Chronic leg or back pain is caused by a number of conditions. Sciatica generally originates in the lower back and spreads through the buttocks to the large sciatic nerves in the back of the legs. Lumbar radiculopathy is caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to a spinal nerve root in the lower back. Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spaces within the spine, places pressure on the nerves that run through the spine, most often in the neck and lower back. Dr. Skaribas utilizes lumbar epidural steroid injections as an effective treatment for all of the above.*
Why do Epidural Steroid Injections Work?
Nobody knows with absolute certainty why lumbar epidural steroid injections are so effective. What is established medical fact is that steroids are highly anti-inflammatory. Therefore, once the inflammation at the root of back and/or leg pain is reduced, it’s not particularly surprising that so goes the discomfort. In addition, targeted injections have a more powerful effect than NSAIDs and oral steroids, and don’t flood a patient’s entire system with medication.*
Bottom line: lumbar epidural steroid injections are considered safe and they work. Epidural injections for pain have been in use since 1901 and those utilizing steroids since the early 1950s.*
Dr. Skaribas utilizes x-ray imaging to locate the injection site accurately for Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections.
It’s up to the patient whether to have a local anesthetic at the injection site or to use an intravenous medication. In either case, a lumbar epidural steroid injection is an outpatient procedure and patients generally do not experience any pain.*
First, Dr. Skaribas will determine the optimum injection site for the patient’s condition, which will either be between the lamina and vertebrae of the middle back, the neural foramen on the side of the vertebrae or the large sacral canal at the tailbone.
Two injections are made for each procedure: one utilizes x-ray imaging to locate the injection site accurately and the other contains the corticosteroid medication. By targeting the injection site carefully, only the inflamed area is treated; no more medication is used than necessary.*
Chronic Pain Relief
Most patients experience almost immediate relief after the injection and most can go back to their daily routines right away.* For some patients, the pain does not completely abate. In those cases, Dr. Skaribas simply repeats the treatment to achieve optimum results.