Spinal Corticosteroid Injection
(Spinal Steroid Injection; Epidural Steroid Injection)
Reasons for Procedure
- Reduce pain caused by swelling and irritation around the spine
- Improve physical function for people with persistent low back pain and/or sciatica
- Ice and heat therapies
- Physical therapy
- Back exercises
- Changes to the physical set-up of the work environment
- Changes to physical activities, including work
- Spinal manipulation
- Allergic reaction to the medication
- Nerve damage
- Current infection
- Certain pre-existing medical conditions
- Treatment with blood thinners or certain other medications
- Poor health
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- A brief physical exam
- Imaging studies to look for the location of possible causes of the pain, including
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Blood thinners
Description of the Procedure
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How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- You will spend time in a recovery area where your recovery will be monitored.
- Because you were sedated during the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home.
Potential temporary side effects include:
- Brief period of increased pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Facial flushing
- Lightheadedness from low blood pressure
- Rest on the day of the procedure.
- Apply ice packs for soreness at the injection site.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the injection site
- Shortness of breath or chest pain
- Numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness, especially in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Changes in urine or bowel function
- Sudden increase in weight of more than five pounds
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
American Association of Neurological Surgeons http://www.neurosurgerytoday.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Epidural steroid injections. KnowYourBack website. Available at: http://www.knowyourback.org/Pages/Treatments/InjectionTreatments/ES%5FInjections.aspx. Published July 17, 2009. Accessed November 25, 2013.
Lumbar epidural steroid injections. Beverly Pain Management website. Available at: http://www.pain-clinic.org/lumbarepiduralsteroidinjections. Accessed November 25, 2013.
Manchikanti L, Staats PS, Singh V, et al. Evidence-based practice guidelines for interventional techniques in the management of chronic spinal pain. Pain Phys. 2003;6:3-81.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2013 -
- Update Date: 11/25/2013 -