Epidural steroid injections

The medicine used in the injection is usually a combination of a local anesthetic (such as bupivacaine) and a steroid (such as triamcinolone). The technique is believed to work by reducing the inflammation or swelling, or both, of the nerves in the epidural space.

This procedure can be uncomfortable; however a local anesthetic is applied prior to the injection. You should start to feel an improvement within 3 to 5 days of the injection. If the initial injection does not have the desired effects you can have up to 3 injections over a 6 month period.

Frequently Asked Questions About Steroid Injections

Are there any side effects to this treatment?

There is the possibility of side effects with any procedure; however, for the most part this procedure is safe. You will most likely feel some pain after the procedure; however, this is temporary. Other risks include infection and bleeding in the epidural space. There may also be some side effects from the steroid, cortisone, including weight gain, an increase in blood sugar and water retention.

Can I go back to work the next day?

It is recommended that you rest for 1 to 2 days after your procedure.

How long does the treatment last?

This varies from person to person. The treatment can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. It is not recommended that you have more than three (3) injections in a six (6) month period because of the potential side effects of cortisone.