Epidural steroid injections are a minimally invasive treatment option for individuals with pain in the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (low-back) regions of the spine. This injection therapy may also be administered for patients suffering from sciatica. Epidural steroid injections contain an anesthetic and steroid medication to reduce inflammation and pain in the affected regions. Pain relief varies from person to person, but most patients experience relief that lasts anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Long-lasting pain relief is dependent upon the patient's condition and their response to the treatment.
What To Expect
Similar to other injection therapies, patients must lie face down with their back exposed. A TriState Pain Institute physician will work closely with the patient to identify areas causing pain. Before the procedure, intravenous sedation may be dispensed in conjunction with a local anesthetic to minimize the patient's discomfort. Using a technique called fluoroscopy (x-ray guidance), a hollow needle will be inserted into the injection site and another needle with the medication mixture will be introduced into the epidural space of the spine. As soon as the medication has been administered, the needle will be removed and a bandage may be placed over the injection site.
Patients may notice a reduction in their pain two or more hours after the treatment. Some pain or discomfort may return shortly after the anesthetic from the injection wears off, but sustained pain relief will likely occur 3-5 days following the procedure. Patients will be advised to rest, minimize their activity levels, and avoid driving for at least 8 hours. A TriState Pain Institute physician will coordinate post-procedural care and a follow-up appointment after the injection.