Spinal Corticosteroid Injection
Spinal Corticosteroid Injection
(Spinal Steroid Injection; Epidural Steroid Injection)
Reasons for Procedure
- To diagnose whether a specific site in the spine is the cause of persistent pain or disability
- To reduce pain caused by swelling or inflammation around the spine
- Improve physical function for people with persistent low back pain and/or sciatica
- Ice and heat therapies
- Physical therapy
- Back exercises
- Changes to the physical set-up of the work environment
- Changes to physical activities, including work
- Spinal manipulation
- Allergic reaction to the medicine
- Nerve damage
- Current infection
- Certain pre-existing medical conditions
- Treatment with blood thinners or certain other medicines
- General ill health
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Perform a brief physical exam
- Order an X-ray —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body, especially bones
- Order an MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
- Order a CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the body
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
Description of the Procedure
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How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- You will spend time in a recovery area.
- A healthcare professional will monitor your recovery.
- Because you were sedated during the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home.
Potential temporary side effects include:
- Brief period of increased pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Facial flushing
- Lightheadedness from low blood pressure
- Rest on the day of the procedure.
- Apply ice packs for soreness at the injection site.
- Avoid baths, pools, and whirlpools for 24-48 hours.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the injection site
- Shortness of breath or chest pain
- Numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness, especially in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Changes in urine or bowel function
- Sudden increase in weight of more than five pounds
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.aaos.org/
American Association of Neurological Surgeons http://www.neurosurgerytoday.org/
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org/default.asp/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php/
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). AAOS clinical guideline on low back pain/sciatica (acute) (phases I and II). Available at: http://www.guidelines.gov/summary/summary.aspx?doc%5Fid=5369&nbr=003672&string=spinal+AND+fusion.
Jain KK. Neurologic complications of local anesthesia. In: Gilman S, ed. MedLink Neurology. San Diego, CA: MedLink Corporation; 2008.
Lumbar epidural steroid injections. Pain Clinic.org website. Available at: http://www.pain-clinic.org/lumbarepiduralsteroidinjections. Accessed July 21, 2009.
Manchikanti L, Staats PS, Singh V, et al. Evidence-based practice guidelines for interventional techniques in the management of chronic spinal pain. Pain Phys. 2003;6:3-81.
Ramachandran TS. Lumbar spinal stenosis and neurogenic claudications. In: Gilman S, ed. MedLink Neurology. San Diego, CA: MedLink Corporation; 2008.
Spinal injections. North American Spine Society website. Available at: http://www.spine.org/articles/injections.cfm .
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD
- Review Date: 12/2011 -
- Update Date: 12/30/2011 -