The purpose of this type of injection is to relieve pain related to inflammation of a nerve as it exits the spinal canal, some times referred to as radiculopathy or radiculitis. It can occur anywhere in the spine, but the most common areas are the low back and the neck. When it occurs in the low back and pain travels down the back of the leg, it is sometimes referred to as “sciatica.” A spinal nerve may become inflamed due to mechanical pressure on the nerve, such as from a prolapsed (herniated, slipped, ruptured) disc, from arthritic changes in the spine, or from narrowing of the entire spinal canal, known as spinal stenosis. Another cause of inflammation can be a chemical irritation of the nerve, due to leakage of the gelatinous center of a torn intervertebral disc. When the nerve becomes inflamed, pain is usually felt along the course of the nerve. Other common symptoms are numbness, tingling, and weakness. By injecting a corticosteroid medication into the epidural space of your spinal canal, the nerve inflammation may be relieved. It is hoped that this will allow you to start a program of exercise, relaxation, and rehabilitation.
Epidural steroid injections are performed using fluoroscopic guidance, which is a form of low-dose live-action X-rays. This allows us to precisely place the medication at the suspected area of concern. These injections can be performed with the patient awake or mildly sedated. They can be performed at the Sereno Pain Management office under local anesthesia, or can be performed at a local surgery center or hospital under sedation. We strive to meet the preferences of our patients, with their safety and comfort in mind.
If you receive sedation for your procedure, you must have a responsible adult available to drive you home.