Epidural steroid injections (ESI) are performed to place anti-inflammatory medication (steroid) and local anesthetic in the epidural space to target irritated nerves and relieve pain. They are most commonly performed for patients with spine pain and radiating pain into either the arms or legs. Injections are performed under X-ray guidance.

There are three different ways to perform an ESI and your physician will choose the route that offers the best chance of relieving your pain based on several factors. The three methods of ESI are described below:

How long does an ESI take?

ESIs of any approach usually take about 10 to 15 minutes. Your procedure may take slightly longer if your physician recommends an approach at two different levels of your spine.

How will I feel afterwards?

The main benefit from the steroid usually takes effect in 48-96 hours. Some patients feel improvement right away. There may be a temporary sensation of pressure at the site of injection in some cases.

How long will the relief last?

Relief from an ESI or series of ESIs is varies between one to six months, but on average nearly two months.