Epidural Steroid Injections

November 15, 2014 | Solutions
Steroid Anesthetic Injection

Doctors have used Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) to treat neck or back pain for many years. In addition to delivering pain relief, this minimally-invasive treatment decreases or eliminates the inflammation caused by Degenerative Disc Disease, Herniated Disc Disease, Sciatica and Spinal Stenosis.

Pain related to these conditions is often caused by inflamed spinal nerves. To relieve this pain, medication is injected into the epidural space between the spinal nerves and the vertebrae. The primary goal of this conservative pain treatment is to relieve chronic pain, allowing the patient to resume typical daily activities. Physical therapy may also be suggested as part of the pain reduction regimen.

If you have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions, or if you are suffering from any of these associated symptoms, you may be a good candidate for Epidural Steroid Injections:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Damage to the intervertebral discs caused by injury or aging. May cause bone spurs.
  • Herniated Discs: When the disc wall (annulus) bulges or ruptures, causing the jelly-like substance (pulposus) inside to leak out.
  • Sciatica: Pain in the sciatic nerve that may be felt in the back, buttocks and legs.
  • Spinal Stenosis: This narrowing of the spinal canal pinches the spinal nerve, causing back and leg pain.

 

What is Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)?

ESI involves the injection of a corticosteroid with an anesthetic numbing agent. This combination of medications, when injected into the epidural space of the spine, can reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Relief may last from days to years, giving time for physical therapy and exercise and, when necessary, weight loss, to improve the physical condition causing the pain.

ESI: The Process

  • The patient lies face down on the table.
  • We use sedation so the patient is totally comfortable during the procedure.
  • Dr. Skaliy will direct a hollow needle through the skin into the epidural space. He uses special imaging equipment to be certain the medication is injected as close to the inflammation as possible. While you will feel pressure, you should not feel any pain.
  • Once the needle is in place, Dr. Skaliy administers the medication and removes the needle.

After treatment, our medical staff monitors the patient for a few minutes, before they are released to go home. The patient must have someone drive them to and from the facility on the day of the procedure. Before you leave, you will be asked to schedule a follow-up appointment so Dr. Skaliy can discuss your progress and level of pain relief.

ESI Candidates Should Consider

ESI works best on early stages of disc disease or stenosis. If these conditions have advanced past a certain point, Dr. Skaliy may recommend either Stem Cell Therapy or minimally invasive surgery.

LIMITATIONS: Patients with infections or bleeding issues are not good candidates for Epidural Steroid Injections. People with diabetes or heart problems should avoid ESI, because the injection may slightly elevate blood sugar or blood pressure. Patients on certain medications may also be ineligible.

RISKS: There are a few potential risks associated with ESI, including infection, allergic reaction, weight gain, hot flashes or insomnia. Be sure to discuss these with Dr. Skaliy during your visit.

To schedule an appointment to discuss your current health concerns with Dr. Skaliy and learn if ESI is right for you, fill out the form below.

About the Author

Dr. Michael Skaliy

Throughout his career Dr. Michael Skaliy has felt that medicine is a rapidly changing field and he’s continued to stay up to date to bring the latest cutting edge therapies into his practice. Most recently, he introduced stem cell therapy and minimally invasive same day spine surgery, which is done through a small device the size of a pencil.

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