Epidural steroid injection can temporarily relieve chronic pain in the neck, arms, back, and legs. Epidural steroid injection may help in cases of chronic pain caused by sciatica, spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, or the degeneration or herniation of a disc.
What does it involve?
Epidural steroid injection is an outpatient procedure.
The epidural space is the area between the spinal cord and the dura, a tough covering that protects the cord. In an office or clinic setting, the doctor injects a combination of a long-lasting corticosteroid such as triamcinolone or betamethasone and a local anesthetic into this space.
After epidural steroid injection, you can begin a program of physical therapy to promote long-term pain relief.
You can leave the office after receiving the epidural steroid injection. You should rest that day, and you can resume normal activity the following day.
Epidural steroid injection may provide pain relief for days or years.
An epidural steroid injection may not be successful at reducing pain.
You may need to receive a second epidural steroid injection to experience benefits.
Risks associated with epidural steroid injection include headaches, bleeding, and rarely, allergic reactions, infections, or paralysis. Corticosteroids can cause side effects including weight gain, mood changes, hot flashes, insomnia, swelling, and raised blood sugar.