This form of transforaminal epidural steroid injection provides treatment to the upper region of the back as well as to the abdomen and ribs, offering pain relief, which is the result of a pinched nerve(s) felt in the thoracic region of the spine.
The procedure necessitates the patient to lay face down on the stomach with the back exposed. A local anesthetic is then applied to the area of the back where the injection is to take place, numbing the skin surface as well as the tissue. Once the numbing is in full effect, a fluoroscope is used to help guide the needle to the nerve root located in the spine that is causing the pain. The needle is then carefully inserted into a region where the spinal nerves traverse, referred to as the neural foramen space.
In order to ensure that the needle is accurately placed in that space, a contrast dye is injected to ensure accuracy as to the needle being properly placed near the nerve(s) experiencing irritation. Once it has been determined that the needle is placed in the right spot, a mixture of anesthetic and cortisone steroid solution is applied to the foramen space. The steroid medication serves to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, absorbing the inflammation within the nerve(s), resulting in the reduction of the swelling as well as the normalization of pressure.
Once the injection has been completed, the needle is taken out and bandages are applied to the area where the injection took place. Patients can expect to experience pain relief sometime 2 to 3 days subsequent to the procedure. It is possible for some patients may require one treatment in order to experience pain relief while other patients may require 2 to 3 additional injections in order for the procedure to produce the intended effect.