When patients are trying to avoid surgery from a pinched nerve, all methods of conservative treatment should be tried first. Especially if the surgery is not absolutely necessary and there is no increasing neurologic deficit (such as worsening muscle weakness).
Here are some key points on epidural injections:
- Epidural steroid injections are indicated in those patients who have sciatica, also known as lumbosacral radiculopathy.
- The beneficial effect of the cortisone is a function of its anti-inflammatory qualities. Since the pain is secondary to sparking up inflammation from the nerve pinching, cortisone “knocks this out” nicely. Just having a disc herniation pinch on a nerve root in and of itself doesn’t cause pain. It’s the inflammation that sparks up that leads to substantial pain.
- Epidural steroids have been shown to be most effective in those patients who have acute sciatica. For those who have chronic sciatica, the injections are not as effective. They can be very effective in those who have chronic sciatica and now a different nerve root is affected, or if they have been pain-free for a while and the pain came back.
- Fluoroscopy, which is a real-time form of x-ray, should be used for all epidural injections that are done of the transforaminal variety.
- When transforaminal epidurals have been compared with the interlaminar variety of epidural injections, they have been shown to work better with regards to patients needing less overall injections for pain relief.
- If an individual has been having pain less than 12 months, epidural injections tend to work better than if the pain has been going on for over a year.
- Additionally, it is unclear how many injections are advisable for the best pain relief and it is also unknown which amount and type of corticosteroid is best for epidural injections. Currently, a series of three injections is typically performed a couple weeks apart to obtain the best Pain Relief.
If you or a loved one is suffering from back and/or leg pain in the greater Las Vegas area, help is available. The Nevada Pain Network offers pain management Las Vegas and Henderson trust.
Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling with the best pain clinics in Las Vegas!