6 doctors weighed in:

What are the common risks of epidural steroid injections?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Like Any Other Inj

The worse part of an epidural injection is typically the local anesthetic administered to numb the skin.
After that the needle typically feels like pressure. However as the needle enters the spinal canal or around the nerve root there can be some pain that is transient. Complications can be bleeding, infection, nerve damage and paralysis, but these are extremely rare.

In brief: Like Any Other Inj

The worse part of an epidural injection is typically the local anesthetic administered to numb the skin.
After that the needle typically feels like pressure. However as the needle enters the spinal canal or around the nerve root there can be some pain that is transient. Complications can be bleeding, infection, nerve damage and paralysis, but these are extremely rare.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Dr. Qamar Khan
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Dr. Muhammad Itani
Anesthesiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Epidural complicatio

The general risks of epidural injections (steroids or other wise) are: infection (meningitis, epidural abscess), bleeding, back pain localized to injection site (may last up to 3 weeks), nerve injury and accidental dural puncture causing headaches.

In brief: Epidural complicatio

The general risks of epidural injections (steroids or other wise) are: infection (meningitis, epidural abscess), bleeding, back pain localized to injection site (may last up to 3 weeks), nerve injury and accidental dural puncture causing headaches.
Dr. Muhammad Itani
Dr. Muhammad Itani
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Dr. David Rosenfeld
Pain Management

In brief: Minimal

Localized increase in pain.
Non-positional headaches resolving within 24 hours. Facial flushing. Anxiety. Sleeplessness. Fever the night of injection. High blood sugar. A transient decrease in immunity because of the suppressive effect of the steroid.

In brief: Minimal

Localized increase in pain.
Non-positional headaches resolving within 24 hours. Facial flushing. Anxiety. Sleeplessness. Fever the night of injection. High blood sugar. A transient decrease in immunity because of the suppressive effect of the steroid.
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Dr. David Rosenfeld
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Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine

In brief: Rare

In the hands of someone experienced epidural injections are very safe.
They are done often under light sedation and utilize x-ray for proper placement. Most common risks are dural puncture leading to a leak of cerebrospinal fluid. This can lead to headaches. Once recognized there are ways to treat this. Other risks are injection site pain, infection and bleeding.

In brief: Rare

In the hands of someone experienced epidural injections are very safe.
They are done often under light sedation and utilize x-ray for proper placement. Most common risks are dural puncture leading to a leak of cerebrospinal fluid. This can lead to headaches. Once recognized there are ways to treat this. Other risks are injection site pain, infection and bleeding.
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Dr. Greg Khounganian
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