Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections (ESI) are minimally invasive procedures aimed at eliminating or minimizing pain located in the neck, back, arms, and legs. A painful sensation is often a result of inflamed spinal nerves due to several conditions, including sciatica, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis.
The goal of ESI is to reduce pain and allow the patient to return to his normal daily activities, or improve their condition in order to continue with physical therapy.
The injections include:
- Corticosteroid (e.g., dexamethasone, methyl-prednisone, or triamcinolone)
- Anesthetic numbing agent (e.g., bupivacaine or lidocaine)
The medications are injected into the area between the vertebrae and protecting discs surrounding the spinal cord and nerves. This fat-filled area is called epidural space, and it serves a crucial protective role.
ESI are often used when other treatments have failed to alleviate difficult-to-treat chronic pain. The procedure is fairly efficient, and the effects can last from several days to years. The most common conditions treated with this procedure are:
- Herniated discs
- Bone spurs
- Spinal Stenosis
- Slipped vertebrae
- Joint cysts
- Spinal arthritis
Although the procedure is relatively safe, some side effects can arise. These include flushing of the face and chest, fever, water retention, anxiety, sleeping problems, increased local pain, headaches, higher blood sugar, stomach ulcers, and more. In rare instances, infection, bleeding, nerve damage, dural puncture, or allergic reaction can occur. In most cases, the patient will be able to go home within an hour of the procedure but will have to rest for the day.
If you experience pain that won’t go away, you can book an appointment with Space City Pain and discuss ESI to see if you are the right fit for this procedure.