One of the best procedures to help a person with sciatica pain due to a pinched nerve is an epidural steroid injection. Multiple research studies have shown that epidural injections work well between 75 and 90% of the time for pain relief.
When your Los Angeles pain management doctor recommends epidural steroid injections, what exactly happens during the injection and what should you expect afterwards? Here are the answers to those questions.
Epidural injections are performed as an outpatient and are extremely low risk procedures. If an individual is on blood thinner medications, that should be stop by to seven days prior injection. Your pain doctor in Los Angeles give you the exact timeframe.
Most of the time, your LA pain doctor’s instructions will give you a timeframe for how many hours beforehand not to eat or drink. If the plan is to administer IV sedation for the injection, you will receive an IV upon arrival to the procedure. The doctor may perform an injection either in a procedure room at the office or in an ambulatory surgery center.
You may receive a urine drug test at the center, this is normal. There are instances of cardiac complications if a person is on cocaine and then receives an injection with numbing medicine. Therefore, plenty of LA pain management doctors test everyone just to avoid this kind of problem. By not being selective and including everyone, it puts all patients on an even playing field.
Once you have been checked in, and are ready for the injection, either the nurse or the doctor will confirm what type of injection you are having and at what level(s). Most modern LA pain doctors use fluoroscopy for their procedures. This is a real time form of x-ray that increases accuracy with needle placement.
There are three different methods of performing an epidural steroid injection. One is called a caudal injection, the second is called an interlaminar epidural injection and the third is a transforaminal epidural injection.
Basically, the end result with these injections is the same. The steroid medication, called cortisone, is injected close to the inflamed nerve root that is being pinched and decrease inflammation and pain The difference in the procedures is simply where the needle goes the place the medication.
Once the doctor is happy with the needle placement, usually contrast medicine is injected to ensure proper placement. Then the numbing medicine and steroid are injected.
A small bandage is placed and you will be monitored in the recovery room for 30 to 60 minutes to ensure that vital signs are stable and no allergic reaction occurs from the medications.
You will usually need a ride home after the injection. The numbing medicine usually provides pain relief right away, and unfortunately wears off in about 12 hours. Steroid medicine often start working within 2 to 3 days, and pain relief may last for weeks to months.
If you or a loved one is experiencing sciatica or chronic back pain, pain relief is available. The California Pain Network connects those in pain with pain management Los Angeles trusts, with an office serving Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Glendale, Santa Monica and all surrounding areas.
Call (310) 626-1526 for more information and scheduling!