Lumbar epidural injections are a very common treatment option for several types of low-back and leg pain. These injections have been used as pain management treatments for decades and are a proven and effective means of pain relief. There is a variety of painful conditions that a lumbar epidural can be used to help manage, including herniated and degenerative discs. Epidural steroid injections can provide symptom relief from a few weeks up to a year, depending on the individual case. At ProMed SPINE, our spinal surgery experts have expertise in using lumbar epidural steroid injections to manage many forms of back and leg pain caused by spinal conditions.
How do Lumbar Epidural Injections Work?
A lumbar epidural injection uses a combination of a steroid and a local anesthetic. The steroid most often used is known as cortisone. Cortisone is a corticosteroid, which are long lasting, powerful anti-inflammatory medications. The local anesthetic that accompanies the steroid is used to provide immediate pain relief to the area. The local anesthetic is required since the steroid may take up to 6 hours to start having an effect. Lumbar epidural steroid injections may also include a saline solution. Saline can be added to the injection to help dilute the anesthetic or as a flushing agent for particles that may be increasing inflammation.
An epidural steroid injection is administered directly into the epidural space, which is an area surrounding the spinal cord and nerve roots. The injection does not enter the sac containing the spinal cord and nerve roots. The purpose of these injections is to treat inflammation and pain attributed to pressure on the spinal cord, not within.
At ProMed SPINE, our back doctors strive to make every treatment as safe as possible with the highest probability of success. This is why imaging guidance technologies such as CT, MRI, or X-Rays may be used to identify the exact location of the problem. This helps increase the accuracy of the procedure, thus leading to the likelihood of a better outcome.
To learn more about lumbar epidural injections, please visit WebMD.
When are These Injections Used?
There are a variety of conditions that cause low back or leg pain attributed to the spine that can be treated with lumbar epidural injections. Some of these conditions include:
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – This occurs when there is a narrowing of the spinal canal. When the spinal canal narrows, significant pressure is placed upon the spinal cord and nerves.
- Degenerative Disc Disease – The structure of the discs can deteriorate with time. When the disc deteriorates, it can collapse and affect the surrounding nerves.
- Herniated Lumbar Disc – A herniated disc involves the nucleus, or center, of the disc protruding out. The nucleus passes into the spinal canal and puts pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.
- Compression Fractures – When the vertebrae are fractured, the surrounding nerves and spinal structure can be affected.
- Spinal Cysts – Cysts that develop on or near a nerve root or in the facet joint can apply pressure to spinal structures as they expand.
- Annular Tear – The annular is the outer portion of a disc. When the annular tears, it can result in severe nerve pain.
Lumbar epidural injections are not for everyone. Certain prohibiting factors include:
- Pregnancy – Pregnant women may not be candidates only in cases that utilize certain imaging guidance technologies
- Tumors – If the pain is related to a spinal tumor, epidural injections may not be possible
- Infection – A local or systematic infection can delay or prevent epidural administration
- Bleeding – Patients on blood thinners or with a bleeding disorder like hemophilia may not be eligible to receive this treatment.
Epidural injections may cause complications with disorders like diabetes, heart failure, and renal failure. Although these won’t necessarily exclude the patient, certain precautions can be required.
Each case is different, so it’s important to discuss all questions and concerns that you may have with your physician. At ProMed SPINE, your expert back doctor will talk to you about your specific condition as well as all feasible treatment options that may be available to you.
Lumbar epidural injections have provided relief for many patients over the course of years. Many patients realize a significant reduction in pain, especially when the injection was received for cases of sciatica. It is important to know that the chances for success and substantial relief are increased when the injections are done in conjunction with a comprehensive physical therapy program. Epidural injections may only be a temporary solution when more conservative options have been exhausted. If the underlying cause of the pain is a significant condition, surgery may be necessary.
Our spinal surgeons at ProMed SPINE have years of experience with lower back epidural injections. They have an expansive knowledge and expertise with many types of surgical and non-surgical treatments for the head, neck, and back. His proficiency with the spine makes him the top option for lower back epidural injections in Los Angeles.
Contact a Los Angeles Spine Surgeon Today!
If you are interested in learning more about lower back epidural injections for pain in Los Angeles, contact us today. Our team is comprised of board-certified neurosurgeons with fellowship training in advanced spine surgery. We take pride in offering the most sophisticated technology and cutting-edge minimally invasive spine procedures to provide the highest quality of care for our patients. To schedule an initial consultation with one of our spine doctors, please contact us today!
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