Epidural Steroid Injection
Epidural steroid injections are recommended minimally invasive, outpatient procedures to reduce inflammation in the spine, and provide relief from chronic back pain.
The injection is done in the space around the spinal cord, called the epidural space.
The immediate relief given by an epidural injection can be valuable to an individual suffering from an acute bout of leg or back pain. The window of pain relief provided by the injection can be long-lasting, and allow them to resume their rehabilitation and therapeutic programs.
The combination of steroids and an anesthetic can be used to alleviate the pain associated with chronic post-operative back and leg pain, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, herniated disc and other spine conditions commonly diagnosed and treated by the spine specialists at South Florida Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.
An epidural steroid injection can be an effective alternative to surgery for mitigating pain. The epidural can be coupled with physical therapy, rehabilitation, pain relief medications and/or surgery.
How Is an Epidural Injection Performed?
The outpatient procedure is performed at our state-of-the-art Fluoroscopy Suite. The affected area will be numbed with a local anaesthetic. The injection will then be placed in the spine between the protective cover of the nerve root and the vertebrae called the epidural space. An x-ray machine called a fluoroscope will be used to help the physician place the needle in the appropriate place.
Pain management specialists at South Florida Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine may recommend performing more than a single injection over time, and may use different types and doses of medication, in order to determine the ideal combination to provide the most significant pain relief.
Although rare, there are some risks when using an epidural steroid injection, including:
- Hormone imbalance
- Damage to the nerve root
- Severe headaches
- Infection in the epidural space
- Seizures (in rare cases)
Results from an Epidural Steroid Injection
A minimally invasive epidural steroid injection allows patients to return home almost immediately following the injection.
Epidural steroid injections are able to provide pain relief which could be long-lasting. The treatment is most effective when paired with physical therapy.
The pain relief provided by epidural injection can enhance a patient’s well being, mental outlook and quality of life, diminish the need for painkillers and likely delay or prevent surgical intervention.