Epidural Steroid Injections are a common method of treating inflammation associated with neck related arm pain or low back related leg pain. Nerve roots can be compressed by a herniated disc, bone spurs and spinal stenosis. When the nerve will be compressed it becomes inflamed. This can lead to numbness, pain, weakness or tingling along the course of the nerve.
The goal of the epidural steroid injections is to help lessen the inflammation of the nerve root.
Types of epidural steroid injections
Types of epidural steroid injections can be described according to the location they are given. Injections in the low back are called lumbar epidural injections, while injections in the middle back are thoracic epidural injections and injections in the neck are called cervical epidural injections.
Epidural Steroid Injections can also be described according to the path of the needle. Most epidural steroid injections are placed between the lamina which is known as interlaminar epidural steroid injections.
How epidural steroid injection procedure has been performed?
- After the area which is going to be treated is prepared and numb the doctor will insert the needle through the skin toward the spine.
- Once the needle is in the proper space a small amount of dye might be injected to verify the position of the needle on the X-ray.
- After all that, the mixture of numbing medication and steroid is injected in the epidural space.
- The needle is removed in the last and a Band-Aid is placed over the site of injection.
Results of ESI
Many patients experience some pain relief benefits from epidural steroid injections. For those patients who experience only mild pain relief, one to two more injections usually in 1-4 week intervals may be performed to achieve full effect. Duration of pain relief varies from person to person, lasting for weeks or years. Injections are done in conjunction with a physical therapy and home exercise program to strengthen the back muscles and prevent future pain episodes.
What to do after ESI?
After epidural steroid injection, the patient should;
- Avoid driving and operating machinery for at least 12 hours after the injection
- Take rest for the remaining of the day
- Can drink and eat without any restrictions
Risks of ESI
Some complications of epidural steroid injection are;
- Spinal headache from a dural puncture
- Allergic reaction
- Nerve damage or paralysis (rare)
Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has great expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain and various pain conditions. His center has offering various treatment options including stem cell therapy, amniotic fluid injection and much more.
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