Epidural injections are same day procedures and commonly done under local anaesthesia. It is generally performed under fluoroscopy (Type of portable X-Ray) and sometimes a CT scan can be used in difficult cases. This procedure can be used to identify (Diagnostic role) as well as to treat the condition (Therapeutic role).
You will be admitted on the day of procedure, and after initial checks the procedure will be carried out in the operation theatre. The procedure itself is done under local anaesthesia and the patient sometimes need sedatives. Once the local anaesthesia has made the area numb, a needle is passed under X-Ray control towards the nerve root. The position of the needle is confirmed by using a dye which is visible on X-ray. A cocktail of local anaesthesia and steroids are delivered around the nerve root, and patients sometimes describe gush feelings travelling down the leg.
After the procedure, you will be transferred to a recovery area and will be monitored for some time. Patients sometimes can feel temporary numbness or weakness, and it is advisable to be accompanied by someone who can drive you back home. Rarely, some patients can experience worsening of symptoms in the first forty eight hours and I would advise to continue taking your regular painkiller medication.
If it is a diagnostic procedure, a pain diary is needed to be maintained and brought to the follow up clinic for further evacuation when discussing the management plan