This procedure can be performed to treat pain from disc herniation, pinched nerve, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, post-herpetic neuralgia, post-laminectomy syndrome and vertebral compression fractures.
The doctor will ask you to lie on your stomach. The injection area will be cleaned and sterilized. Then, your doctor will inject a local anesthetic to numb the skin and to ease painful feelings during the procedure. After that, a needle will be guided into the targeted epidural space with x-ray guidance. In addition, contrast substance will be injected to confirm the proper spread of medications into your epidural space. Then your doctor will inject steroids into the epidural space through the needle. Steroids (cortisone) have a potent anti-inflammatory effect which can provide substantial reduction of nerve pain.
Like all invasive procedures, epidural steroid injections have potential risks of complications. They include:
Infection: This is a rare complication, happening in only about one percent of patients.
Dural puncture: You may have a spinal headache that will go away within a few days.
Bleeding: This rare incidence happens sometimes in patients who have bleeding disorders.
Nerve damage: Nerve damage or bleeding may happen where the needle was injected, however, it is an extremely rare complication.
You may have some side effects from the procedure including anxiety, facial flushing, headaches, pain in the area, sleeplessness, fever, stomach ulcers, cataracts, increased blood sugar and lowered immunity.