The benefits from the first shot only lasted 2 weeks. The second and third set of injections lasted about 90 days. In November, I was ready to have surgery. My EMG and nerve conduction tests proved that the nerves were "sleeping" before I was. After another MRI, the neurosurgeon said I was a candidate for surgery but I was not able to get the endoscopic type surgery that is less invasive. I would have an incision about 6-8" long. Along with removing the herniation, they would have to increase the size of the hole where the nerve roots were going through.
Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. Irritation of a spinal nerve in the low back ( lumbar radiculopathy ), such as from lumbar spinal stenosis , cervical spinal stenosis, herniated disc , and foraminal encroachment, causes back pain that goes down the leg. Epidural injection is also used as a minimally invasive procedure to treat nerve compression in the neck (cervical spine), referred to as cervical radiculopathy , which causes pain.
Before the procedure, your doctor will likely order imaging tests such as an MRI or CT to diagnose the precise area where nerves are being squeezed. During the procedure, the physician may utilize a fluoroscope for real-time X-ray imaging. While the patient lies face-down on the table, the doctor administers a local anesthetic to numb the skin before the injection. The doctor then uses the fluoroscope to guide the insertion of a hollow needle into the epidural space. Doing this ensures that the steroidal medication reaches the inflamed nerve.