Epidural Steroid Injection
is an epidural steroid injection?
An epidural steroid injection is a common procedure to treat
spinal nerve irritation that is caused by tissues next to the
nerve pressing against it. The beginning of the nerve (nerve
root) is most often irritated by an inflamed intervertebral
disc, or disc contents, directly touching the spinal nerve.
is an epidural steroid injection performed?
The epidural steroid injection procedure is quick and simple.
While it is common for people to be concerned prior to the procedure,
it is actually frequent to hear from patients afterwards: "Is
spinal cord rests in the spinal canal. The nerve roots branch
out from the spinal cord at each level of a spinal vertebra
(the bony building blocks of the spine). The cord is protected
by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which serves as a shock absorber
for the cord. The CSF is held in place by a membrane with several
layers, one of which is called the dura, from the Greek for
tough (think of "durable"). The Greek word "epi"
means "outside of." So, the epidural space is outside
of this tough membrane. During an epidural steroid injection,
a needle and syringe are used to enter the epidural space and
deposit small amounts of long-lasting steroids around the inflamed
spinal nerve. A fluoroscope (a viewing instrument using X-rays)
is used to visualize the local anatomy during the injection.
The epidural steroid injection specifically targets the inflamed
area and treats it with a maximal amount of steroids, thereby
minimizing exposure of the rest of the body to the steroids.
are epidural steroid injections used?
Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations
of radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted
away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. Irritation
of a spinal nerve in the low back (lumbar radiculopathy) causes
pain that goes down the leg. Epidural injections are also used
to treat nerve compression in the neck (cervical spine), referred
to as cervical radiculopathy.