Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection

This injection procedure is performed to relieve low back and radiating leg pain. The steroid medication can reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, radiculopathy, sciatica and herniated disk. The patient lies facedown. A cushion is placed under the stomach area to provide comfort and flex the back. This position causes the spine to open, allowing for easier access to the epidural space. The physician uses a fluoroscope to locate the appropriate lumbar vertebral and nerve root, and a local anesthetic numbs the skin. All the tissue down to the surface of the vertebral transverse process is anesthetized. The physician slides a thin bent needle with a slightly curved point through the anesthetized track. With the aid of the fluoroscope, the physician carefully guides the needle into the foraminal space near the nerve root. The physician injects contrast solution and uses the fluoroscope to see the painful areas and confirmed the correct location of the needle tip. A steroid/anesthetics mix is injected into the foraminal space, bathing the painful nerve root with soothing medication. The needle is removed and a small Band-Aid is used to cover the tiny needle surface wound. In some cases it may be necessary to repeat the procedure as many as 3 times to provide the full benefit of the medication. However many patient feels significant relief from only one or two injections.