An Epidural Steroid Injection is administered to decrease the severity of pain and inflammation. This treatment is effective because it directly addresses the source of the problem. Inflammation is associated with various spinal conditions such as herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease.
After an epidural steroid injection, patients experience help with managing pain. The treatment also produces a greater response when provided in conjunction with a therapeutic exercise program. The injection may take less than one hour. The patient will lay on their abdomen and have their skin numbed with the local anesthetic, lidocaine.
An injection can be administered through multiple processes. The physician will inject the steroids into the area known as the ‘epidural space’, this is located between the inner surface of the vertebral column and the outer layer of the spinal cord. In some cases, a flushing solution may be required to remove inflammatory proteins from the space that can be a source of pain.
The procedure is implemented with sedation. If used, patients will be monitored for an extended amount of time following the injection before being discharged. It is recommended for patients to rest on the day of the treatment. Regular activities can recommence the next day.
This treatment has a 50 percent success rate. If pain persists after the first injection, it is not recommended to have further ones. If patients experience minor improvements, continued injections may be necessary.