Procedure in which a needle is inserted into the body and delivers temporary pain and inflammation relief with the use of local anesthetic (with or without a steroid).
1 - Epidural Injections
1. What is the epidural space?
The epidural space surrounds the spinal fluid and spinal cord/nerves. Narrowing of the spinal cord or spinal nerves (called stenosis) and inflammation may cause pain.
The goal of an epidural steroid injection is to decrease the inflammation in the epidural space, and hopefully decrease pain.
There are several possible sites of epidural injection depending on the location of the pain:
- Cervical – neck, shoulders, arms
- Thoracic – mid-back, chest, abdomen
- Lumbar – low back, legs
2. The Procedure
You will be positioned on your abdomen. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level will be monitored during the procedure. The injection site will be washed with a sterile cleaning solution. X-ray images will be taken of your spine to determine the correct placement of the needle for the injection.
Local anesthetic (“numbing” medication) will be injected into the skin. Contrast dye will be used to confirm that the needle tip is in the epidural space. Then, local anesthetic and steroid (anti-inflammatory) will be injected.
3. Before the Procedure
It is important that you follow all pre-procedure instructions given to you at your clinic visit; if not, your procedure may be canceled.
4. After the Procedure
You will remain in the recovery room for observation; we will monitor your vital signs during this time. The staff will give you discharge instructions.