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Epidural Steroid Injection
The epidural space is a layer of fat, blood vessels, and lymphatics located between the spinal cord and spinal canal. The fat absorbs shock, the vessels supply blood to the spine, and the lymphatics remove foreign material from the area. Sometimes, the epidural space can become inflamed, causing swelling and irritability of the spinal nerves.
What is an epidural steroid injection?
An epidural steroid injection is an outpatient procedure that relieves back or neck pain by reducing inflammation of the epidural space. An anti-inflammatory medication called a steroid is injected into the affected area of the epidural space. The steroid helps to decrease inflammation and provide pain relief.
Types of Epidural Steroid Injections
Twin Cities Pain Clinic offers several different kinds of epidural steroid injections. Each one targets a particular area along the spine, providing relief to the specific nerves associated with your pain.
Click a link below to learn more about each type of procedure.
What can I expect during the procedure?
You will be brought into the procedure room and laid on your stomach on a special table. If you are receiving sedation, this will be administered prior to the procedure. Your skin will be cleaned at the injection site and a local anesthetic will be used to numb your skin.
A fluoroscope (x-ray machine) will be used to visualize the needle as it is guided to the appropriate site. A harmless contrast dye is injected to ensure correct placement. The steroid medication is then administered. An anesthetic may also be injected into the affected area with the steroid to provide temporary relief while the steroid takes effect.
What can I expect after the procedure?
You will be moved into the recovery area and monitored by a nurse for 15-20 minutes. If you received IV sedation, you will be monitored for about an hour. You may experience temporary numbness or weakness in the legs for 30-40 minutes, which is why you must have a driver to take you home.
We recommend that you take it easy for the remainder of the day. You may resume normal activities the next day. You may experience tenderness or aggravated symptoms for several days after the injection as the anesthetic wears off. Apply ice packs to help with this pain. Patients usually feel relief within a few days, but it may take 10-14 days for full effect.
Plan to follow-up with your provider two weeks after the injection to assess its effectiveness and determine the next step in your care.
Schedule an appointment with a Twin Cities Pain Clinic provider to discuss if an epidural steroid injection can help with your pain.
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