Does your pain persist despite taking over-the-counter medication and physical therapy? An epidural steroid injection may be able to provide the pain relief you have been searching for! But you may be wondering: “What are epidural injections?”
Our board-certified spine specialists at OrthoNeuro are experts in epidural steroid injections and have helped thousands return to an active and healthy lifestyle following this procedure. We can help you as well. Schedule an appointment at one of our locations throughout Greater Columbus today!
What Is an Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)?
An ESI is a minimally invasive needle-based procedure used to treat spine pain related to spinal stenosis, nerve compression, and/or nerve inflammation. The epidural needle is inserted into the epidural space around your spinal cord.
This technique of combining corticosteroids and anesthetic medications can reduce the localized pain in your back or neck (along your spinal cord) and alleviate any discomfort radiating into your extremities that comes from inflamed spinal nerves.
This procedure is very common and helps millions of people in America manage their pain.
Types of ESIs?
There are four types of ESIs. They are based on the specific section of your spine in which your provider administers the medication and are as follows:
- Cervical (neck) ESI: Your specialist may recommend this procedure if you have pain in your neck that radiates down your arms from a bone spur, herniated disc, or stenosis.
- Thoracic (upper and middle back) ESI: Your specialist may recommend this procedure if you have pain from a thoracic disk herniation or thoracic spinal stenosis.
- Lumbar (low back) ESI: Your specialist may recommend lumbar epidural steroid injections if you have lower back and leg pain from a lumbar herniated disc, lumbar spinal stenosis, or lumbar degenerative disc disease. When your spinal nerve roots become inflamed, a lumbar epidural steroid injection procedure can reduce pain.
- Caudal (lowest portion of the spine) ESI: Recommended for particular cases after lumbar spine surgical intervention where it may be unsafe or technically impossible to enter with a needle in lumbar space for continued low back and lower extremity pain.
Would I Make a Good Candidate?
You may make a good candidate if you have pain in your neck, arm, low back, or leg.
An ESI injection may be beneficial specifically if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
You may not make a good candidate for an ESI if you:
Have an infection
Have bleeding problems
Think you may be pregnant (Fluoroscopy X-rays may be harmful to your baby)
How Are Epidural Steroid Injections Performed at OrthoNeuro?
At OrthoNeuro, epidural steroid injections are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that you can go home the same day as your procedure. These injection treatments take only minutes.
We also use real-time X-ray (fluoroscopy) to ensure precise epidural needle placement and the medication to ensure the correct spinal nerve is treated. To ensure your comfort, a mild sedative and local anesthetic will be administered by your OrthoNeuro expert prior to the injection. General anesthesia is not necessary, meaning you will not be put to sleep.
You will experience little to no discomfort during or after your procedure. Your results may last for several months, and repeat injections may be performed as needed to maintain results.
Risks of ESIs
ESIs are generally safe. Although rare, there are risks of potential side effects and complications that can arise. These include:
- Having low blood pressure
- Severe headache
- An adverse reaction to the medications
- Nerve damage
- Temporary incontinence
- Permanent neurologic deficit
- Permanent paralysis
Most healthcare specialists limit having an epidural injection to 4 times max per year.
Benefits of Epidural Corticosteroid Injections
There are several benefits that result from having epidural corticosteroid injections, including:
- Temporary or long-term pain relief
- Improved quality of life and ability to carry out daily activities
- Possibly providing diagnostic information about where your pain is originating from
- Possibly reducing the need for more invasive procedures
Schedule an appointment at OrthoNeuro today with a board-certified spine specialist at one of our many convenient locations throughout Columbus, OH. We will evaluate your specific circumstances and goals to see if epidural injections would be the right treatment to relieve your chronic pain.
Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Spine Surgeon Today!
If you have been considering an epidural steroid injection, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Spine Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you.
Medically reviewed by
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion
Minimally Invasive Laminectomy
Spine Care Specialists
If you live with chronic back or neck pain, contact OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, for state-of-the-art diagnosis and personalized spine care treatment plans to heal your spine, relieve your pain, and help you get back to your regular activities.
“My experience is always very pleasant from the time I enter the door until I leave, they make me feel comfortable and welcomed.“