What is an Epidural Steroid Injection?

An Epidural Steroid Injection is an injection of steroid and local anesthetic into the epidural space. The epidural space is the area that surrounds the spinal cord and the nerves that come out of it. The goal of the injection is to reduce pain by reducing the inflammation of the nerves in the injected area. This injection can be placed in the cervical thoracic or lumbar spine.

The actual injection only takes a few minutes and it consists of local anesthetic mixed with steroid. The procedure involves inserting a needle through the skin into deeper tissues and it is then advanced into the epidural space. The procedure is performed under fluoroscopy (X-ray guidance) so we know the exact placement of the needle. Most of the patients receive intravenous sedation to make the procedure easy to tolerate.

After the injection your pain may be decreased, this is due to the local anesthetic and it will only last for a few hours. You may also feel more pain than prior to the injection because we injected liquid onto an already inflamed area. You will also most likely be sore for the next few days and this is due to the needle insertion and you may place ice packs a few times a day to help this. The steroid usually takes full effect in about one weeks time and you should start to feel pain relief after three days.

After the first Epidural Steroid Injection the patient will be evaluated in a follow up visit and if the Doctor is pleased with the results the patient will be scheduled for another injection. A series consists of three injection and you can only have three injections in a six-month period.

This procedure is safe. However, with any procedure there are risks, and or side effects. The most common side effect of this procedure is a temporary increase in pain. Fortunately the serious side effects are uncommon.


Our Mission | Our Providers | Procedures | Directions | Download Forms | Referral Information | Helpful Links