What are Epidural Steroid Injections?

Epidural steroid injections involve the administration of corticosteroid medication directly into the epidural space, which surrounds the nerves and spinal cord. This space is often the site where disc tissue can herniate, causing pressure and inflammation around the spinal nerves. By targeting this area, the injections help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation associated with nerve compression.

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Conditions Treated

Epidural steroid injections are primarily used to manage back pain resulting from conditions such as herniated discs, lumbar or cervical radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, and sciatica. These potent anti-inflammatory medications, when injected into the epidural space, significantly diminish inflammation around the irritated nerve, providing relief from pain and discomfort. Commonly treated conditions include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Lumbar or cervical radiculopathy
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Facet/synovial cysts

How Do Epidural Steroid Injections Work?

Epidural steroid injections deliver a strong anti-inflammatory agent directly to the site of nerve impingement in the spine. The medications used in these injections can include steroids, local anesthetics, and saline, tailored to the individual’s needs. These injections are typically performed under fluoroscopic or X-ray guidance to ensure accurate and safe placement of the medication, although CT or ultrasound guidance may be used in certain cases.

Cervical and Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural steroid injections can also be administered in the cervical (neck) and thoracic (upper back and chest) regions of the spine. These injections are used to treat conditions like herniated discs, radiculopathy, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis in these areas. In the cervical region, pain and neuropathies may radiate to the arm and hand, while in the thoracic region, pain can extend to the ribs or flank. The injections may be delivered using interlaminar or transforaminal techniques, depending on the specific clinical situation.
For more information on epidural steroid injections or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (830) 272-7746.