Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
What are lumbar epidural steroid injections?
Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are a frequently-used treatment for chronic pain syndromes, such as lumbar radiculopathy. Radicular pain is pain that radiates from the spine down an irritated spinal nerve root. Irritation of a spinal nerve in the low back is known as lumbar radiculopathy and causes pain that typically travels down a leg.
Who is a good candidate for lumbar epidural steroid injections?
Patients who respond best have low back pain with radiculopathy (nerve pain radiating down their leg) caused by a bulging or leaking disc, and have never had spine surgery in the area.
How lumbar epidural steroid injections works
The procedure involves injecting a medication into the epidural space, where irritated nerve roots are located. The injected medications include both a long-lasting steroid (to reduce inflammation and irritation) and a local anesthetic (to block pain). The combination medicine then spreads to other levels and portions of the spine, reducing inflammation and irritation. The entire procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes.