The goal of an Epidural Injection is to relieve symptoms of pain, numbness and tingling through injecting a corticosteroid into the epidural space. The epidural space is the area between the protective membrane (dura mater) covering the spinal cord and the bony casing of the spinal canal. After the medication is injected, it flows and coats the spinal nerves.
Spinal nerves can become inflamed due to irritation from a damaged or herniated disc or from contact with a bone spur. Pain and other symptoms such as burning, numbness or tingling may be experienced in different areas of the body. The delivery of steroids directly to the area near the irritated nerve decreases the inflammation that may be causing the symptoms.
Nerve Pain can be due to inflammation secondary to disc bulging or herniation, disc tears, which can release nerve irritating enzymes as well as disc degeneration and bone spurs, which can result in spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) or neuroforaminal stenosis (narrowing of the opening around the nerve root), and Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of the Spinal Canal)
The benefits of Epidural Steroid Injections are due to the direct injection of medicine into the Epidural Space reducing the inflammation of the nerves, nerve roots, or nerve coverings, which are the source of pain. It also provides a temporary relief of pain and inflammation so the body can begin its natural healing process.
The skin area is cleaned and sterilized. A local anesthetic is injected and given time to numb the skin and spine muscles. A fluoroscope which is a type of video x-ray is positioned over the patient. The physician uses fluoroscopy as he places a needle of their choice into the neck or back; first injecting a small amount of contrast (dye) to confirm that the needle is in the right place. Next, an anesthetic and corticosteroid combination is injected into the epidural space. A corticosteroid is a powerful, slow-releasing, anti-inflammatory medication. The epidural space is the area between the protective membrane (dura mater) covering the spinal cord and the bony casing of the spinal canal. After the medication is injected, it flows and coats the spinal nerves.