What is an Epidural?
Your healthcare provider has requested that you undergo an epidural steroid injection. Your symptoms or findings indicate that there is an area of your spine that is contributing to your discomfort. Based on the findings of the ordering physician, it has been determined that you may benefit from a steroid injection.
How Should I Prepare?
You may be directed not to eat or drink anything for six hours prior to your procedure. You may take your medications as directed. Speak to your doctor if you need to adjust your insulin dosing. Prior to your procedure, you should make sure all medications and allergies are updated. If you are on a blood thinner you may be requested to stop that medication for a period of time. You will want to arrange a ride home with a responsible party afterwards should you require sedation.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure will be performed by an interventional radiologist, who is a physician with specific training in image-guided procedures. Intravenous medications may be given to make you more comfortable and relaxed. This is called conscious sedation.
You will be asked to like on your stomach on an x-ray table. The skin will be cleaned with a sterilizing solution and numbing medicine is injected into the skin. An x-ray camera is used to guide proper placement of a thin needle into the targeted area. A steroid medication and other numbing agents will then be injected into the area around nerves which are thought to be causing your pain. The needle is then removed and a sterile bandage is applied.
What Should I Expect After the Procedure?
Following the procedure, you will be monitored for a period of time for any complications. You may be asked to limit your activities for a few hours after the procedure. As the steroid takes effect over the next day or two you should begin to feel some relief.