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When you suffer from back, neck, arm or leg pain as a result of spinal stenosis or disc herniation, your doctor at Kayal Pain & Spine Center may recommend an epidural steroid injection (ESI) to relieve your pain. Of course, you’ll want to know as much as possible about the procedure and its effectiveness.
The team at Kayal Pain & Spine, your pain management care specialists in Bergen County, would like to share some frequently asked questions with you.
Q. What is an ESI?
A. ESI is a minimally invasive procedure designed to relieve pain that occurs when you have spinal stenosis or disc herniation and your spinal nerves are inflamed. We inject the pain medication into a fat-filled area between your bone and the protective sac of your spinal nerves (the epidural space). As a result, you may experience pain relief for days and even years.
Q. What does an ESI contain?
A. An ESI is made up of a corticosteroid and a numbing agent. Corticosteroids can reduce inflammation and ease pain. Your ESI treatment is usually done in conjunction with exercise and physical therapy.
Q. Can ESI work for me?
A. You may be a candidate if you have spinal stenosis, sciatica, degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis and are experiencing neck, back, arm or leg pain. ESI also can be used as a diagnostic procedure to help your doctor decide if surgery might relieve herniated disc pain.
Q. What can I expect before and during the procedure?
A. If you take blood-thinning medication, you may need to stop several days before your procedure. Kayal Pain & Spine Center’s Dr. Steve Aydin, chief of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Interventional Pain Management, will perform the procedure. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the injection site, but will be awake during the procedure. Using an X-ray fluoroscope, Dr. Aydin will inject the medication. The fluoroscope allows him to see the needle and guide it to the proper location. The procedure may involve injections in more than one location. It will take about 15 to 45 minutes. Following your procedure, you will spend time in recovery. Because you may experience some numbness or weakness after the procedure, you should make arrangements for someone to drive you home. Once you’re home, if you experience discomfort around the injection site, you can use ice or an over-the-counter pain reliever. Most patients can resume their normal routines the next day.
Q. What can I expect after the procedure?
A. It can take two days to two weeks for the corticosteroid to take effect, so don’t be surprised if you continue to feel some pain once the numbing agent wears off. Plus, some patients require more than one procedure to experience pain relief. If that’s the case, your procedures will be scheduled at one- to four-week intervals.
Do you still have questions? Call us at 844.777.0910 or contact us on the web to schedule an appointment. Kayal Pain & Spine Center is the innovative leader when it comes to pain management in Westwood and beyond.