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A 25-year-old female asked:

How much does the steroid spread in an epidural steroid injection?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
Just like milk : Coating a glass or a spill spreading on a table but motion and gravity also play a role. There is a potential space or epidural space where this injection is delivered, this can spread locally once in place through the pressure of the injection as well as by gravity effect and motion of the tissues.
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Not far: Typically, if a patient is positioned correctly, there is spread only over a few vertebral levels as this is typically a precise localized injection.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management 17 years experience
Hard to say: Depends on the type of epidural injection done (caudal, inter laminar vs transforaminal approaches), also on how much volume is being injected as well. As a rule of thumb most injections stay at the level injected, if using more volume you can get spread 1-2 levels above & below the level injected.

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CA
A 53-year-old member asked:

How much steroid is used in an epidural steroid injection?

4 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery 40 years experience
Depends: An exact answer is not possible. There are many types of steroids, and the dosage will vary depending on the exact type of injection (there are different approaches to the nerves and the sac containing them). The part of the spine treated influences the choice of drug and amount too.
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 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 Mar 4, 2020
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