This injection procedure is performed to relieve low back and radiating leg pain. Steroid medication can reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by spinal conditions.
Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) should be used with caution. This treatment may only relieve symptoms for a short time, and the long-term effects are not well studied. Most experts recommend that no more than 3 – 4 ESIs be given in a 12-month period. Doctors usually wait at least 2 months between injections. And they do not usually give more than 3 or 4 injections into one area.
If side effects occur, they are usually minor and may include:
More serious side effects are very rare but can include bleeding, infection, nerve root injury, and meningitis.
People who have an increased risk for infections, such as those with diabetes or those with immunosuppresion may be at a higher risk for problems from ESIs. People with mental health disorders may also have a higher risk for problems from this treatment.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)