Epidural Injections have been used since 1952 and are recommended for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This type of injection is normally considered after nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or physical therapy have failed to provide adequate pain relief. Epidural Injections have been proven to be effective in relieving pain. For those who receive the injection within three to six months from the onset of pain, response rates can be as high as 70-90%. This response rate may lower for patients who have had prolonged pain. Other factors associated with a decreased response include age over 60 years, smoking, and a history of back surgery.
Overall, the procedure is very safe. As with any procedure, there are risks. The most common side effect is pain, which is temporary. Any time a needle is punctured through the skin, there is a chance of bleeding or infection that is very rare. Other rare side effects include spinal headache, nerve damage, worsening of pain, etc., which are extremely unlikely Who should not have these injections? If you are allergic to corticosteroids, specific local anesthetics, or ionic contrast, please notify your physician. Also, if you are taking any blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix, Warfarin, Lovenox, Aspirin) please let your physician know ahead of time to help devise a safe plan for the injection.