness or hotness (inflammation) associated with pain.
Your doctor may prescribe an epidural steroid injection for a problem such as sciatica (shooting down the back of the leg), Herniated (slipped) discs, Arthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Acute Shingles, Vertebral Fracture, and others. These are some of the more common disorders which can cause nerve root irritation and are associated with inflammation which may respond to epidural steroid injections.
Relatively small amounts of steroid are used and there are usually few long-term effects. Specific questions regarding the use of steroids should be discussed with your doctor.
If the pains is caused by nerve irritation (inflammation) from a herniated disc, it is likely that an epidural steroid injection can help you. Over 50% of patients with these problems are helped. Suppression of inflammation usually takes 2-3 days. Ask your doctor for more details.
The standard Protocol followed in our office includes a series of three (3) injections (one every 7-21 days), followed by a thorough neurologic evaluation to assess the degree of improvement from our therapy. If you do not respond to the first or second injection or if your pain comes back, you can discuss other treatment options with you referring doctor or with your Pain Management specialist.
Epidural steroid injections are a safe and reliable technique to administer medications around the nerve roots near the spine. Epidurals are used quite commonly for pain associated with labor or delivery of a baby as well as to provide anesthesia for a variety of operations. Risks involved are very small and should be discussed with your doctor. These risks include a small risk of bleeding or infection, the possibility of a post-dural headache, and possible recurrence of the pain. You may be sore for a few days from the injection itself.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY medications and PLAVIX must be discontinued at least 48 hours prior to the injection (ex. Celebrex, Advil, Alleve., Motrin, Ibuprofen, Arthrotec, Mobic to name a few). Any other scheduled medication should be continued.