People who have sciatica may struggle with symptoms such as shooting pain in the buttocks, groin, leg, and foot, along with muscle weakness and numbness in the legs or feet. Oral medications are often ineffective at alleviating or minimizing these symptoms, or they provide only temporary relief. A caudal epidural steroid injection can help minimize pain by soothing irritated nerve roots.
Steroid injections do “wear off” over time, so patients may need repeat injections to manage their pain every few months.
During the injection procedure (which usually lasts around 30 minutes), patients are provided with a mild sedative. We apply a local anesthetic to the injection site, then insert a needle into the caudal spinal space, just above the tailbone. The steroid then floods the space, covering the nerves in a mixture of anesthetic and steroid medications. Caudal epidural steroid injections may be helpful for people with spinal stenosis, failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), and herniated or bulging discs in the lower spine.
The anesthetic may provide some immediate degree of relief, while the steroid medication may take a few days to produce noticeable results. Most patients are able to return to activity as normal within a day or two following their procedure. To hasten recovery and improve strength and mobility, we advise patients to participate in physical therapy.
If you have chronic lower back pain and leg pain caused by a condition like sciatica or spinal stenosis, caudal epidural steroid injections could be the best next step in your recovery.
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