A lumbar epidural steroid injection provides relief for patients with symptoms such as swelling, inflammation, lower back pain, and radiating pain caused from spinal conditions. As the patient lays face down with a small pillow under the stomach for comfort as the back flexed back. This allows the spinal area to be open for easier access as the physician located the epidural space. A fluoroscopic used to help locate the correct lumbar vertebra as well as the nerve root. Once this is completed, a local anesthetic numbs the entire length of tissue to the surface of the lamina portion of the lumbar vertebra. A thicker needle slides down the anesthetized track guided by a fluoroscope towards the epidural space between the L-4 and L-5 vertebra.
An injection of contrast solution and the fluoroscope helps the physician locate the painful areas. While locating the painful area, the physician then injects a combination of steroid-anesthetics into the epidural space. This will then soothe the nerve root relieving some pain. Many patients receive a significant amount of relief from one or two injections while a third may be required. A small bandage is placed over the surface where the needle is taken out.