What is an epidural steroid injection?
An epidural injection involves the placement of local anesthetic and a small amount of corticosteroid into the epidural space. The procedure may be performed in the cervical, thoracic, lumbar or caudal region of the spine. The epidural injection is performed in an effort to decrease the amount of pain a person is experiencing. The steroid is used to decrease the inflammation of the nerve roots. Epidural injections are often used in an effort to avoid surgery.
What should I expect?
The epidural injection is an outpatient procedure. You will receive a sedative through an IV for the procedure. You will probably not remember much about the procedure. During the procedure the nursing staff will monitor your blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and oxygen level. After the procedure you will be monitored for 30-45 minutes, and after you recover you will be discharged home with a family member or a friend.
How often can I receive an epidural steroid injection?
Many times epidural injections are performed in a series of two or three injections, two weeks apart. Most commonly a person will have no more than three injections within a six month time frame. The total number of injections an individual may undergo is based on the total amount of steroid injected.
Are epidural steroid injections safe?
Dr. Carrasco performs the procedure under fluoroscopic guidance which is a type of x-ray that will allow the doctor to confirm needle placement in the epidural space prior to the injection. After the procedure, you will be given a set of discharge instructions. You will be asked to call our office the next day to update our staff on your condition. The most common side effects are temporary fluid retention, increased appetite, and possible slight weight gain. Individuals with diabetes may note an increase in their blood sugar. We ask you to consult your primary care physician for help with the management of your blood sugar during this time.