11 Oct What Are The Different Types of Epidural Injections?
Introduction on Epidural Injections
The term epidural defines something that is around the spinal cord, and as such epidural injections are used to treat back and neck pain. These injections work to mainly reduce inflammation and pain. The medication used is mainly numbing medicine and steroids and this medication is injected around the area with the damaged nerves or inflammation.
Most medical practitioners will recommend epidural injections as part of a rehabilitative program. However in some cases these injections have been used to provide relief without being combined with another treatment.
Types of Epidural
There are three different types of epidural injections and these are used to treat different types of back and leg pain. Today we have a look at the epidural injections used in the management of back and leg pain.
Caudal Epidural Injections
Caudal epidural injections are one of the most popularly used spinal injections. These injections are given to patients for pain relief to avoid surgery. The caudal epidural steroid injection is administered as treatment for nerve root pain or sciatica and the injection is
administered on the lower back through an opening found on the sacral bone.
The injection is mainly a cortisone drug and steroid solution and this procedure is administered under a local anesthetic. The procedure involves fluoroscopy which is done to ensure that the needle and medication are directed into the correct area.
Once administered, the patient is given some time to rest and can leave the hospital after about half an hour. That said; it’s often advised that the patient avoid strenuous activities for a day or two after the injection.
Transforaminal Epidural Injection
Transforaminal epidural injections are sometimes referred to as transforaminal epidural blocks, root blocks or root sleeve blocks. The medication is injected into the foramen
which is an opening on the side of the spine and this is where you will find the nerve roots.
This particular epidural space is on the outer side of the spinal canal and the injection is used to reduce swelling or inflammation on the spinal nerve roots as well as the surrounding nerves.
Transforaminal injections are also administered to help identify the source of the pain or a specific spinal nerve root. Since this is typically the specific area where the herniated disc is pushing on a nerve root, a transforaminal injection places the steroid medication closer to the area of pinching.
Interlaminar Epidural Injections
Known as lumbar interlaminar epidural steroid injections, this treatment is used to treat lower back pain and leg pain as well. This injection consists of steroid medication which is injected into the spinal canal via the back. A local anesthetic is injected to numb the pain and the interlaminar injection is a quick procedure.
Epidural injections are a highly effective Orange County pain management treatment. It’s important to note that the duration of pain relief may vary from patient depending on the amount of inflammation or nerve root damage. These injections are an outpatient procedure and are best administered by pain specialists.
Indications for the procedure include nerve pinching due to a herniated disc or back pain from a degenerative disc that is torn. A torn degenerative disc can lead to chemical irritation in the surrounding area, which can cause the adjacent nerve root to be inflamed.
Overall, epidural steroid injections are 75-90% effective and may allow patients to avoid surgery, obtain pain relief and decrease the amount of pain medications necessary for relief as well.