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What is an Epidural Steroid Injection?

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

An epidural steroid injection is an injection where a steroid, a strong anti-inflammatory, is placed into a space in the spinal canal outside of the sac that contains spinal cord and associated structures. The purpose of this post is to give you, my readers, an idea about what this common procedure entails and what to expect when you get this procedure done at Specialty Pain Care. (You can take a virtual tour of the facility.)

This procedure can be used for different conditions in the neck, middle of the back and low back. It works best for radiculopathy, where there is injury to the nerve root where it leaves the spinal cord. When a nerve becomes damaged, it can get swollen and inflamed. The idea behind the procedure is to place a potent anti-inflammatory around the nerve, that is damaged, to decrease the swelling and inflammation and improve your pain.

During an epidural steroid injection, expect to be at the office up to an hour. We will check you in at the front desk. Instead of going into an examination room, you will be taken to our procedure preparation area and placed in a lounge chair or gurney. One of our medical staff will review your pre-procedure questionnaire, especially noting if you are on any blood thinners or anti-inflammatories and any recent infections. If you are female of child-bearing age, we will perform a urine pregnancy test. I will review the benefits and risks to the procedure and have you sign a procedure consent form.

After that, we will take you to the procedure room and place you face down on our procedure table with our fluoroscopy unit (live x-ray machine). We do a safety check and give you an opportunity to ask any last-minute questions. The procedure typically takes no longer than 15 minutes but it can depend on your anatomy. Afterwards, we will take you back to the procedure preparation area and watch you until you are ready to go home.

Request an appointment on my contact page and see if an epidural steroid injection is right for you.


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