The neurosurgeons of Lancaster NeuroScience & Spine Associates perform a very wide variety of head, neck and back related procedures to treat an array of symptoms and conditions. In our What We Do series we will discuss a sample of our most common procedures and conditions in greater detail so patients can gain more understanding of their ailments and the procedures we perform to try to resolve the issue. In this article we will discuss Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI).
What is a Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)?
A Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) is a common treatment for lower back and leg pain related conditions. At Lancaster NeuroScience & Spine Associates we use non-surgical techniques, such as injections and physical therapy as an integral part of our process prior to surgical recommendation. We perform our injections in our Center for Spine Care, located on the lower level of our main office in Lancaster.
The Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure
Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections involve injecting a combination of steroid (anti-inflammatory medication) and local anesthetic (numbing medication) around a nerve root or roots (spinal nerve or nerves). This procedure is typically used to treat lumbar radicular pain, commonly referred to as sciatica which is characterized by pain involving the leg(s) with or without low back pain. The goal is to treat inflammation around the nerves in order to provide pain relief and improve function. This procedure is performed using fluoroscopy (a type of X-ray) to guide the placement of the injection.
Recovering from an ESI
Recovery from the procedure generally involves relative rest for a period of 12-24 hours, after which patients are encouraged to gradually resume their normal activities. Patients are also advised to avoid driving for 4-6 hours after the injection, and some patients may need to temporarily hold certain medications such as blood thinners for the procedure.
Lumbar epidural steroid injections are helpful to us on a number of different levels. In terms of therapeutic impact, we are often able to improve symptoms temporarily and allow more time for the body to heal. From a diagnostic standpoint, these injections can often provide useful information in the event the surgical intervention is necessary.
– Physiatrist Robert Roberts, III
Learn more about Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections by viewing our patient education video here.
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