Epidural Steroid Injections

The traditional epidural (ep-e-do-ral) steroid injection technique involves the physician feeling the patient's spine in order to guide the placement of the needle between the spinal vertebrae. A newer technique involves using x-ray fluoroscopy to guide the needle directly into the neural foramen; the point where the affected nerve root exits the spinal canal. Injections of steroids into the lumbar epidural space are particularly useful to alleviate pain that radiates from the lower back into a leg. This pain may be caused by disc herniation or spinal stenosis, which triggers nerve root irritation, inflammation, and pain. Similarly, ESIs are used to treat neck pain that extends into the arms.

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