Epidural Spine Injection
Epidural Spine Injections for Pain in Cincinnati, Ohio
Epidural Spine Injections are a great option for someone looking for non-operative or minimally invasive methods to treat spine pain. Minimally-invasive treatments have grown in popularity as medicine has continued to evolve. Epidural steroid injections administered through the transforaminal route are a common treatment option for many forms of lower back pain and leg pain, including sciatica. They continue to be an integral part of non-operative treatment options for a variety of spinal conditions.
What is a Transforaminal Injection?
A transforaminal injection is an injection of local anesthetic and steroids into the epidural space, which surrounds the spinal cord and nerve roots. There are a number of goals for this treatment:
- To reduce inflammation around nerve roots, thus controlling pain
- To limit the need for oral pain medication
- To improve function and mobility of the legs and lower back
- To make it possible for the patient to participate in physical therapy
- To postpone or eliminate the need for surgery 1
The Transforaminal Injection Procedure
Your doctor will use an x-ray for guidance to perform the transforaminal injection, and the procedure usually takes about 20 minutes. Before the procedure, you will be given medication to help you relax. You will then lie on your stomach on an x-ray table and your doctor will numb the skin on your lower back using a local anesthetic. Next, the doctor will use the x-ray as a guide to insert a thin needle into the epidural space in your lower back, injecting anesthetic and steroids with the goal of promoting both short- and long-term relief of your pain 2.
Recovery After a Transforaminal Injection
Patients should not drive for the first 24 hours following an epidural spine injection, and are encouraged to rest during this time. You will be able to resume your normal activities the following day. You should begin to notice pain relief within two to three days after your transforaminal injection; if you do not achieve relief within 10 days, please contact your doctor.
Epidural Spine Injection Results
Some patients achieve relief of their pain within 30 minutes of a transforaminal injection. This is due to the use of a local anesthetic, which will wear off within a few hours. The steroids generally begin to take effect within two to three days, at which point significant pain relief should be noticeable. The duration of the effects of an epidural pain injection differs from patient to patient, and may last up to several months.
What are the Risks of Epidural Spine Injections?
Epidural spine injections are generally considered to be a safe procedure, especially when administered by a doctor as experienced as those on the Beacon Orthopaedics team. Risks of transforaminal injections may include:
- Injury to the nerves
- Spinal headache
- Increased pain
- Muscle weakness
- Avascular necrosis
Reactions to steroids, such as facial flushing, increased appetite, diarrhea, nausea, menstrual irregularities, and increased blood sugar may also be side effects of an epidural spine pain injection. 3
If you suffer from lower back pain, leg pain, sciatica, or a related condition, it may be possible for you to achieve significant pain relief and increased mobility after an epidural spine injection. For more information on transforaminal injections and whether they may benefit you, please contact Beacon Orthopaedics to schedule a consultation.Book an Appointment
1 Patel K, Chopra P, Upadhyayula S. Epidural Steroid Injections. [Updated 2020 Jul 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470189/. Accessed June 16, 2021.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Transforaminal Injections. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17572-transforaminal-injections. Accessed June 16, 2021.
3 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Spinal Injections. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/spinal-injections/. Accessed June 16, 2021.