A lumbar epidural steroid injection delivers steroid medication directly to spinal nerve roots in order to reduce leg pain (also known as sciatica) and lower back pain. These types of pain can be caused by a spinal condition such as a lumbar herniated disc, which places pressure on nerve roots leading out of the spine.
This animated video provides a step-by-step overview of an epidural steroid injection procedure, as well as an explanation of how epidural steroid injections work to reduce pain.
In This Article:
Epidural Steroid Injections for Back Pain and Leg Pain Video
Many spinal conditions, including a lumbar herniated disc, can cause inflammation or pressure on the nerve roots leading out of the spine, resulting in pain, tingling, or numbness along those nerves.
A lumbar epidural steroid injection may be used to reduce the inflammation around the spinal nerves.
During the procedure, the patient lies down with a cushion underneath their stomach to increase flexion in the lumbar spine, giving more room for the needle to pass through.
First, a local anesthetic is used to numb the skin above the injection site. Using X-rays, the needle is guided into the epidural space.
Contrast dye is injected to confirm the proper placement of the needle in the epidural space.
The injection itself may include local anesthetic and/or saline along with the steroid medication to give immediate pain relief and flush the area of inflammatory agents.
The mixture is injected and the steroid acts to reduce the inflammation around the spinal nerve roots.
The needle is removed and a small bandage is placed on the injection site. The patient is monitored for a short time before being discharged home.