The lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injection is a procedure done on an outpatient basis that involves the combination of a steroid-anesthetic medication. When applied, the medication can help minimize the swelling and inflammation that take place in the spinal nerves. Overall, the procedure aims to provide relief to the patient from the pain experienced in the lower back and that further spreads downwards towards the legs. The timeframe for the completion of the completion lasts a couple of minutes.
Prior to the commencement of the procedure, the patient is directed to lie face down with a cushion positioned beneath the abdomen in order to allow the spine to bend and provide an opening to the spaces on the side of the spine. Those spaces are referred to as foramina. Once that is done, a local anesthetic is injected into the area in order to numb the skin as well as the tissues that envelop the spine.
Once the numbing has occurred, a needle is inserted through the skin into the foraminal space that covers the nerve root experiencing the irritation. Through the needle, a contrast solution is then injected into that space with the assistance of a fluoroscope. The fluoroscope is used to help ensure the needle is accurately positioned in the right spot. Once that is ascertained, the mix of steroid-anesthetic medication is then injected, bathing the nerve roots experiencing irritation. This is done to help the patient experience pain relief.
Following the completion of the procedure, the needle is removed and bandages are applied to the site where the injection took place. In some cases, the patient may experience pain relief after only treatment. In other cases, the patient may require multiple injections in order to reap the full benefits of the procedure. As this procedure is done on an outpatient basis, the patient is released on the same day.