The Vault

Spine Center of Texas will be continuing to answer the most common questions we receive about epidural steroid injection:

What will happen after the procedure? 

You may notice that the pain is significantly reduced within the next 3-5 days. If you’re diabetic, make sure to check your blood sugar levels for the first few days after the injection.

What should I do after the procedure? 

After the procedure, patients are usually advised to go home and return to work the next day. Plan to rest and relax after you are discharged. You can apply an ice pack to the injection site if you’re feeling any pain. Make sure to have someone who can drive you anywhere you need to go for at least 8 hours, especially if you have been under intravenous sedation.

How many injections will I receive during treatment? 

A typical epidural steroid injection procedure involves three injection sessions with two weeks interval in between injections. However, the exact number will depend on your response. You will probably not need additional treatment if you feel no pain following an injection. If you feel no pain relief after two sessions, your doctor may recommend a different treatment. Typical follow up treatments include Facet Joint Injection, Sacroiliac Joint Injection, Percutaneous Disc Decompression, or even surgery.

Are there any side effects or complications?

Minor side effects, such as nausea, itching, rash, facial flushing, and sweating, among other things, may be expected. Some patients may notice a mild increase of pain for the first day or two after injection. Overall, this is a safe procedure with very rare complications.

Will epidural steroid injections help my pain? 

Studies showed that approximately half of the patients who underwent epidural steroid injection felt pain relief. The degree and duration of the relief you may experience after the treatment are dependent on many factors, such as underlying diagnosis or condition being treated, duration of symptoms before treatment, whether previous back (neck) surgery has been performed, and many more.

Can this procedure be repeated if my pain returns? 

You can undergo epidural steroid injection again if it was helpful for you in the past, but your doctor  will usually want to wait at least 4-6 months after your prior injection to perform it again.

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