A Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection is a common 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.
During the procedure, the patient lies on their stomach with a pillow placed under the stomach for comfort and to flex the back. The physician uses a live X-Ray machine called a fluoroscope to locate the appropriate levels of the low to be injected. 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 to the epidural space near the affected nerve root. 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 root 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.