Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a minimally invasive approach to treat inflammation of spinal nerves that causes pain in the neck, arms, back and legs. This technique may help relieve back pain in conditions such as spinal stenosis, spondylolysis or herniated discs. In this technique, the steroidal medications are injected into the spinal canal so as to pass down to the inflamed spinal nerve through the epidural space which lies between the covering of the spinal cord and the vertebrae. An ESI contains a corticosteroid medication along with an anaesthetic agent which can reduce the inflammation and pain.

Transforaminal ESI is one of the approaches through which medication can be injected as close as possible to the pain site. The procedure lasts around 15-30 minutes. During the procedure, you will be lying on your stomach while sedatives will be given to reduce your anxiety. A local anaesthetic injection will be given to numb the area of ESI injection. Then, under the fluoroscopic guidance, your doctor will insert a small sized hollow needle into the epidural space through the neural foramen (bony opening through which spinal nerve exits). A radio opaque dye material is used to reassure proper placement of the needle and flow of the injected medication. Once the needle is in the correct position, the medication is injected into the epidural space.

What are the associated complications?

Complications are uncommon but there may be minor risks such as infection, bleeding, discomfort at the site where the needle has been inserted.

  • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital


    Ashford and St Peter’s
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Guildford Road, Cherstey,
    Surrey, KY16 0PZ.
    Ph: 01932 722 730
  • The BMI Runnymede Hospital


    The BMI
    Runnymede Hospital
    Guildford Road,
    Ottershaw, CHERTSEY,
    KT16 0RQ.
    Ph: 01932 877800
  • Spire St Anthony’s Hospital


    Spire St Anthony’s
    801 London Road,
    SM3 9DW.
    Ph: 020 8337 6691
  • Nuffield Health Woking Hospital


    Nuffield Health
    Woking Hospital
    Shores Road,
    GU21 4BY.
    Ph: 01483 331257
  • Ramsay Health Ashtead Hospital


    Ramsay Health
    Ashtead Hospital
    The Warren,
    Ashtead, Surrey.
    KT21 2SB.
    Ph: 01372 221400