Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) – Lumbar Spine

This injection procedure is performed to relieve low back and radiating leg pain. Steroid medication can reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by spinal conditions.

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Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) – Lumbar Spine

Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) – Lumbar Spine

Overview

This injection procedure is performed to reduce nerve swelling and inflammation to relieve low back and radiating leg pain.

 

Patient Positioning

You lie face down with a cushion under the stomach area.  This flexes the back to expand the spine and allow the doctor easier access to the epidural space.

 

Tissue Anesthetized

A local anesthetic is used to numb tissues from the skin all the way down to the surface of the lamina portion of the lumbar vertebra. The physician slides a thicker needle through the anesthetized track.

 

Fluoroscopic Guidance

Using a fluoroscope (video x-ray) for guidance, the physician slides the needle toward the epidural space between the lumbar vertebra.  The physician injects  dye to help confirm the correct location of the needle.

 

Steroids Injected

A steroid-anesthetics mix is injected into the epidural space, bathing your painful nerve root with soothing medication.

 

End of Procedure

The needle is removed, a small bandage is applied, and you are sent home.  You may need to repeat the procedure a few more times to get the full benefit, though many patients feel immediate relief.

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