Are Epidural Injections Safe?

Epidural injections are injected into the epidural space that is outside the spinal meninges. These injections are useful in blocking the perception of pain. Epidural injections are used to provide local anesthesia during surgery and reduce labor pains during childbirth. They are also used when a patient wants to be awake during a procedure.

The dose of the medications given through epidural injections should be closely monitored because they can cause unwanted effects. Chronic pain can be managed using interventional pain management in Brooklyn using epidural injections to improve the quality of life for these patients. To enhance the procedure’s safety, you should consult a doctor who is experienced in this field.

How Do Epidural Injections Work?

The doctor inserts a needle in your lower back at the epidural space. The medications are then delivered to the spinal cord. The medications target the spinal nerves, and the injection prevents pain signals from traveling to the brain where they will be interpreted and make you feel pain. The medication does not block the nerves that help you perceive touch or pressure, and therefore you can still feel pressure and touch.

The procedure takes about 15 minutes. Depending on the type of medication that is used, the onset of the effect varies. If the epidural injection was used to deliver anesthesia, it could be seen within a few minutes. Still, it takes about 2 to 5 days for the onset of effects after steroid injections. Different people experience different durations of pain relief.

Who Is a Good Candidate of Epidural Injections?

Epidural injections are useful for people who are experiencing different types of chronic pain. People suffering from disc herniation, spinal stenosis, or pinched nerves can benefit from epidural injections.  An ideal candidate for epidural injections is one who is generally healthy and does not have allergies to the medications used, blood clotting abnormalities, infections, or diabetes that is poorly controlled. The doctor takes your medical history and conducts a physical examination to determine whether you qualify to get an epidural injection.

What Are the Complications of Epidural Injections?

During the procedure, the injection may introduce an infection if it is not carried out in sterile conditions. The nerves may get injured during the procedure, causing numbness in the legs, loss of control of the bladder or bowel function, or severe pain. The injection may cause a Dural puncture, also referred to as a wet tap, making the patient experience spinal headaches.

Other complications of the procedure may include facial flushing, high blood sugar, cataracts, sleeplessness, reduced body immunity, and joint inflammation. These side effects occur after the use of steroid medications in the epidural injections. You should consult your doctor if you are experiencing numbness in your legs, severe headaches, or urine or stool incontinence. These complications are rare when a qualified doctor does the epidural injection.

Epidural injections are injections used to deliver medications like anesthesia and steroids in the epidural space outside the spinal cord. The procedure takes about 15 minutes, and the duration of pain relief varies in different people and depends on the type of medications used. Rare complications of epidural injections include pain and bleeding at the site. Epidural injections are unsuitable for diabetic patients and persons with clotting abnormalities.

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