Epidural steroid injections (ESI’s) are a common treatment option for many forms of back and leg pain. During an ESI, medication is injected into the epidural space with the use of a needle or catheter (small tube). In doing this, anti-inflammatory medication is being delivered directly to the affected area of the back to reduce inflammation that may be irritating the nerve root and causing low back and/or leg pain.
This procedure involves inserting a needle through the skin and deeper tissues to the appropriate section of the spinal column with the use of an x-ray, or fluoroscopy. After the physician determines correct needle placement, contrast dye is then injected to help confirm the placement. The medication, or steroid, is injected and the needle or catheter is then removed. Antibiotic ointment and a small bandage are placed over the injection site.