Do you suffer from lower back and leg pain? If so, you may have heard about a treatment called epidural steroid injection, or ESI, an outpatient procedure offered by MidAmerica Orthopaedics Clinic in Palos Hills used to treat pain caused by spinal stenosis or a herniated disc. ESI is generally used only when other forms of medication and physical therapy are ineffective at managing pain.
ESI is an outpatient procedure and does not require a trip to the hospital. ESI can be performed onsite at MidAmerica Orthopaedics. Here’s what to expect from an ESI procedure: your physician will sanitize and numb the affected area, then insert the needle into your back, often using x-ray imaging to help guide the injection. Steroids are then administered to the affected area, relieving pressure around the nerves and spinal cord. While you may feel some pressure during the procedure, it is generally painless. (MedlinePlus)
Side Effects and Risks
ESI, like any other procedure, is not without risks. While complications are rare, risks from the injection include infection, bleeding and nerve damage. The most common complication is a dural puncture (a puncture to the meninges, or three layers of tissue membrane surrounding the spinal cord). A dural puncture may cause a headache, which typically clears up within a few days. (New England Baptist Hospital)
While rare, there is also a risk associated with the steroid medication itself. Potential side effects include anxiety, sleeplessness, fever, and high blood pressure. (Spine Health)
While effective, ESI treatments are usually limited to a 2-3 injections yearly. The anti inflammatory steroid medication used in ESI may weaken the spinal bones and nearby muscles. To avoid this, your physician may limit the frequency of your ESI treatments. (Mayo Clinic)
Consult your doctor to determine if ESI is right for you. ESI is generally used in conjunction with other forms of pain treatment and management.
Dr. George Charuk, D.O. is a board certified orthopaedic specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Dr. Charuk specializes in neck and lower back pain treatment, using a comprehensive, customized program of minimally invasive, non-operative techniques, medication, and physical therapy, including epidural steroid injection (ESI) at our clinics in Mokena and Palos Hills.
Dr. Charuk strives to help alleviate pain and help you resume your normal activities using the combination of treatments that best suit your unique situation.
To learn more about MidAmerica Orthopaedics and the different treatment options available to you, visit our website.
To schedule an appointment with MidAmerica Orthopedic Dr. George Charuk, call (708) 237-7200. You can also request an appointment online.