Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. Irritation of a spinal nerve in the low back ( lumbar radiculopathy ), such as from lumbar spinal stenosis , cervical spinal stenosis, herniated disc , and foraminal encroachment, causes back pain that goes down the leg. Epidural injection is also used as a minimally invasive procedure to treat nerve compression in the neck (cervical spine), referred to as cervical radiculopathy , which causes pain.
Some side effects associated with spinal puncture include bruising, bleeding, infections, headaches, and blood clots. Cortisone side effects may cause weight gain, water retention, hot flashes, mood swings or insomnia, and elevated blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Epidural steroid injections can provide diagnostic and therapeutic benefits. ESIs have been endorsed by the North American Spine Society and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the Department of Health and Human Services. Discuss this procedure with your friendly and caring doctor at the Florida Spine Institute to determine whether it is the right treatment for you.
Cortisone shots are generally accompanied by an anesthetic such as Carbocaine or Lidocaine. This deadens the area and indicates where the shot should be placed (the pain will go away about an hour while the anesthetic works). Most people who have reactions or allergies to cortisone really have the reaction to the anesthetic agent of the epinephrine (adrenaline), which may be in some forms of the injection. Epinephrine can cause tachycardia (rapid heart beat) in some patients. For others, the sight of a needle will cause this reaction and the feeling of being faint is often misinterpreted as an allergic reaction.