Epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a non-surgical procedure in which anti-inflammatory medicines (steroid) and numbing medicine (anesthetic) is injected into the epidural space which surrounds the spinal cord and inflamed nerve roots. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medicines that reduce swelling and inflammation while local anesthetic provides instant pain relief.
Conditions Treated with Steroid Injection
Why It Is Performed
Common Conditions Treated With Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) Include:
- Arm pain
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Herniated Discs
- Leg Pain
- Lower Back pain
- Neck Pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Upper Back Pain
Types of Epidural Steroid Injections:
Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection: Widely used for treating neck, upper back, shoulder and arm pain.
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection: Treatment for lower back and leg pain.
Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection: Treatment for lower back and leg pain.
Sacroilliac Joint Steroid Injection: Treatment for lower back and buttock pain.
What to Expect Before the Epidural Steroid Injection
Once you have decided to have the injection, the following events take place:
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight before your injection.
- You can take your regular heart and blood pressure medications on the morning of the injection with a sip of water. Check with your doctor regarding taking diabetes medications prior to the injection.
- Discontinue taking anti-inflammatories three days before the steroid injection.
- Discontinue taking aspirin products and other blood thinners seven days before the steroid injection.
- If on blood thinners, call the physician who prescribed the medication to get approval to stop taking them before the steroid injection.
What to Expect During the Epidural Steroid Injection
- The patient lies flat on his/her abdomen on an X-ray table.
- The skin is numbed with lidocaine.
- Using fluoroscopy (live X-ray) for guidance, the physician directs a needle toward the epidural space. Fluoroscopy is considered important so that the physician can more easily determine if the needle is in the right place.
- The steroid solution is injected (you may feel heaviness and/or numbness in your legs caused by the anesthetic). This generally lasts only a few hours.
- An epidural steroid injection usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
What to Expect After the Epidural Steroid Injection
- Following the steroid injection, the patient is usually monitored 15 to 20 minutes before being discharged to go home.
- It is important that the patient have someone drive him/her home after the steroid injection.
- Patients are usually asked to rest on the day of the injection.
- Normal activities (those that were done the week prior to the injection), including work, may typically be resumed the following day. Please note that your back may be sore for 24 to 48 hours.
There is no definitive research to dictate how often a patient should have epidural steroid injections. In general, it is considered reasonable to perform up to three epidural steroid injections per year, but no more than four during this period. The decision to do a series of injections is usually based on the patient’s response to the first injection.
Downtown Pain Physicians
Patients visit this practice from all over NYC due to their unique approach and extensive medical offerings. This includes Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn & Bronx. The medical practice is in the Downtown & Lower Manhattan area near the Lower East Side, Tribeca, Financial District, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, Soho, Chelsea, East Village, Murray Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and the local zip codes of course (10038, 10007, 10022, 10005, 10006, 10280, 10004, 11201, 11251 11217, 11211, 11231 & 10013).
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The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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