An epidural steroid injection is an injection performed to treat pain due to irritation of a spinal nerve(s) in the spine. The injection typically contains numbing medicine (lidocaine) and anti-inflammatory medicine (steroid) that are injected into the epidural space of the spine, around the affected nerve(s), with the goal of reducing inflammation of the nerve(s) and therefore the symptoms. The epidural steroid injection will be given according to the site where suspected nerve irritation occurs in your spine.
These injections are typically performed when the patient has trialed conservative (non-surgical) treatments that have failed in the past and as an attempt to reduce pain and avoid surgery if possible. The administration of such injections can also allow time for healing to occur in the damaged area. If the symptoms (pain, tingling, and weakness) are no longer present, further injections are not indicated.
These injections are performed under fluoroscopic guidance (x-ray) to ensure safe delivery of medication to the intended site.