Injection of an anesthetic substance into the epidural space of the spinal cord. The injection may consist of steroids that intercept the production of painful inflammatory substances and/or a lidocaine or saline solution to help get rid of inflammatory proteins around the affected area. This is a common nonsurgical treatment option to alleviate pain caused by lumbar disc herniation, degenerative disc disease and lumbar spinal stenosis. The pain-killing effect of this injection is temporary and commonly used in combination with a rehabilitation program to provide additional relief. Types of epidural injections that we perform are:
- Epidural Blood Patch – injection of patient’s blood into the epidural space.
- Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injection – delivery of injectate to the epidural space by directing a needle between the laminae of two adjacent vertebrae.
- Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection – Injection of a steroid (synthetic cortisone) medication into the epidural space.
- Caudal Epidural Steroid Injection – Injection into the lowest portion of the epidural space.
First, the area that will be injected is sterilized. Next, the skin is numbed with an anesthetic that may cause a stinging or burning sensation. The needle will then be injected into the epidural space and a sensation of pressure may be felt. More anesthetic could be used if patient experiences pain. Once the medication is infused in the epidural space, the procedure is complete. The skin will be cleansed and a bandage will be applied that must stay on until the next morning. Finally, after your blood pressure is checked, the doctor will approve you for discharge.
After the Procedure
This injection typically takes two to three days to have an effect. The area where the injection was done may feel tender a couple of days after the procedure. Immediately after the procedure, you may not drive or apply heat to the area (hot shower, hot tub) for the remainder of the day.