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Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection (Without Contrast)

Overview

This injection procedure is performed to relieve low back and radiating leg pain. Steroid medication can reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by spinal conditions.

Fluoroscope

The patient lays face down. A cushion under the stomach area provides comfort and flexes the back. In this position, the spine opens and allows for easier access to the epidural space. A fluoroscope assists the physician in locating the appropriate lumbar vertebra and nerve root. A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin.

Tissue Anesthetized

All the tissue down to the surface of the lamina portion of the lumbar vertebra bone is anesthetized.

Needle Inserted

The physician slides a thicker needle through the anesthetized track.

Guided to Epidual Space

Using the fluoroscope for guidance, the physician slides the needle toward the epidural space between the L-4 and L-5 vertebra.

Steroids Injected

A steroid-anesthetics mix is injected into the epidural space, bathing the painful nerve root with soothing medication.

End of Procedure

The needle is removed, and a small bandage is applied to cover the tiny needle surface wound. In some cases it may be necessary to repeat the procedure as many as three times to get the full benefit of the medication. Many patients get significant relief from only one or two injections.