An injection procedure used to treat chronic pain in the lower back and extremities, caudal epidural steroid injection involves the use of a steroid and local anesthetic. This procedure is done for a wide variety of chronic conditions:
Sciatica/Lubar Radicullitis: This is a condition that involves pain and weakness along the sciatic nerve towards the legs. The sciatic nerve stretches from the base of the spine all the way down the legs. Individuals suffering from this condition have often described the pain to be sharp and the feeling of “pins and needles”.
Herniated Discs: This is a condition where the soft cushion between the vertebrae gets damaged either due to age or injury to the spine. This condition is one of the most common form of low back pain individuals experience.
Degenerative Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: This is a condition that occurs when the spinal canal narrows, causing the nerves to compress. As a result individuals suffering from this condition experience pain in the lower back and lower part of the body.
The caudal epidural steroid injection procedure involves a steroid being injected into a space known as the epidural space. It is a space that surrounds the dura which in turn, covers the nerve roots of the spine. That is where the irritated nerves are located. The injection involves the combination of an anesthetic and a steroid. The aim of the injection is to help reduce inflammation and possible pain symptoms. Patients having undergone the procedure usually experience an improvement in their condition over the course of the week following the procedure. The relief can either be permanent or short-term in duration which helps aid in the effectiveness of other treatments such as physical therapy.
The procedure may involve the use of an IV if the patient desires it in order to provide medicine for relaxation. The patient then lies face down while the area where the needle will be inserted is sterilized with antiseptic and then bumbed. A needle is then inserted at the top of the buttocks, where the epidural space is located with the assistance of an X-ray guiding machine. At this point of the procedure, patients may expect to feel some pressure. To ensure that the medication has been applied correctly and appropriately to the impacted nerves.
Patients can expect to feel some numbness around the legs and buttocks following the procedure. Patients may also notice some decrease in their pain in the subsequent 3-5 following the procedure and a general improvement in their condition in a little over a week.