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The purpose of epidural steroid injections is to help alleviate leg pain that is believed to be coming from spinal nerves. It can also sometimes help with back pain. Patients treated with epidural steroids usually have pain caused by spinal arthritis, pinched nerves, or herniated discs.

The epidural steroid injection has two components. The first is a short-acting local anesthetic (numbing medication similar to what you would receive at the dentist’s office) and the second is a long-acting steroid. The purpose of the steroid is to decrease the inflammatory process causing your pain.

The epidural steroids are usually injected in a series of three with a time interval of two to four weeks between treatments. The time interval varies greatly depending on individual response and does not necessarily follow this outline. The maximum treatment is six epidural steroid injections within a twelve month period.

The epidural steroid injection is performed in our Royal Oak or Rochester Hills office as an outpatient procedure. On the day of the procedure you will go through a routine registration process and then you will be taken to the procedure suite.
Fluoroscopy may be used for your injection which allows us to view a continuous x-ray on a monitor screen enabling us to better visualize the placement of the needle for your injection.

In order for the procedure to be done you will be lying on your stomach. If it is decided that you will be undergoing a facet or sacroiliac injection, the positioning will be the same. Should a hip injection be performed, you will be lying on your back. The procedure takes five to ten minutes and you will be observed for approximately 20 to 30 minutes after the procedure.

The duration of pain relief from the local anesthetic can vary from one to two hours to many hours. The steroid injected may take one to two days to reach full effect. The duration and extent of pain relief varies between patients. Following the procedure, you may experience temporary dizziness, weakness in the legs, and associated numbness lasting one to three hours. Therefore, it is required to bring a driver with you. Furthermore, discomfort may occur at the injection site lasting two to three days which should then dissipate.

Since the previously described symptoms may occur following this injection, we recommend that you take off from work the day of the procedure and take relative rest. You may resume work and normal activities the next day.

Any further questions can be directed to Drs. Iyer, Sessa, Weir or Narula and will be addressed the day of the procedure, or at your follow-up appointment.


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