Epidural injections can be performed from several different approaches; these include a caudal, interlaminar, or transforaminal approach. The approach your provider chooses is based on each individual patient’s clinical presentation, the personal preference and experience of the provider performing the injection, the desired outcome, and most importantly, the risks versus benefits of performing one type of epidural over another. Clinically, the purpose of all epidural injections is to place a mixture of steroid and local anesthetic at the source of the problem to decrease inflammation causing pain, and to promote healing and clinical improvement. The epidural steroid injection involves placing steroid medication in the inflamed area and significantly reduces nerve irritation thus improving pain. This treatment option has the potential to completely resolve pain and ultimately may prevent operative treatment.
Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. Irritation of a spinal nerve in the low back ( lumbar radiculopathy ), such as from lumbar spinal stenosis , cervical spinal stenosis, herniated disc , and foraminal encroachment, causes back pain that goes down the leg. Epidural injection is also used as a minimally invasive procedure to treat nerve compression in the neck (cervical spine), referred to as cervical radiculopathy , which causes pain.
I had three injections all of which worked for a few days to two weeks then stopped. The excruciating pain returned and only Vicoden 5 mg 3-4 times a day controlled the pain. Vicoden at that dose is the lowest dose prescribed. it worked perfectly for several years and doctors refused to prescribed opioids for fear of losing their license. My sister recently died of throat cancer and she complained constantly of pain. She died with unrelieved pain. As a cancer patient she was prescribed Morphine 2 mg. every 6 hours. That is beyond ridiculous but keeps our doctor’s license safe. Our doctors are violating their Hippocratic oath – Do No Harm. They had added a caveat “except when the government is breathing down your neck. Then the patient be damned. I am glad this helped you Randy. I don’t know your clinical status but I am sure it differs from mine. Do you have severe and crippling arthritis?