Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural Steroid Injection of Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Spine
Epidural steroid injections contain corticosteroids, which mimic the effects of the hormones cortisone and hydrocortisone. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation around the irritated nerves. This can help relieve pain, though often only temporarily. An image-guided epidural steroid injection can be highly effective because it delivers the medication directly into the epidural space in the spine that contains the inflamed nerves and is mainly filled with fat.
The radiologist directs the needle accurately with the use of X-ray fluoroscopy. An epidural steroid injection usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes. The patient lies flat on an x-ray table on their stomach. Prior to the epidural injection, the skin is numbed with a local anesthetic. Patients are usually asked to rest on the day of the epidural steroid injection; normal activities may typically be resumed the following day.
Epidural steroid injections are usually limited to just a few a year because there’s a chance these drugs might weaken your spinal bones and nearby muscles. Steroid injections also suppress the body’s natural hormone balance and can lead to adrenal insufficiency, a serious medical condition. Delaying repeat injections allows your body to return to its normal balance. The risk of these side effects may increase with the number of steroid injections you receive and the dose given in each injection.
It’s important to carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of long-term epidural steroid injections. If you’re in pain between epidural steroid injections, you might ask your doctor about other treatment options for back pain.
InHealth Imaging offers epidural steroid injections at our main campus in Poulsbo. Because we are able to offer these procedures at our facility, the patient realizes considerable cost savings compared to having the procedure done in a hospital or outpatient surgical center. There is only one fee and no separate consultation, facility or anesthesia charge.