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My Neck, My Back: Epidural Steroid Injections

In the third and final installment of the groundbreaking blog series, “My Neck, My Back”, we discuss a , Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI’s), for those who have suffered back injuries and are experiencing radicommon medical procedureculopathy symptoms.

According to the Columbia University Department of Neurological Surgery, an Epidural Steroid Injection can be described as a procedure that decreases pain and inflammation. According to the school’s website, “This treatment can be highly effective because it delivers the anti-inflammatory medication and pain relief directly to the source of the problem”.

The violence of any motor vehicle collision can often cause serious neck and back injuries such as protrusions or herniations. When this occurs, injured parties will often visit an orthopedist or pain management doctor who will recommend a series of ESI’s which will provide pain relief and reduce swelling in and around the damaged discs and corresponding nerve roots. It is important that an injured party always follow doctor’s orders, especially when there is a serious back injury involving the need for ESI’s.

Dr. Richard A. Staehler M.D describes a typical ESI procedure in detail:

  • The patient lies flat on an X-ray table or with a small pillow under their stomach to slightly curve the back. If this position causes pain, the patient can be allowed to sit up or lie on their side in a slightly curled position.
  • The skin in the low back area is cleaned and then numbed with a local anesthetic similar to what a dentist uses.
  • Using fluoroscopy (live X-ray) for guidance, a needle is inserted into the skin and directed toward the epidural space. Fluoroscopy is considered important in guiding the needle into the epidural space, as controlled studies have found that medication is misplaced in many (> 30%) of epidural steroid injections that are done without fluoroscopy1.
  • Once the needle is in the proper position, contrast is injected to confirm the needle location. The epidural steroid solution is then injected. Although the steroid solution is injected slowly, most patients sense some pressure due to the amount of the solution used (which in lumber injections can range from 3mL to 10mL, depending on the approach and steroid used). The pressure of the injection is not generally painful.
  • Following the injection, the patient is monitored for 15 to 20 minutes before being discharged home.

(credit www.spine-health.com, Dr. Richard A. Staehler M.D)

It is important that if you or a loved one are ever injured as a result of other parties negligence and suffer a back injury to seek medical attention immediately. Contact Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., to make sure your rights are protected and you are afforded the steadfast commitment of excellence that only the foremost personal injury firm in Texas can provide.

*This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice.