Similar to a Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection, a Caudal Epidural Steroid Injection is a procedure performed to relieve low back and radiating leg pain known as Lumbar Radiculopathy/Sciatica. Steroids, which are strong anti-inflammatories, are used to reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by spinal conditions such as Spinal Stenosis and Herniated/Bulging Discs. Caudal Epidural Steroid Injections are also useful in treating tailbone pain, known as Coccydynia.
During the procedure, the patient lies on their stomach with a pillow placed under the stomach for comfort. The physician uses a live X-Ray machine called a fluoroscope to locate the small opening at the base of the spine called the sacral hiatus. A small amount of local anesthetic is used to numb the skin to keep the patient comfortable throughout the procedure. With the guidance of the fluoroscope, the physician carefully guides the needle through the sacral hiatus and into the epidural space. A contrast dye is used to confirm the correct location of the needle, followed by a mix of steroid and anesthetic to bathe the painful nerve roots with soothing medication. The needle is removed, and a small band-aid is applied.
In some cases it may be necessary to repeat the procedure as many as three times to provide the full benefit of the medication, although many patients feel significant relief from only one or two injections.