Epidural steroid injection

What is Epidural Steroid Injection?

A epidural steroid injection is an injection of a local anesthetic (numbing medicine) and a steroid in the epidural space in the cervical spine. It helps with inflammation caused by chemicals released due to disc herniation or any other reason in that space and thus helps with neck pain especially pain going down the arm.

Epidural steroid injection
Epidural steroid injection

Why is an epidural steroid injection recommended for me?

Epidural steroid (also called cortisone loosely) is done to help for the pain caused due to disc injury or degeneration related pain with or without any nerve pinching. Steroid calms the inflammation caused by disc injury or disc herniation etc thus reducing the pain and swelling at that level.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
Medication changes. Please inform the doctor if you take any blood thinners, or have any allergies to medications. You may be asked to stop or change the dose of certain medications for several days before the procedure. Always ask your primary physician before stopping any medications.
Food and Drink. There are no special dietary instructions for this procedure unless it includes sedation.
What medications are injected?
Medications injected during the procedure include steroids, and numbing medications besides the use of contrast material. X-ray exposure is also expected during the procedure, if you are pregnant you should not have X ray exposure

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What happens during the procedure?

Time. While the procedure may take less than 15 minutes, you should allow for at least 30 minutes at the procedure center.
Positioned face down or on your side. This will provide the best access for the injection.
Local anesthesia administered. This usually causes the most discomfort during the procedure and is described as a mild stinging or burning sensation.
Pain During Injection. This lasts just a few seconds and usually can’t be felt because of the numbing medication.
Recovery. You’ll be observed for a period of time after the injection to ensure there are no complications.
Epidural steroid injection

What happens after?

The epidural steroid injection can provide temporary pain relief, but it may not provide any benefit right after the injection.
Following the injection, sometime you may feel slightly dizzy pain can get flared up for a short time after the injection before it gets better. If it works, it should provide a benefit for about three months.

What are the Benefits

The biggest benefit of an epidural steroid injection is to help with pain caused by inflammation from a disc herniation

What are the Side Effects?

Short-term side effects might include some numbness if the injection spreads into the surrounding area. The injection site might also be painful or tender to the touch. Occasionally, patients who receive a an epidural complain of headaches after epidural injection.

Why do I need it?

The epidural steroid injections are part of the pain management, being therapeutic for pain but also help with diagnosis of pain source as from disc injury, disc degeneration or nerve impingement.

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