Before the procedure, your doctor will likely order imaging tests such as an MRI or CT to diagnose the precise area where nerves are being squeezed. During the procedure, the physician may utilize a fluoroscope for real-time X-ray imaging. While the patient lies face-down on the table, the doctor administers a local anesthetic to numb the skin before the injection. The doctor then uses the fluoroscope to guide the insertion of a hollow needle into the epidural space. Doing this ensures that the steroidal medication reaches the inflamed nerve.
This injection is administered to alleviate pain in the lower back and legs due to swelling caused by spinal conditions. To prepare for the procedure, the patient will lay face down with a pillow under the stomach to allow better access to the epidural space in the spine. Skin and tissue around the lumbar vertebra bone is anesthetized using a local anesthetic and a fluoroscope is used to insert a needle between vertebra in the epidural space. When the location of the needle tip is confirmed and a mix of steroids and anesthetics are injected to soothe the enflamed nerve. After the procedure many patients will feel a significant amount of pain relief, however some patients may need to repeat the injection to feel the medication’s full benefits.
Corticosteroid side effects may cause weight gain, water retention, flushing (hot flashes), mood swings or insomnia, and elevated blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Any numbness or mild muscle weakness usually resolves within 8 hours in the affected arm or leg (similar to the facial numbness experienced after dental work). Patients who are being treated for chronic conditions (., heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis) or those who cannot temporarily discontinue anti-clotting medications should consult their personal physician for a risk assessment.