Epidural steroid injections are a common treatment option for back pain (low back, mid back and neck), sciatica, and leg pain that is caused by nerve irritation. Epidural steroid injections deliver steroids directly to the inflamed nerve root that is causing your pain to reduce the inflammation, which reduces the pain.
Pain caused by these specific conditions can often be helped by epidural steroid injections:
- Herniated disc (lumbar disc herniation)
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Cysts in the facet joint or nerve root that expand and compress spine structures
- Annular tear of the disc
Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure
An epidural steroid injection usually takes 15 minutes to complete.
- The client lies on a treatment table.
- Dr. Quickert numbs the point of injection with a local anesthetic similar to what a dentist uses.
- To find the exact spot in the epidural space on the spine where the injection needs to be placed, Dr. Quickert uses live x-ray or ultrasound to guide the needle into the proper location.
- He then injects the steroid solution, which is typically 2 to 10 milliliters of fluid.
- The client stays in the office to be monitored for 10 to 20 minutes, then is allowed to leave. Normal activities may be resumed the following day.
Epidural steroid injections may be placed in two locations along the spine:
- Transforaminal injections are made into the opening at the side of the spine right as the nerve root exits the spinal canal. (This opening is called the foramen.)
- Translaminar injections are made between the lamina (bony protrusions on the back of the vertebra) in the middle of the back. Medication can be delivered to the nerve roots on both the right and left side of the inflamed area on the spine at the same time.