Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections in Spartanburg, Duncan, and Greenville, SC

Injections for Back Pain in Spartanburg, Duncan, and Greenville, SC

An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a minimally invasive procedure that can help relieve neck, arm, back, and leg pain caused by inflamed spinal nerves. The effects of ESI tend to be temporary, with pain relief lasting for several days to several years. Our goal at Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates (CONA) is to reduce pain so you may resume normal activities.

What is an Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)?

An epidural steroid injection is a non-surgical treatment for back pain that includes both a corticosteroid (e.g., triamcinolone, betamethasone) and an anesthetic numbing agent (e.g., lidocaine, bupivacaine). The drugs are delivered into the spine’s epidural space, between the spinal cord’s protective covering (dura) and the bony vertebrae.

Corticosteroid injections can reduce inflammation and are effective when delivered directly into the painful area. There are three ways an ESI can be performed: transforaminal, interlaminar, or caudal. The right type of injection depends on your condition and which procedure will likely produce the best results and the fewest side effects. Fluoroscopy (X-ray) is ALWAYS used to ensure both safety and accuracy.

What Conditions Benefit from an Epidural Steroid Injection?

Some common conditions that can benefit from an epidural steroid injection include:

If you suffer from intense pain in your arms or legs from inflamed spinal nerves, it may be time to consult a CONA spine specialist in South Carolina for more information. Can’t wait? Visit one of our orthopedic urgent care walk-in clinics to be seen immediately.

What Happens During an Epidural Steroid Injection?

On the day of your appointment, plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. We recommend you eat something light before your appointment unless sedation will be used. It is essential to arrange a ride to and from the office for the procedure. During the 15-30 minute procedure, our top-rated South Carolina doctors will utilize fluoroscopy to ensure the correct needle placement before delivering medication to each facet joint.

What Should I Expect After an Epidural Steroid Injection?

Most patients can leave the office after a short period of observation. Typically, patients resume total activity the next day, although we recommend ‘taking it easy’ for 2-3 days after the procedure. Soreness around the injection site may be relieved with ice and a mild analgesic like Tylenol. 

Patients may resume taking all medications immediately after the procedure. Generally, epidural steroid injections begin to work within 3 or 4 days, although it may take as long as seven days for the steroid to start working. Most patients experience pain relief from the injection lasting 3-4 months. More importantly, the timing of injections should coincide with the start of physical therapy to strengthen the back muscles and prevent future pain.

What are the Risks of an Epidural Steroid Injection?

ESI is generally safe. Serious complications are rare, especially when using proper safety techniques such as fluoroscopy. The potential risks associated with inserting the needle include:

  • Spinal headache from a dural puncture 
  • Bleeding 
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Nerve damage/paralysis (rare)
  • Death (rare) 

Corticosteroid risks and side effects may include:

  • Weight gain 
  • Water retention
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Elevated blood sugar levels in people with diabetes 

ESI should NOT be performed on people who have an infection, are pregnant, or have bleeding problems. Please contact us to share any concerns you may have about your procedure.

Back Pain Relief in South Carolina

You don’t have to continue to suffer from back pain. Book an appointment online to learn more about epidural steroid injection in South Carolina and find out if it is right for you.

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