This procedure is the placement of an anesthetic and anti-inflammatory (steroid) solution in the epidural space where the disc and nerves are located. The purpose of this injection is to decrease inflammation and irritation around the disc and nerve roots before they exit the spine, thereby reducing your pain. The procedure may be repeated periodically, if necessary, and is an important part of treating conditions such as herniated discs, sciatic pain, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. It can be performed in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar regions.
All procedures are done under fluoroscopic guidance (X-ray-guided) to ensure proper placement of the medication and may be performed in an ambulatory surgical center, fluoroscopy suite or hospital setting. Epidural injections may not change the underlying cause, but it can break the cycle of pain and allow other treatments to be effective. The steroids usually take one to three days to take effect. You may not feel the full benefit from this procedure for about a week.