Why do we do epidural steroid injections?
Your child's doctor has determined that there is a nerve irritation and swelling causing his / her back or leg pain. The irritation and swelling can be caused by a problem such as a bulging disk or the chemical substances released from the injured disc or arthritis.
What is the purpose of the epidural steroid injection?
The epidural steroid injection will decrease nerve irritation and swelling. The doctor will inject the medication at the level of the back where the problem is located.
When will the medication begin to work?
We often use local anesthetics to confirm placement of the steroid medication in the area that causes your child pain. The local anesthetic usually works quickly but only lasts a short time. It's similar to the numbing effect following a dental procedure. Your child may not notice the pain relief from the steroid until about 48 hours after the procedure. It takes longer for the medication to begin to work; however, it lasts longer than the local anesthetic.
How many injections will your child need?
Most children need one to three injections. These are usually done in 2 week intervals. You and your child's physician will decide the best plan for him / her. The total amount of steroid medicine is monitored and kept to a minimum to help avoid side effects.