There are various forms of epidural injections that are performed, with each procedure designed to address a specific region of the body. The thoracic epidural steroid injection is a procedure done to help provide pain relief to the patient’s upper back region (also referred to as the thoracic spinal region) via an injection. This is done in response to the pain that is felt in the mid-to-upper back region and towards the shoulders as a result of nerve(s) being pinched or inflamed.
For the procedure, the patient has the option of either sitting upright or lying down in order to provide exposure for the back. The back is then sterilized using antiseptic solution and then a local anesthetic is applied in order to numb the skin surface and the tissue area, reaching all the way down towards the spinal column.
To assist in guiding the needle towards the particular vertebra that is emanating the pain, a fluoroscope is used. The needle is carefully inserted towards the epidural space, a region that envelopes the spinal cord. In order to confirm that the needle’s position is accurately placed, Once it is ascertained that the needle is placed in the right spot, a combined steroid-anesthetic medicine is injected into the epidural space, immersing the areas exhibiting the painful sensation with medication. This achieves two objectives, diminishment of the pain and the inflammation.
Once the injection is completed, the needle is pulled out and bandages are applied to the area where the injection took place. Patients can expect to start feeling pain relief sometime 3 to 5 days subsequent to the procedure. In some cases however, it may be necessary for the patient to undergo the procedure, possibly up to 3 more times, in order to ensure that the full benefits of the medication applied are felt. Generally, patients can expect to see results after 1 to 2 injections.