What You Need to Know About Epidural Steroid Injections

Have you been in a car accident in the Fort Worth/Arlington area and injured your back or neck?  Were you diagnosed with spinal stenosis, disc herniation, disc bulging, or degenerative disc disease?  Has the pain persisted even after chiropractic treatments?  If so, you may be a candidate for epidural steroid injections. 

The most commonly performed injection is an ESI.  It is a minimally invasive and effective non-surgical treatment that involves the injection of a steroid medication similar to cortisone into the epidural space of the spine.  The epidural space is a fat filled ‘sleeve’ that surrounds the spinal sac and provides cushioning for the nerves and spinal cord. Prior to the injection, the skin is anesthetized by using a small needle to numb the area in the low back (a local anesthetic).  ESIs are often performed to relieve pain cause by spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, disc bulging, or disc herniations. The purpose for this procedure is to markedly reduce inflammation.  It is believed that there is also a flushing effect from the injection that helps remove or “flush out” inflammatory proteins from around structures that may cause pain. 

There is no definitive research to determine the number of ESIs a person can have; however, a limit of three injections per year is generally considered reasonable.  There is also no general consensus in the medical community as to whether or not a series of three injections always need to be administered.  If one or two injections resolve the pain, some doctors prefer to save the one or two additional injections for any potential recurrent pain.

ESIs, however, do not fix the condition causing the pain.  They cannot reduce the size of the herniated or bulging disc or put them back into place.  The ESIs can break the cycle of pain and inflammation and allow the body to compensate for the condition.  This can include physical therapy that is designed to strengthen the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, buttocks, and legs, in order to promote good posture and enhance treatment.  Physical therapy allows the injections to provide benefits that outlast the effects of the steroid itself. 

If you have questions about how to best deal with your medical treatment which is caused by a motor vehicle accident, on the job injury or otherwise, please call the Anderson Law Firm in Fort Worth at 817-294-1900, in Dallas at 214-327-8000 or across Texas at 800-354-MARK (6275).

Mark A. Anderson
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Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas