Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection

Overview
This outpatient procedure is an injection of a
steroid-anesthetic medication. The medication can
reduce swelling and inflammation of irritated spinal
nerves. This procedure is performed to relieve pain
in the lower back and pain that radiates from the
back to the legs. The injection takes only a few
minutes to complete.


Preparation
In preparation for the procedure, the patient lies
face down. A cushion is placed under the abdomen,
which causes the spine to bend in a way that opens
the spaces on the sides of the spine. These spaces
are called the foramina.


Anesthetic Injected
A local anesthetic is administered to numb the skin
and the tissue that covers the spine.


Needle Inserted
When the area is numb, the physician carefully
guides a needle into the foraminal space that
surrounds the irritated nerve root.


Contrast Solution Injected
A contrast solution is injected through the needle.
The physician uses a fluoroscope (a type of x-ray
device) to confirm that the tip of the needle is
positioned correctly.


Medication Injected
After the needle's position has been confirmed, the
physician injects a steroid-anesthetic medication.
This medication bathes the irritated nerve roots. It
will help alleviate the patient's pain.


End of Procedure
When the procedure is complete, the physician
removes the needle and bandages the insertion
site. The patient may feel significant relief after one
injection. Some patients may need multiple
injections before they feel the full benefit of the
medication.

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