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Epidural Steroid Injection

Benefits of the Procedure

Epidural steroid injection helps reduce the inflammation of nerves, minimizing neck, shoulder, arm and back pain. It is temporary form of relief that allows the body to begin to heal itself. You may experience significant pain relief after just one steroid injection.

How does it work?

The procedure is performed to treat chronic lower back and leg pain. Using image-guidance from either fluoroscopy (low-dose, real-time X-ray) or CT scans, your physician will place a needle into the affected area of your spine and inject steroid medication to help reduce swelling and alleviate pain.

What to Expect Before and During the Procedure

  • Upon arrival, a technologist or nurse will greet you, and bring you to the exam room.
  • The physician will explain the procedure.
  • The patient will be placed in a prone position, and the fluoroscopy unit will come in from the patient's side.
  • The targeted procedural area will be thoroughly cleaned with an antiseptic solution and covered with a surgical drape.
  • Local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area.
  • To administer the medication, a spinal needle will be guided to the epidural space at the affected area.
  • Iodinated contrast will be administered to validate accurate placement of the needle.
  • The steroid medication is then injected.

Discharge

  • You are advised not to drive immediately after the procedure.
  • The medical personnel will explain the type of procedure performed and potential symptoms for the next few days such as soreness at the puncture site and return of baseline pain.
  • You will be given discharge instructions that may answer additional questions and provide a telephone number should concerns arise after you get home.

Potential Complications

  • Slight risk of infection or bleeding
  • Temporary increase in pain
  • Steroid side effects such as flushing, insomnia, or elevated blood pressure
  • Rarely, this procedure can result in a severe headache that may require an additional visit
  • Allergic reactions are rare

You will have the opportunity to discuss the risks and benefits with the physician prior to the procedure.

Information provided by Jefferson Radiology

Appointments

Call Griffin Hospital Central Scheduling at (203) 732-7101.

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