An epidural injection is a steroid injection delivered via needle directly into the epidural space of the spine. This a non-surgical solution to reduce swelling in the spinal area. The injection may be a mixture of steroids and/or lidocaine to assist with inflammatory pain, and may contain a saline solution to flush inflammatory proteins out of the affected area.
Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injections relieve upper back pain.
During the Procedure
Before the injection is administered, the skin is numbed with a local anesthetic, usually Lidocaine. The patient is then injected with a contrast material in the location where the steroid is to be administered. Using fluoroscopy, the doctor can then see the contrast and guide a needle toward the epidural space. When needed, sedation may be offered for patient comfort.
Who needs this procedure?
Patients with symptoms of sciatica, nerve root compression, herniated disks, and spinal inflammation are candidates for epidural injections.
How long does it take?
The process usually takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.
After the Procedure
Physicians may wish to monitor their patient for 20-60 minutes before being discharged to go home. Patients are usually asked to rest on the day of the injection. The patient may resume normal activity the following day.
Epidural injections can relieve symptoms of herniated disks. They can treat symptoms that may otherwise require invasive surgery to relieve.