Your doctor has recommended a Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection to help reduce and/or relieve your back pain. Common reasons for having this injection are degenerative disk disease, failed back surgery, back pain, radicular/extremity pain or a disk herniation.
Although an epidural injection may not relieve ALL of your pain, it will certainly reduce your pain. Some individuals feel more relief than others after the initial injection – some individuals require a series of injections. This may mean that you may have a total of 3 injections every two weeks with increased pain relief.
A vast majority of back pain is caused by inflammation. The steroid that is injected will help to control local inflammation and allow for a positive outcome of pain relief. This particular injection is directed at the nerve roots that are being pinched and causing you pain.
The site or vertebral level of your injection is predetermined by the information you have provided during your office visit. A contrast agent, which allows the physician to verify needle placement, is injected. For pain relief, the injection is directed into the neural foramen which allows the anti-inflammatory to bathe the nerve root and flow into the epidural space , which surrounds the nerves. This will help to decrease your pain.
Risks and Complications
Spinal headache – this is very rare. However, this would be the type of headache that increases when in the upright position and decreases when lying down. You may be extremely sensitive to light. If this occurs, please let us know as soon as possible.
Bleeding – this is very rare. We ask that you remain off of aspirin based products for at least 3-5 days prior to the injection. Also, if you are on any blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix, etc.) you should not take these for approximately 5 days as well.
Infection – this is very rare. Keep an eye on the injection site over the few days following the injection. If any redness, bleeding or seeping of fluids is noticed, please call the office and speak with a staff member immediately.
If you experience a fever, chills or extremity weakness, please call the office immediately.
You should notice pain relief over the following 3-4 days. We ask that you decrease your activity by 30% the day of the injection. You can then increase your activity as tolerated. Our goal is for you to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle – however too much activity too soon may result in increased back pain or minimal pain relief.
We will take excellent care of you here at Interventional Pain Specialists of Indiana and it is our pleasure to treat you. Please DO NOT hesitate to call the office with any questions or concerns regarding your procedure appointment.