An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is an injection used to treat neck and low back pain, sciatic pain, weakness, numbness or tingling caused by nerve compression in the spine. During the procedure, a corticosteroid mixture is injected directly into the spine. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatories that reduce the inflammation, pain, swelling and irritation that results when nerve roots become pinched and inflamed. ESIs are often used as part of the treatment plan for herniated discs, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and annular tears.
At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, we use ESIs to provide temporary pain relief and as a diagnostic tool to determine the source of your pain. Even short-term relief confirms that pain is coming from a nerve root. While the effects of the injection wear off over time, a temporary reduction in inflammation and pain gives you the chance to resume your normal activities, and it gives us time to create a comprehensive treatment plan that will provide long-lasting pain relief.
Treatment is performed in our clinic. Your physician will use an X-ray device called a fluoroscope to guide a needle down to the inflamed, irritated area that’s causing pain. The needle will be pushed into the epidural space — the fat-filled space between the vertebrae and the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord and nerves. Your physician will inject a soothing, anti-inflammatory mixture of steroids and anesthetic into the epidural space to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation. Once the injection is complete, the needle is removed and a small bandage is placed over the injection site.
ESI is a minimally invasive procedure that we perform in our office. You’ll be able to return home immediately afterward. Many patients feel pain relief within hours after the injection. While results vary from patient to patient, ESIs can provide relief anywhere from a few days to a few years.
We encourage you to learn more about minimally invasive surgery and the benefits here:
5 Advantages of Minimally Invasive Procedures
At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, we specialize in identifying, diagnosing and treating a wide range of acute and chronic back, spine and joint conditions. If you’re experiencing back or joint pain, weakness, or a loss of mobility, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation with our team. We provide compassionate and comprehensive care to help you find relief from pain and get back to doing the activities you love.