Radiculopathy occurs when something irritates a spinal nerve—say a “slipped disc” causing a pinched nerve. This is also called sciatica . There are resident stem and other cells in the local tissues everywhere in our body. Many live around blood vessels. These are obviously also present in the disc and nerves in the epidural space and they usually play an important role in suppressing inflammation and repairing damage. We know, based on a copious in vitro (lab) data, that the high-dose steroids used in epidural injections can kill these cells. So the progression of the series of epidural steroid injections looks a little something like this:
Following aspiration of the prepatellar bursa, a pressure dressing should be applied, and the patient should remain in the supine position for several minutes. Following injection, the joint or injected region may be put through passive range of motion. The patient should remain in the office for 30 minutes after the injection to monitor for any adverse reactions. In general, patients should avoid strenuous activity involving the injected region for several days. Patients should be cautioned that they may experience worsening symptoms during the first 24 to 48 hours related to a possible steroid flare, which can be treated with ice and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients should be instructed against the application of heat. A follow-up appointment should be scheduled within three weeks.
The caudal approach to the epidural space involves the use of a Tuohy needle, an intravenous catheter, or a hypodermic needle to puncture the sacrococcygeal membrane . Injecting local anaesthetic at this level can result in analgesia and/or anaesthesia of the perineum and groin areas. The caudal epidural technique is often used in infants and children undergoing surgery involving the groin, pelvis or lower extremities. In this population, caudal epidural analgesia is usually combined with general anaesthesia since most children do not tolerate surgery when regional anaesthesia is employed as the sole modality.