Epidural Steroid Injections
WHAT IS IT?
Technique whereby a liquid (steroid, anesthetic) is injected clinically into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord and spinal nerves. We use an “X-ray type” device to look into the spinal area and make “pin-point” injections directly into the affected area.
WHAT IS IT FOR?
ESI’s reduce swelling and inflammation of the nerves in the epidural space. This can reduce pain and other symptoms associated with back pain.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
ESI’s usually only take a few minutes. Afterwards, we monitor patients to make sure they don’t have any adverse reactions to the injection.
DO I HAVE TO BE PUT UNDER ANESTHESIA FOR THIS PROCEDURE?
No. We use a local anesthetic so that you can remain awake during the procedure.
HOW LONG WILL THE MEDICATION LAST?
It could last for several days to a few months.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS?
This procedure is relatively safe. However, there could be risks, side effects, or complications. This most common side effect is temporary pain. Other risks involve spinal puncture that could cause headaches, infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and worsening of symptoms, etc. Other cortisone-related side effects include weight gain, increase in blood sugar (primarily in diabetics), water retention, natural cortisone suppression in the body, etc. A licensed anesthesiologist will monitor you after the procedure to make sure you don’t have any of these problems.
The C-Arm is a flurographic x-ray device used to look into the spinal area that will be injected. The anesthesiologist uses a television monitor to do accurate, “pin-point” injections.