Invasive Treatment Measures
Oftentimes, an epidural steroid injection (ESI) will be recommended by your doctor to treat you for your car or truck accident injury. An ESI involves use of medication, typically corticosteroid or another numbing medication, to numb the affected areas of your spine ESIs are very helpful in providing relief from neck, arm, back and leg pain.
How does it work?
During the procedure, the doctor will guide a hollow needle through the skin and between the bony vertebrae into the epidural space. The doctor will use a fluoroscope, which will allow him to watch the needle being inserted on a monitor and ensure that the medication is being administered as close to the inflamed nerve as possible. You may remain awake during the entire procedure or choose to be sedated to reduce any anxiety you may have regarding the procedure. You may also feel some discomfort during the procedure, but typically patients feel more pressure than pain. After the procedure is completed, you may be able to walk around immediately and can usually leave the doctor’s office after a short period of monitoring.
What are the results?
Pain relief is a reality for many patients who receive ESIs. Oftentimes, patients are given a set of injections, usually 2-4 weeks apart. However, the results of ESIs are only temporary lasting a few weeks to a few years. That is why it is very important to to attend any follow up visits with your doctor even if you feel better.
When to get an ESI?
A doctor will typically recommend an ESI when conservative treatment measures such as chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy and medication therapy fails. He or she may also recommend an ESI when your MRI indicates positive results such as a disc herniation, protrusion, bulge or tear. Likewise, a doctor may recommend an ESI when pain is radiating into your shoulders, arms, fingers, hips, buttocks, or legs.