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Epidural Injections

An epidural injection, or epidural steroid injection (ESI), delivers anti-inflammatory medication into the epidural space, which is located just outside of the sac of fluid around the spinal cord.

Interlaminar Epidural Injections

An interlaminar epidural injection targets the nerves that start from the spinal cord and travel to the legs and arms. The benefits of this injection include reduced inflammation and pain relief in the neck, lower back, leg, and arm caused by herniated discs, misaligned vertebrae, sciatica, and other back problems.

Patients can expect pain relief within 30 minutes after the injection. However, the pain will likely return once the anesthetic wears off, a few

Digital illustration of physician treating back pain with epidural injection
Woman experiencing back pain before epidural injection

 hours after the procedure. Long term pain relief typically begins two to three days after the procedure, once the steroid has begun to take effect. Patients may experience long-term pain relief for a few months or longer.

Transforaminal Epidural Injections

A transforaminal injection is done to treat back or leg pain that:
  • Is severe

  • Has lasted for more than four weeks

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  • Hasn’t improved with other treatment, such as medication and physical therapy

Patients may benefit from a transforaminal injection if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Sciatica

  • Herniated discs

  • Pain in the lower back, legs, and feet

  • Other back problems

Damage to the roots of nerves that run from the spinal cord to the legs can lead to irritation and inflammation. This can cause pain that radiates from the back to the legs and feet. A transforaminal epidural is injected into the back, between the spine and spinal cord.

Physician pointing syringe at model vertebrae, demonstrating epidural injection procedure

What to Expect During The Procedure

Once the patient arrives at the clinic, they’ll be instructed to change into a gown and then to lie face down on an X-ray table. The physician will begin the procedure by cleansing the injection site and numbing the area with medication. The patient may also be given a sedative to help them relax.

Next, the doctor will use X-ray guidance to insert a needle into the patient’s back. A mixture of steroid and numbing medicine will then be injected into the area to help alleviate pain and reduce swelling and pressure on the larger nerves around the spine. The physician will use numbing medicine to identify the nerve causing pain.

The patient may feel some pressure during the injection, but shouldn’t have any pain. It’s important for the patient to lay very still during the procedure to ensure the needle is injected into precisely the right location.

The patient will be monitored for 15 to 20 minutes after the injection before being discharged.

Risks of Epidural Injections

The risks of an epidural injection are low. Rare complications may include

  • Allergic reaction to the medication

  • Bleeding or infection at the injection site

  • Possible rare brain and nervous system problems

  • Dizziness, headache, or feeling sick to your stomach (typically mild)

  • Nerve root damage with increased pain down the leg

  • Difficulty breathing if the injection was done in the neck

Temporary side effects may include numbness or weakness in the legs, dizziness, and headache.

Patients should speak to their physician to find out if they may benefit from an epidural injection.

Advanced Treatment

Some patients may need advanced treatment to address severe injuries or illness. Advanced treatment for fractures, for example, may involve physical therapy or surgery. Patients are encouraged to speak to their physician at Central Nevada Regional Care to learn more about obtaining advanced treatment.


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OPEN HOURS

Monday-Friday
8:00AM - 5:00 PM

APPOINTMENTS

call us to schedule
an appointment at

EMERGENCY SERVICE

we provide
emergency services

7 DAYS A WEEK

Before the procedure, patients may be given a sedative to make them