Epidural injections are commonly used to alleviate joint pain, knee pain, back pain and neck pain caused by pinched or inflamed nerves. The injection of medication into the surrounding area helps to decrease pain and swelling of the inflamed nerve. Although rare, risks of epidural steroid injection procedure may include infection, allergic reaction to the medication, spinal headache, nerve damage, and prolonged increase in pain and paralysis.
Types of Epidural Injections:
Thoracic epidural steroid injection
Epidural Injections Procedures:
The goal of the injections is to help alleviate pain and many times the numbness that frequently accompanies leg and arm pain. The procedure is performed at the base of the spine just above the tailbone or coccyx. A small needle is inserted at this location and advanced to the epidural space. An x-ray (fluoroscopy) machine is used so that we can be sure of where the needles are placed. Once the epidural space is identified, we inject a long-acting steroid and, in some cases, a local anesthetic agent to bathe the structures that are inflamed (disc and nerve roots) which should help to decrease your pain. Sometimes we feed a small plastic catheter into the epidural space to allow us to inject near the nerves in the lower lumbar spine to decrease inflammation at that level. By itself, an epidural injection may be sufficient to provide relief but may also be used in conjunction with a comprehensive rehabilitation program for longer term benefit.