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Epidural Steroid Injection


Epidural Steroid Injection

The Epidural Steroid Injection is a procedure where numbing medicine (anesthetic) and anti-inflammatory medicine (steroid) is injected into the epidural space to treat pain caused by irritation of the spinal nerves. A protective covering called the dural sac surrounds the spinal cord. This sac contains spinal fluid that bathes and nourishes the spinal cord. The space between the outer surface of the dural sac and the bones of the spinal column is the epidural space. Nerves that go from the spinal cord, through the spinal column and to the body pass through the epidural space. Depending on the location of your pain, the epidural steroid injection can be given in the neck (cervical), middle back (thoracic) or lower back (lumbar).

Epidural Steroid Injection

Procedure Details

Will you be asleep for the procedure? It is not necessary for you to go to sleep for this procedure; however, you will receive enough medication to keep you comfortable. How long will the procedure take? Normally, an epidural steroid injection takes no more than 10 or 15 minutes.

Procedure Overview

The Epidural Steroid Injection is an outpatient procedure done in the Operating Room or a Special Procedure Room. For your safety and comfort, the doctor may decide to connect you to monitoring equipment (EKG monitor, blood pressure cuff, and a blood-oxygen monitoring device). In addition, the doctor or nurse may start an intravenous line and give some medicine to help you relax. Depending on the area to be injected, you will lie on your stomach or sit in a chair. After your skin is cleansed with an antiseptic solution the doctor will inject some numbing medicine that will produce a burning sensation for a few seconds. After the numbing medicine takes effect, the doctor will insert another needle and with the assistance of a special X-ray machine called a fluoroscope, inject a radiopaque dye (contrast solution) to confirm the needle is in the correct place. With the needle in position, the doctor will inject a mixture of numbing medicine (anesthetic) and anti-inflammatory medicine (cortisone / steroid). It is possible you will feel pain similar to your normal back pain as the medicine is injected. This is a good sign and means the medicine is going to the right place. The pain usually disappears quickly. After the procedure, we ask that you remain at the Clinic until the doctor feels you are ready to leave.