Steroid injection spine risks

Although epidural steroid injections (also called epidural corticosteroid injections) may be helpful to confirm a diagnosis, they should be used primarily after a specific presumptive diagnosis has been established. Also, injections should not be used in isolation, but rather in conjunction with a program stressing muscle flexibility, strengthening, and functional restoration.
Epidural injections and intradiscal injections have been used in the treatment of non-radicular degenerative disc disease with limited success. Proper follow-up after injections to assess the patient's treatment response and ability to progress in the rehabilitation program is essential. A limited number of injections can be tried to reduce pain, but careful monitoring of the response is required prior to a second or third injection.

As a skilled and experienced Pain Medicine Interventionalist, Dr. Levin evaluates each patient very thoroughly and carefully to help determine appropriate treatment options in order to provide the most effective individualized care.  These treatment options may include:  Lumbar, Thoracic and Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections utilizing targeted transforaminal techniques, Lumbar and Cervical Sympathetic Blocks, Sphenopalatine, Facial and Head and Neck Procedures, Discography, Percutaneuos Discectomy or Disc Decompression procedures, precision joint and nerve injections, Radiofrequency Neuroablative procedures, Peripheral or Spinal Cord Stimulator trials and implants, Foraminoplasties and several patented and patent pending advanced interventional procedures.

The steroid injection itself may cause a temporary increase in pain. As with many types of “shots”, the tissue around the injection site can be distressed, causing pain, swelling, and soreness. Pain and swelling from the injection will usually diminish in a matter of days. Each case is different, so patients will experience varying degrees and lengths of symptom relief. It is important to note that steroids are only a temporary solution for back pain. If the underlying cause of pain is severe, surgical treatment may eventually be required.

An epidural steroid injection places this powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly around the spinal nerves. Traditionally epidural injections were administered without any special equipment, by inserting the needle by feel in the area around the spinal nerves. More recently epidural injections have been administered with the aid of imaging tools to allow your physician to see the needle going to the proper location. Either real-time x-ray called fluoroscopy, or CT scan can be used to 'watch' the needle deliver the medication to the proper location. 

We are Spine and Pain Centers of New Jersey and New York. Established in 1997, our premier pain management centers are dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and management of acute and chronic pain. With three locations in Monmouth County and Ocean County NJ, we are conveniently located to accommodate patients throughout the state. Our main office in Shrewsbury is located within minutes of downtown Red Bank while our Toms River office is only a short drive from the Ocean County mall. Those in the Freehold area are welcome to visit our location on West Main Street.

Epidural steroid injections are generally very safe, but there are some rare potential complications. One of the most common risks is for the needle to go too deep and cause a hole in the dura, the tissue that surrounds the spinal cord and nerve roots. When this occurs spinal fluid can leak out through the hole and cause a headache . This headache can be treated with bedrest, or with a blood patch. A blood patch involves drawing some blood from the vein and the injecting it over the hole in the dura. The blood forms a seal over the hole and prevents any further fluid from leaking out.

Steroid injection spine risks

steroid injection spine risks

An epidural steroid injection places this powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly around the spinal nerves. Traditionally epidural injections were administered without any special equipment, by inserting the needle by feel in the area around the spinal nerves. More recently epidural injections have been administered with the aid of imaging tools to allow your physician to see the needle going to the proper location. Either real-time x-ray called fluoroscopy, or CT scan can be used to 'watch' the needle deliver the medication to the proper location. 

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