What is an epidural injection?
Epidural injections (spinal procedures, steroid injections) are performed to confirm a diagnosis or/and reduce pain and inflammation. During the procedure a physician uses x-ray/fluoroscopy and contrast solution to ensure a correct needle tip placement. Intravenous sedation could be used for patient relaxation.
What is the goal of steroid injection?
Injection consists of steroid-anesthetic mixture. Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medication. If your pain is caused by inflammation, steroids will help to reduce the pain.
Is it painful?
It can be painful, but only for short period of time. Local anesthetic and intravenous sedation could be used to reduce pain and relax the patient. It is very important for patient to be awake throughout the procedure to inform the physician about the sensations and feelings. Most patients can describe the injection as common injection.
How long does the injection take?
Most procedures need from 5 to 10 minutes. Some of them take up to half an hour. Preparation and recovery time requires totally of 2 to 3 hours of your time.
Can I return to work after pain management procedure?
It depends on type of procedure. If you were working before the procedure you would be able to return to work the next day..
Can I drive after pain management procedure?
You need some relaxation after procedure and you can not drive your car. So, the best is to be accompanied by a member of family or friend.
Can I eat before pain management procedure?
Actually you may eat before procedure. But some patients feel sickness because of discomfort or agitation. Also intravenous sedation can increase risk for vomiting and aspiration. So, empty stomach is preferable. You may take medication with small amount of water.
What kind of side effect do steroids have?
The absorption is minimal, but some patients do experience side effects, such as legs, arms andface swelling, for diabetic patients – increasing of sugar level in blood.
What kind of result can I expected after injection?
Steroid effects usually begin within 2-3 days, however pain relief may occur faster or slower. Residual pain may be experienced for 1-2 day till medication absorbs. If your pain is sensitive for anti-inflammatory steroids ability, you can feel full or partial relief. Some patients require 2 or 3 injection to get full relief.
How many injections can I have?
As usual we restrict steroid injection to 3 for each 6-months period for any given area.
If it doesn’t work for me?
We will see you at our office to discuss all possible side effects. Statistically you have approximately 75-80 % chance for significant pain relief. It is all depends upon severity of underlying process, age of the patient. You can ask your doctor more questions during a visit