Epidural steroid (corticosteroid) injections place medication directly around a pinched nerve where it exits the spine within the epidural space. The epidural space is between the bones and discs of the spine and the nerves and spinal cord. This is the space into which disc tissue can herniate and cause pressure and inflammation around spinal nerves.
When other non-surgical treatments fail to be effective, epidural steroid injections may benefit patients whose kind of lasting pain might otherwise require surgery.
Epidural steroid injections can help resolve pain permanently in patients with a new disc herniation who respond favorably. For patients with chronic pain or recurrent disc herniations, the desired duration of effect is three to six months or more.
Epidural steroid injections are commonly used to treat back pain caused by several common conditions, including:
- lumbar disc herniation
- degenerative disc disease
- lumbar radiculopathy
- lumbar spinal stenosis
- postherpetic neuralgia
- facet/synovial cysts
Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory medications. When placed into the epidural space, they can significantly reduce inflammation around an irritated nerve that is causing back and leg pain and discomfort.
A Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection is an injection of a small dose of anti-inflammatory medication into the lower back to relieve pain in your legs or lower back.
A Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection is an injection of a small dose of anti-inflammatory medication into the cervical spine to relieve neck and arm pain.
Epidural steroid injections are performed on an outpatient basis using fluoroscopic guidance.