What is an epidural steroid injection?
An epidural steroid injection is used to treat pain arising from irritation of spinal nerves. Steroid medications, designed to reduce inflammation, are injected into the epidural space. The epidural space is a space in the spine superficial to the spinal cord where spinal nerves travel.
Are there safety concerns?
In 2012 there was outbreak of meningitis caused by contaminated steroids. All cases were noted to be from a contaminated steroid called methylprednisolone and were traced to a single manufacturer. The Minimally Invasive Spine Institute does not use that medication in its procedures or other medications from that facility where contaminants were found.
How is an epidural steroid injection performed?
The physician places a small needle through the skin and through a natural opening the bones of the spine. The needle then is directed into the epidural space where spinal nerves travel. The injection includes a mixture of medications that reduce inflammation and medications that reduce pain. Epidural injections can be performed in the neck, upper back or low back. They can be placed in the middle of the spine, between the back of the vertebrae. This is an interlaminar injection. Epidural injections can also be performed at the exit point where the nerves leave the spine, the foramina. This is a foraminal injection.
How long will the procedure take?
What is the recovery like?
You can generally return to their normal activities by the next day. You can shower the same day as the procedure.