Steroid injection in leg pain

Epidural injections are often used to treat radicular pain, also called sciatica , which is pain that radiates from the site of a pinched nerve in the low back to the area of the body aligned with that nerve, such as the back of the leg or into the foot. Inflammatory chemicals (. substance P, PLA2, arachidonic acid, TNF-α, IL-1, and prostaglandin E2) and immunologic mediators can generate pain and are associated with common back problems such as lumbar disc herniation or facet joint arthritis . These conditions, as well as many others, provoke inflammation that in turn can cause significant nerve root irritation and swelling.

General pre/post instructions
Patients can eat a light meal within a few hours before the procedure. If a patient is an insulin dependent diabetic, they must not change their normal eating pattern prior to the procedure. Patients may take their routine medications. (. high blood pressure and diabetic medications). Patients should not take pain medications or anti-inflammatory medications the day of their procedure. Patients have to be hurting prior to this procedure. They may not take medications that may give pain relief or lessen their usual pain. These medicines can be restarted after the procedure if they are needed. If a patient is on Coumadin (blood thinners) or Glucophage (a diabetic medicine) they must notify the office so the timing of these medications can be explained.

Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. Irritation of a spinal nerve in the low back ( lumbar radiculopathy ), such as from lumbar spinal stenosis , cervical spinal stenosis, herniated disc , and foraminal encroachment, causes back pain that goes down the leg. Epidural injection is also used as a minimally invasive procedure to treat nerve compression in the neck (cervical spine), referred to as cervical radiculopathy , which causes pain.

As mentioned above, there may be more than one spinal structure causing your spine pain.  Sometimes, there are multiple causes for your spine pain or radiculopathy.  In this case, Dr. Lee may recommend alternative treatment options or steriod injections.  For example, if your sciatica/leg pain or hand pain improves with epidural steroid injection but you still have low back pain or neck pain, you may benefit from facet joint injections.  But, whatever the case, you will need further evaluation by Dr. Lee to decide on further treatment.  Remember that there are multiple treatments available now for pain and just because one method yielded partial or no response DOES NOT necessarily mean you will “just have to live with the pain”!

I had three injections all of which worked for a few days to two weeks then stopped. The excruciating pain returned and only Vicoden 5 mg 3-4 times a day controlled the pain. Vicoden at that dose is the lowest dose prescribed. it worked perfectly for several years and doctors refused to prescribed opioids for fear of losing their license. My sister recently died of throat cancer and she complained constantly of pain. She died with unrelieved pain. As a cancer patient she was prescribed Morphine 2 mg. every 6 hours. That is beyond ridiculous but keeps our doctor’s license safe. Our doctors are violating their Hippocratic oath – Do No Harm. They had added a caveat “except when the government is breathing down your neck. Then the patient be damned. I am glad this helped you Randy. I don’t know your clinical status but I am sure it differs from mine. Do you have severe and crippling arthritis?

Steroid injection in leg pain

steroid injection in leg pain

As mentioned above, there may be more than one spinal structure causing your spine pain.  Sometimes, there are multiple causes for your spine pain or radiculopathy.  In this case, Dr. Lee may recommend alternative treatment options or steriod injections.  For example, if your sciatica/leg pain or hand pain improves with epidural steroid injection but you still have low back pain or neck pain, you may benefit from facet joint injections.  But, whatever the case, you will need further evaluation by Dr. Lee to decide on further treatment.  Remember that there are multiple treatments available now for pain and just because one method yielded partial or no response DOES NOT necessarily mean you will “just have to live with the pain”!

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