Epidural Steroid Injections
Clearwater, Tampa, St Petersburg, Florida
Why is an Epidural Steroid Injection Used?
Epidural steroid injections are used to relieve low back pain and pain associated with sciatica, as well as other conditions that cause nerve root irritation. An epidural steroid injection places synthetic cortisone, a strong anti-inflammatory medication, in the tissue directly around the spinal nerves. This injection reduces inflammation within the dural space surrounding the spinal cord and nerve roots, which in turn significantly reduces pain or completely eliminates it.
Along with the cortisone, Lidocaine (also referred to as Xylocaine), a fast-acting local anesthetic may be used for temporary pain relief. Bupivacaine, a longer lasting medication, may also be used.
How is an Epidural Steroid Injection Performed?
Epidural steroid injections are performed in a comfortable room at our office. With the patient lying on their stomach, we clean the area of the back with an antiseptic solution. A fluoroscope, which provides a live x-ray image of the vertebrae, is used to accurately guide needle placement for the injection. The injection procedure only takes a few minutes. A band-aid covers the injection site. Substantial pain relief occurs around the fifth day after the initial injection. The effect of an epidural steroid injection (anesthetic and cortisone) can last from several weeks to a year. For our patients, we often perform a series of three injections, that are spaced a week apart. Upon completion on this process, many of our patients find relief of symptoms within a few weeks. Our goal is to control the inflammatory process and provide our patients with long-lasting relief.
Potential Side Effects or Complications of an Epidural Steroid Injection
As with any procedure, there is the potential risk for side effects or complications. Fortunately, the most common side effect of an epidural steroid injection procedure is discomfort at the injection site. Potential side effects of having cortisone are: fluid retention, weight gain, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, mood swings, increased blood sugar and the suppression of natural cortisone production within the body. If you have any questions about the potential side effects of having an epidural steroid injection, we would be happy to discuss any concern you may have.
If you continue to suffer with chronic pain and would like to explore if an epidural steriod injection is an appropriate treatment option, contact Dr. Lox for an appointment at 727-462-5582. Since 1990, Dennis M. Lox, M.D has applied his personal interests in sports medicine, cutting-edge regenerative medicine and chronic pain management to helping patients increase their quality of life.
Dennis M. Lox, MD, and the Florida Spine Center serve patients within the greater Tampa Bay area, including Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg, as well as all of Florida and the US.
All statements, information or opinions provided by this website are provided for educational purposes only. We do not diagnose nor treat through this website or by telephone. As you consider any treatment, discuss them with your physician.