What Is An Epidural Injection?
An epidural is also known as an epidural injection or epidural steroid injection. It is a procedure in which we introduce medications into the outermost region of the protective layer of the spinal cord. You will be asked to lie face down on an x-ray table or assume a comfortable position that allows you to stay still. This is important as any minor movements could lead to undesirable results.
Why Would I Need An Epidural Injection?
Epidurals have a wide range of applications, particularly concerning pain relief. We prefer to reserve this procedure for patients who do not respond favorably to oral medications and physical therapy. Some common indications for this treatment include:
- Radiculopathy: This is the major condition for which we employ this technique. It involves pain resulting from vertebral discs impinging on a nerve.
- Spinal stenosis: An epidural is also beneficial where the pain results from the narrowing of the spinal canal.
- Pain from “failed” back surgeries, bone spurs, and injuries to the spinal nerves and surrounding tissues.
Are Epidurals Injections Effective?
Yes, they are. Research shows that up to 50% of patients get temporary to prolonged relief from back pain following the procedure. We administer anti-inflammatory steroids through the epidural layer of your spinal cord.
The relief provided by these medications can be noticed 48 hours after the procedure.
Patients can enjoy this relief for six months to a year before they need another injection. However, individuals respond differently. Some people require more frequent injections. We do not recommend more than 3 to 6 injections in a year.
Are Epidural Injections Safe?
Yes! We have a team of adequately trained and certified professionals who administer these injections to our patients. In our commitment to our patient’s safety, we perform the procedure while viewing a live x-ray feed of the administration site. This ensures that we locate and administer the medication appropriately and safely.
What Medications Are Administered Via The Epidural Route Of Administration?
The epidural route is mostly preferred for anesthesia and analgesia in relation to back pain and other applications. Our focus is pain relief rooted in radiculopathy. Hence, we administer corticosteroids in safe and effective doses. Corticosteroids help to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain in spinal nerves. Patients have also reported mild to reasonable discomfort during epidurals in the past, so we first administer a local anesthetic to numb the administration area.
What Are The Risks Of Epidural Injections?
This procedure must be carried out with technical expertise to minimize potential risks. Some of minor side effects include:
- Mild to moderate discomfort at the site of injection
- A tingling feeling or slight pressure
Some more serious risks include:
- Infections (localized or systemic)
- Hematomas or blood vessel damage
- Headaches affected by posture (relief when you lie down)
- Allergic reactions to steroids
The more serious complications are rare and are usually due to professional negligence to some degree. Our team puts in the work to reduce the potential for these occurrences drastically.
How Do I Prepare For An Epidural Injection?
Firstly, we want to consider your condition intricately. We would like to find out the origin of your pain and what other treatment options you have explored. Once it is confirmed that an epidural injection is what you’ll need, you will be booked for an appointment. You will also be advised on how to prepare. We might ask you to fast for a short period. Don’t worry, we will ensure that it is not too bothersome.
During your consultation, it is important to declare vital medical histories, like medications that you’re on, allergies, procedures that you have had in the past, and conditions that you are managing or have treated in the past. We might also make adjustments to the schedule of some of your medications, like blood thinners.
Speak With Our Qualified Professionals
The Advanced Medical Treatment Centre provides top-quality emergency care for trauma and accident cases. We have a team committed to improving the health and wellness of our patients through excellent diagnosis and management. We offer a range of services that provide relief from lumbar radiculopathy. To speak to one of our qualified professionals about one of these, book a consultation today!