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A 39-year-old member asked:

How is an epidural steroid injection typically performed?

5 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jonathan Hyde
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 29 years experience
Carefully: There are different ways to perform an epidural injection. The most common way is with a loss of resistance technique, in which an epidural needle is slowly forwarded into the epidural space while a column of air is gently pushed via syringe. Once the air passes freely, the epidural space is felt to be verified. Fluoroscope imaging can be used for full verification.
Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology 39 years experience
It varies!: An epidural injection may be performed anywhere along the full length of the spine. It will usually be placed near the source of the pain or numbness: in the upper spine for neck pain, or the lower spine for back pain. In a pain clinic, sedation will sometimes be given to help with any discomfort. X-ray may be used for very precise positioning of the needle.
Dr. Richard Rosenthal
Pain Management 36 years experience
See below: The patient is positioned on a procedure table with a machine called a c-arm over them. Then the doctor uses fluoroscopic imaging to guide a needle to a specific target within the spine. Once the target is acquired, contrast dye is used to confirm correct needle placement, then local anesthetic and steroid are deposited on the inflamed nerve.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management 17 years experience
Under Xray Guidance: Most trained physicians perform these under Flouroscopic X-ray equipment to guide them correctly and safely to the epidural space. The older technique is still used without x-ray guidance only for those patients having a baby, getting a surgery or needing a catheter placement for infusion of anesthetic in the hospital. This older technique is not recommended for a steroid based injection.
Dr. William Jenkins
Specializes in Anesthesiology
You might: be sedated, but your back will be cleansed and a sterile drape with a hole placed. Local anesthetic will be injected with a fine needle before the larger epidural needle is inserted. The epidural needle is inserted until the tip is in the epidural space. Then the steroid is injected possibly with small amount of local anesthetic. Then you go home and wait for results.

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Similar questions

A 44-year-old member asked:

What are some benefits of an epidural steroid injection?

5 doctor answers19 doctors weighed in
Dr. Karen Sibert
Anesthesiology 39 years experience
Improvement: Epidural steroids are typically used to treat pain in the neck or back. The reason behind the treatment is to help reduce inflammation or swelling that is contributing to the symptoms of pain or numbness. Although not everyone feels better after an epidural steroid injection, many patients experience significant lessening of their pain. The injection may need to be repeated more than once.
A 42-year-old member asked:

How dangerous is an epidural steroid injection?

6 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Newton
Pain Management 19 years experience
Very safe: In the right hands by a well qualified pain management physician these injections have a very low complication rate. There is always a risk. If done without sedation, under fluoroscopic guidance and with the appropriate steroids the risks are very low.
A 44-year-old member asked:

What is an epidural steroid injection like?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
Anesthesiology 39 years experience
Not bad: If you can relax and allow the person doing the procedure walk you through what he/she is doing, then it will be over before you know it. Local anesthetic is injected into the skin with a small needle and then another needle is placed into the epidural space so that anti-inflammatory drug (steroid) is placed near the site causing the nerve root irritation.
A 34-year-old member asked:

Who should get an epidural steroid injection?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Guyer
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 46 years experience
Primary for leg pain: They are used primary used when there is a pinched nerve in the back that is causing leg pain, ie sciatica.
A 39-year-old member asked:

What are epidural steroid injection complications?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Benglis
Neurosurgery 17 years experience
Epidural steroid : Infection, nerve injury, scar formation, failure to work, CSF leak etc etc, all of these are low however. I send my patients to guys and gals i trust, but just like any intervention, even in the best hands things can happen.

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Last updated Jun 24, 2014
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