Frequently Asked Questions
Q: IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIAL THAT I NEED TO DO TO PREPARE FOR MY EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTION?
A: The staff will contact you 3-5 days prior to your procedure to review any medications that you are taking. It will be necessary to refrain from medications and food/drink for 8 hours prior to your procedure. We would like you to refrain from your pain medications for 8 hours prior to your appointment to allow an accurate assessment of your pain.
Q: IS THE PROCEDURE GOING TO HURT
A: The cream used to numb your skin will not hurt at all. When the doctor puts the small needle into the epidural space, you might feel pressure or an increased amount of your usual-type pain. Pain medications will be given before and during the procedure.
Q: ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
A: Side effects from the steroid medications are rare(5%) but possible. They include facial redness, headaches, increased heart rate, and bloating. They commonly disappear within 1-3 days after the treatment.
Q: WHEN WILL I FEEL BETTER?
A: You could feel numbness and/or relief of your usual type pain for up to six hours after the treatment. Your usual type pain could return and you might feel slightly worse for 2-3 days after the procedure. For tenderness at the injection sites, simple apply ice packs to the tender area which will go within 48 hours. The staff will be contacting you 24 hours after your treatment to assess your pain relief with you. Please notify us if your symptoms worsen or do not improve. You should be able to return to work the next day.
Q: IS THIS PERMANENT PAIN RELIEF AND/OR DO I NEED ADDITIONAL INJECTIONS?
A: Your pain relief is completely unpredictable and varies from patient to patient. Some patients experience immediate long-lasting relief, while others need additional injections to ease their pain and maintain their activities of daily living.
Epidural Steroid Injection
An epidural steroid injection is a procedure that uses a special x-ray camera to guide the doctor’s small needles into the epidural that are on the surface of the spinal column. First, the numbing cream will be put on which provides immediate relief of your usual-type pain. Second, a steroid will be injected which functions to reduce inflammation in the respective area. The steroid can take 2-5 days to provide pain relief. You may experience a period where the numbing cream wears off. The effectiveness of this procedure provides valuable diagnostic information about the source of your pain.
You will need to plan to be with us for a few hours. Please wear something comfortable and warm. Please arrange for a driver to take and pick you up. When you check in, you will have consent forms to fill out. The doctor will meet with you, and discuss any questions or concerns that you might have. You will then be positioned on your stomach for the procedure. Your skin will be cleaned with a special antiseptic solution.
During the procedure, you will have several people with you during the procedure to ensure that you are warm and as comfortable as possible. One epidural injection takes approximately 15 minutes.
Afterwards, you will be taken to the recovery room for 30 minutes where you will be given something to eat and drink. The registered nurse will be with you monitoring your pain relief, vital signs, and comfortable as possible.