HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE PROCEDURE?
You will receive instructions from staff at the interventional radiologist's office at least a day before the procedure. Make sure to let the staff know if you have any allergies to medications or to contrast material which may be used during this procedure. If you are on any blood thinners such as aspirin, Coumadin, Lovenox, Heparin, or Plavix please let the staff know. You may have blood drawn for pre-procedure testing at either the hospital or clinic. Staff will advise you if changes in your regular medication schedule are necessary. Make sure someone will be available to drive you home afterwards.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PREFORMED?
Steroid injections of the hip, sacral iliac joints, epidural space, or spinal facets is a non-surgical treatment that can help relieve neck, low back, hip and leg pain (sciatica) from inflammation or irritation of the nerves. It is an injection of both a long lasting steroid "cortisone" and an anesthetic numbing agent. The steroid reduces inflammation and will usually start taking effect in 22-48 hours. With spinal facet injections the medication is injected either inside the joint capsule or in the tissue surrounding the joint capsule. In epidural steroid injections the medication is injected into the epidural space within the spinal column. The lidocaine "numbing medication" works immediately and lasts from two to six hours depending on the type and concentration used.
WHAT WILL I EXPERIENCE DURING THE PROCEDURE?
Local anesthetic if injected will start working immediately and last for approximately two to six hours then pain may return until the steroid medication starts working in 24-48 hours. After injection return home and limit your activity as instructed.