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Epidural injections are frequently utilized to mitigate joint pain, knee discomfort, back pain, and neck pain stemming from inflamed or compressed nerves. The procedure involves injecting medication around the affected area to reduce inflammation and pain associated with the distressed nerve. Although uncommon, potential risks of the epidural steroid injection procedure can include infection, an allergic reaction to the medication, spinal headache, nerve damage, extended periods of increased pain, and even paralysis.
Pre-injection Guidelines for Different Types of Epidural Injections:
- Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injection
- Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
- Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection
Procedure for Epidural Injections: The primary objective of these injections is to alleviate the pain and often the accompanying numbness experienced in the legs and arms. The procedure is carried out at the spine’s base, just above the tailbone, or coccyx. A small needle is introduced at this point and advanced towards the epidural space. An X-ray machine, known as a fluoroscope, is used to ensure precise placement of the needles. Once the epidural space is located, a long-lasting steroid is injected, and in some instances, a local anesthetic agent is also used to soothe the inflamed structures (disc and nerve roots), aiming to reduce your discomfort. Sometimes, a thin plastic catheter is threaded into the epidural space to facilitate injection near the nerves in the lower lumbar spine, aiming to lessen inflammation at that level. While an epidural injection alone may provide relief, it can also be incorporated as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program for extended benefits.