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Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection (ESIs) is a regular medical care of choice for a number of types of low back pain and leg pain.

What is a lumbar epidural steroid injection?

This treatment option has been regularly used since its inception in 1952 and remains to be an important part of non-surgical management if not a conservative alternative in addressing sciatica and low back pain.  The main objective of the procedure is to alleviate pain. In numerous cases, the procedure alone is enough to stop the pain, but in practice, an epidural steroid injection is administered in conjunction with a bespoke rehab (including physical therapy) to produce additional comfort. This medical procedure is done to help alleviate low back and emanating leg pain. On the other hand, steroid prescription can help manage the swelling and inflammation resulting from this spinal condition.

How is a lumbar epidural steroid injection administered?

1. Patient Positioning

Lying face down, the patient puts a pillow under the abdominal are for additional comfort as it flexes the back.  With the patient in this position, the spine opens up which makes it easier for the physician to access the epidural space.

2. Tissue Anesthetized

To desensitize the skin, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the tissue from the surface of the lamina up to the lumbar vertebra bones.  Then the doctor inserts a bigger needle through the anesthetized track.

3. Fluoroscopic Guidance

The doctor inserts a contrast solution via the needle through the epidural space in between the L-4 and L-5 vertebra.  The doctor utilizes a fluoroscope (a kind of x-ray equipment) to ensure that the end of the needles is accurately in place within the epidural space.  Then, a contrast solution is administered.  Injected through the track, the contrast dye needle was securely positioned close to the inflamed nerve roots. The doctor utilizes the fluoroscope to validate the position of the needle tip.

4. Steroids Injected

Following the careful validation of the needles exact position, the doctor positions a steroid-anesthetic medication.  This prescription bathes the inflamed nerve roots which will help ease the pain being experienced by the patient.

5. End of Procedure

After the procedure, the needle is withdrawn and the entry point in the skin is cleaned and bandaged.  Some of the patients that undergo this procedure require only one injection. For others, it will require more than one injection before the pain is alleviated.

Learn more about Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection and how AZ Pain and Spine Institute uses it to treat conditions and alleviate pain.

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Why choose AZ Pain and Spine Institute for your treatment?

We are a team of pain management doctors and specialists. Our physicians have double board certification in their chosen fields and have undergone additional fellowships in pain management. Our professionals have also received advanced medical training in minimally invasive spinal procedures and pain management, including Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection.