Epidural steroid injection.
Your epidural space is the area which surrounds the spinal cord and the nerves coming out of it. It is the area associated with severe back pains and inflammation. Your epidural steroid injections are long lasting steroid (CORTISONE) injections for your Epidural space to help you relieve your severe back pains, inflammation and/or swelling of nerves in the Epidural space, and to reduce pain, tingling & numbness and other symptoms caused by nerve inflammation / irritation or swelling.
However, there are risks, side effects, complications, and adverse reaction of epidural steroid injections. 1% to 2% of all injections may have minor side effects that may include minor infections, but 0.1% to 0.01% of injections may have adverse reaction.
Some of the side effects of epidural steroid injections may include a transient decrease in immunity, Cataracts, transient flushing, increased appetite, weight gain, high blood sugar (mainly in diabetics), water retention, suppression of body’s own natural production of cortisone, etc.
The adverse reaction of epidural steroid injections may include severe infections. An adverse reaction of epidural steroid injections may include bleeding inside the Epidural space with nerve damage. This adverse reaction of epidural steroid injections is rare, but it is more common for patients with underlying bleeding disorders.
Dural puncture may be adverse reaction of 0.5% of injections. This adverse reaction of epidural steroid injections may cause a post-dural puncture headache (also called a spinal headache) that usually gets better within a few days. Although rare, a blood patch may be necessary to alleviate the headache.
Stomach ulcers may also be adverse reaction of epidural steroid injections, and severe arthritis of the hips (avascular necrosis) may also an adverse reaction of epidural steroid injections.
However, to prevent the adverse reaction of epidural steroid injections, epidural steroid injections should not be given to given to the people having local or systemic bacterial infections, pregnant women, or the people having bleeding problems. Epidural steroid injections should also not be given to the people having pain from tumor or infection. Epidural steroid injections should not be given to the allergic people, or the patients on blood thinning medications, such as Coumadin, Plavix, and Ticlid. MRI scan should be done prior to the injection to rule out the adverse reaction of epidural steroid injections.
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