Cervical and Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections

An epidural steroid injection brings numbing anesthetics and steroids in the epidural space surrounding the spinal nerve roots. Epidural steroid injection is useful for reducing the pain and inflammation resulting from irritated spinal nerves that have become the source of the pain.  The dislocation of the disc (herniated disc) or a bone spur are usually the causes of irritated spinal nerves.

An epidural steroid injection works by delivering steroids to the painful area to decrease the inflammation and pain. It is possible that the flushing effect of injecting the steroid causes the inflammatory agents to flush or move out form the nerves. Removal of inflammatory agents also helps in quick healing, relieving from pain, and irritation. The doctors give epidural injections in the epidural space of either cervical nerves or lumbar.

When Do You Need an Epidural Injection

You will need a cervical epidural injection if you have either of these: Cervical Disc Herniation, Cervical Radiculopathy or Cervical Spondylosis. You are most likely going to get a lumbar epidural injection if you have lower back pain, leg pain or sciatica.

What Happens After an Epidural Steroid Injection

The procedure for an epidural injection is the same for the cervical and lumbar. Only the administration of the epidural varies.  Following are the steps for the procedure:

  • The surgeon will start an IV so they can give you medication if you need it for relaxation.
  • You will lie on your back on an X-ray table. They will clean your skin with an antiseptic.
  • The injection site will receive a numbing chemical to avoid the pain.
  • Fluoroscopy ensures the accuracy of insertion, movement, and placement of the needle.
  • FDA approved contrast dye helping in identifying that the medicine has spread through the epidural space and reached the target nerve.
  • The surgeon will then insert the needle carefully in the epidural space.
  • The procedure takes around 30 -45 minutes. Next, there will be a recovery time of 45 minutes at the clinic. You should not drive right after you have had an epidural injection.

What Happens After an Epidural Steroid Injection

After the epidural injection, you may experience some numbness in your arms or legs. It is the result of the anesthetics. You are more likely to feel partial numbness that wears off in a few hours after the surgery.

When the effect of steroid wears of you will feel pain. The pain may last for several days. Improvement in pain would occur within ten days. Keep a record of all the pain and relief you experience. Show the record to your surgeon when they call you for a follow-up. Your surgeon would then suggest tests or further treatment accordingly if they need to.

You can go back to your normal routine after 24 hours. But it is better to take rest the following day. Do not lift heavy objects or bend as this would cause pressure on your spine and may increase the pain. You can do light exercises and gradually increase them over one or two weeks.

Do You Need Epidural Steroid Injections?

Just because you are getting old does not mean you have to bear with the pain. Contact us at 646-862-5555 to book a consultation. Spine City New York treats each patient differently according to their medical history and present conditions. We will guide you better as to whether you need epidural injections or other pain-relieving procedures.

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