Watkins Medical Centre
Level 8, 225 Wickham Terrace,
Spring Hill QLD, 4000

All appointments
Phone: (07) 3831 7034

Epidural Steroid Injections

Some painful conditions associated with nerve compresssion are also associated with inflamation.

Occasionally, epidural steroid injections are useful to settle down pain that is associated with inflamation within the lumbar spinal canal. The epidural space is the space between the outside lining of the spinal cord (cauda equina) and the spinal canal. Temporary pain relief can sometimes be obtained with this technique for acute lumbar disc herniations and occasionally with acute discogenic pain. For reasons that are not entirely understood it may also give temporary relief for some sufferers of spinal stenosis.

The procedure is usually performed by a radiologist in an x-ray practice using a CT scan for guidance. It involves a small injection of local anaesthetic to deaden the skin followed by placement of the needle into the epidural space, using the CT scan to check the position. The position is also confirmed by injection of a small quantity of an x-ray contrast - such as air or dye. A mixture of local anaesthetic and cortisone is injected. The local anaesthetic may make the legs feel temporarily numb (or occasionally weak). The steroid injection is a slow release preparation that is  released over about 3 weeks.